Coronavirus: Facts, Prevention and Treatment
Coronavirus, a deadly virus strain which causes an infection in the nose, sinuses or upper throat, has continued to spread from Wuhan, China where it first broke out late last year 2019.
Research has discovered that most strains of corona virus aren’t dangerous. However, a new identified strain, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is reported as being fatal by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has been named COVID-19.
This virus, which is currently in several countries including Cambodia, Finland, Nepal, Finland, India, Belgium, The Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United States, continues to spread through close contact with droplets from the nose or mouth or by touching doorknobs and other objects infected people have touched.
The first discovery of corona virus was in 1960 and presented as infectious bronchitis virus in chicken and two viruses found in the nasal cavities of human patients.
There are seven strains of the corona virus:
- Human coronavirus HKU1
- Human corona virus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)
- Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
- Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63, New Haven coronavirus)
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously known as 2019-nCoV or “novel coronavirus 2019
- Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as novel coronavirus 2012 and HCoV-EMC
The first outbreak of the coronavirus with a high amount of fatalities occurred in 2003 and was from the coronavirus strain SARS-CoV in 2003. Other outbreaks with such severities have occurred in 2013, 2015, 2018 and the latest, 2019-2020.
Key Facts about Corona Virus You Should Know
- As earlier said, the virus ranges from mild to severe with one of the most severe being the latest corona virus outbreak COVID-19.
- Some other examples of this virus include SARS, MERS and the very common cold we experience.
- In most cases of infection with the COVID-19, you need to be within six feet of an infected person to be infected.
- Most people infected with this strain of the virus develop pneumonia in both their lungs.
- The virus has an incubation period of 2-14 days during which time the symptoms start to present if the patient is infected.
- Research has discovered that besides contact with droplets from the nose or mouths of infected people, the virus can also be contacted from feces and blood of infected people.
- Over 80% of the corona virus infection cases have been mild.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared a level 3 warning concerning movement to Wuhan, China as at January 23.
- CDC has shut down the local wholesale seafood market where the virus is believed to have originated from for disinfection.
- China, on its part, is heavily into quarantine and has gone ahead to vehicular and train movements from Wuhan. There has also been a ban on dining out in groups in the country.
- The virus is regarded as zoonotic, which means transmission is between animals and people. Some animals that have been known to have this virus include bat, cats, cattle and camels.
- Chinese health officials state that corona virus is both preventable and treatable.
Coronavirus Symptoms to Look Out for
COVID-19 symptoms show up very quickly in some cases as symptoms can become visible in as early as 2 days and are a lot like the symptoms of common cold.However, for a few other cases, symptoms do not appear until 14 days after the infection.
Corona virus symptoms to look out for include:
- Cough with or without mucus
- Runny nose
- Body pains
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
The virus can be mild or serious, depending on the severity of symptoms exhibited. It could also turn fatal if it progresses to other health complications like pneumonia, respiratory failure or septic shock.
Those More at Risk of the Coronavirus
Those more at risk of contracting the virus include
- Caregivers of infected persons
- Health practitioners
- Elderly people
- People with a weakened immune system
Treatment for the Coronavirus
There are currently no treatment or vaccines for corona virus. However, relief from the symptoms can be provided to patients with the virus.
The Center for Disease Control has also come up with a list of preventive measures against the virus and these include:
- Remain at home if you suspect you might be down with the flu or any other sickness.
- Keep your nose and mouth covered with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the tissue in the dustbin immediately.
- Make use of a facemask, especially when in public places or gatherings.
- Avoid contact with people who appear sick.
- Avoid touching parts of your face considered as openings like your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Keep areas or objects you touch or use frequently disinfected using a cleaning spray.