Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a type of virus that typically affects the respiratory tracts of birds and mammals, including humans. Doctors have associated them with the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Over the last 70 years, scientists have found that Coronavirus can infect mice, rats, dogs, cats, turkeys, horses, pigs, and cattle. Sometimes, these animals can transmit Coronavirus to humans as well.
Coronavirus was identified on January 7 and has been named as COVID-19, where “Co” and “Vi” is for Coronavirus, “d” for disease, and “19” for the year when the disease emerged.
It has not been previously identified in humans and little is known about it, although human-to-human transmission has been confirmed.
One analysis has found that the genetic sequence of the new virus is 96 per cent identical to one Coronavirus found in bats.
According to WHO, Coronavirus are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
The virus was originally transmitted between animals and people.
Where did the Coronavirus originate?
Coronavirus originated in China in early December. The first outbreak was at a meat market in Wuhan, China. According to research, the first 41 people who were infected had some connection to the meat market.
In early February, researchers in Guangzhou, China, suggested that Pangolins could be the possible source of the disease based on the genetic comparison of the virus found in human and an-eating animals.
Most of the deaths that have been in this outbreak are older with chronic health issues like, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. In that group, the fatality rate for the Coronavirus is much higher. It’s around 14-15% for the elderly people.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The symptoms of Coronavirus can include coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Due to the incubation period, symptoms may not appear in the initial 2-14 days after the exposure. Most people show symptoms within five to six days. And symptoms of COVID-19 do not include runny nose, health experts at the WHO have clarified.
In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, multiple organ failure, and even death.
Here are the symptoms:
- Sore Throat
- Exacerbated Asthma
How many have been infected?
The total contagions in China reported around 81,000 cases with 3,305 deaths. The deaths caused by COVID-19 have surpassed that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that occurred in 2002 and 2003. Officials have implemented measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions and quarantines.
The countries that are hit by this pandemic have declared lockdown and those found with symptoms have been quarantined or put into isolation.
Overall cases of Coronavirus has come up around 872,972 with deaths up to 43,275 and 184,594 have been recovered as per the data available while preparing this article.
How the virus is getting transmitted?
There is limited research on how COVID-19 is spreading from one person to person. Some researchers are of belief that this virus transmit via fluids in the respiratory system, such as mucus.
Coronavirus can spread in the following ways:
- Coughing and sneezing without covering the mouth can disperse droplets into the air.
- Touching or shaking the hands with a person who has the virus can pass the virus between individuals.
- Touching your nose, eyes or mouth after coming in contact with an infected person.
Where have cases been reported?
Most cases and deaths have been reported in China, mostly in the Hubei province. Deaths have also been confirmed in Hong Kong, Italy, Philippines, Japan, France, Taiwan, India, Italy, and Iran.
The virus has spread into various countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America, The Middle East, and Africa.
However, China has been recovered a lot from the COVID-19 and has spread to more other countries. But there are some more cases in China that have come up again.
What Precautions can you take?
There is no any specific vaccine that can treat it as it’s a new strain. However, WHO has come up with several protection measures that you can take to prevent the virus.
Based on research, there are some precautions and measures that you can take to protect yourself from Coronavirus are:
- Wash your hands
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Stay away from people who are ill
- Drinking enough water
- Avoiding smoking and smoky areas
- Wear a mask whenever you go outside
- Taking ibuprofen or naproxen for pain and fever
- Using a Clean Humidifier
- Stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well
- If you are in old age and have a chronic health condition. Try to stay away from the crowded place and postpone any unnecessary travel.
- If you have a kid, wear a mask whenever you come in contact with the kid and wash your hands and keep your kid sanitized all the time. Kids and old age people are more susceptible to this disease.
What steps have been taken to check its spread?
The Chinese government initially locked down Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, however, it was too late as many people died and were infected. All the countries have expanded the screening of international travellers. And the travellers found with the flu have been isolated and treated before their release.