All the world is tackling a new coronavirus that originated in China’s Wuhan city. Since an outbreak in the late 2019, over 42,710 cases have been reported worldwide, and at least 1,010 people have been killed. What is coronavirus? How is it transmitted? What are the symptoms? How to prevent it? Click to remove your doubts.
1. What Is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically affect the respiratory tract of mammals, including humans. They can cause the common cold, pneumonia, and two dangerous diseases: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Coronavirus got its name for it looks like a solar corona under an electron microscope.
2. Discovery Of Coronavirus
A coronavirus was first isolated from an infectious bronchitis virus in birds in 1937. Since then, scientists have found coronaviruses in rats, dogs, cats, horses, and pigs. Human coronaviruses (HCoV) were first identified in the noses of common cold patients in the 1960s. Currently, there are 7 recognized types of human coronavirus, and common types OC43 and 229E are responsible for a majority of common colds. Rarer, more dangerous types are MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and 2019-nCoV.
3. Transmission Of Coronavirus
Several known coronaviruses are currently only circulating in animals. Some would transmit from animals to humans. MERS, for example, was transmitted to humans from camels while SARS travelled to humans from civet cats. Although there has not been a great deal of research on human coronavirus transmission, it has been confirmed that the 2019-nCoV spreads from one person to another.
4. Spreading Ways Of Coronavirus
Coronavirus is widely believed to transmit through secreted fluid from the respiratory system. Common spreading ways include:
Close contact with a person that has the virus;
Making contact with an object that has the virus, and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth;
Making contact with feces that contain the virus on rare occasions.
5. Symptoms Of Coronavirus Infection
Symptoms of a coronavirus infection vary from person to person. Common signs include fever, cough, and breathlessness. In more severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death. It usually takes 2-14 days for a person to show symptoms after infection. In some rare cases, infected patients may not display any of the symptoms, despite having the virus.
6. High Incidence Period Of Coronavirus Infection
Humans are more likely to contract coronavirus in the winter days and early spring. Most people will contract more than one coronavirus during their lifetime. Reportedly, it is their mutating abilities that make coronavirus so contagious. It is also common for a person to catch a coronavirus-caused disease again months later, because coronavirus antibodies cannot last for a very long time, and the antibodies for one strain of coronavirus may be not useful against other strains.
7. Lethality Of Coronavirus Infection
Until the time of writing, this new coronavirus has killed 1,017 people, surpassing the toll of the SARS outbreak. The number of fatalities from SARS was 774 worldwide, around 9% of those it infected. MERS was more deadly, killing 33% of those it infected. The new coronavirus, which is more widespread than SARS and MERS in terms of case numbers, has a considerably lower mortality rate at around 2%, according to the WHO.
8. Harsh Facts On Coronavirus
Coronaviruses infect many different species. A coronavirus causes both SARS and MERS. There is currently no cure for coronavirus. Information on the new coronavirus is currently scarce, and it is less clear how rapidly it spreads. No vaccine is available for 2019-nCov at present. Human coronavirus cannot be cultivated in the lab easily.
9. A Global Emergency
In the late 2019, Chinese authorities first identified over 1,000 people with a new coronavirus. Later, several other people around the world were identified with 2019-nCoV. Until now, 2019-nCov has caused disruption in 24 other countries and has infected more than 300 people outside China. The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency relating to 2019-nCoV, calling on countries around the world to coordinate to defeat this virus.
10. Protective Measures
To prevent the transmission of 2019-nCoV, be sure to stay at home as much as possible,and avoid close contact with other people. Wearing a mask while going outdoors or covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your hand while coughing or sneezing also helps prevent coronavirus from spreading. Remember to wash your hand frequently, dispose of used tissues, and maintain hygiene around your home.