What is Coronavirus? According to WHO ( World Health Organisation) Coronavirus (COV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe disease such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
Most coronaviruses spread the same way other cold-causing viruses do: through infected people coughing and sneezing, by touching an infected person,s hands or face, or by touching and infected person hands or face, or by touching things such as doorknobs that infected people have touched.
Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child. In India, coronaviruses are more common in the summer, but anyone can come down with a coronavirus infection at any time.
How dangerous is the new coronavirus?
It is hard to accurately assess the lethality of a new virus. It appears to be less often fatal than the coronaviruses that caused SARS or MERS, but significantly more so than the seasonal flu. The fatality rate was over 2 percent, in our study (WHO). But government scientists have estimated that the real figure could be below 1 percent, roughly the rate occurring in a severe flu season.
About 5 percent of the patients who were hospitalized in China have critical illnesses.
Children seem less likely to be infected with the new coronavirus, while middle-aged and older adults are disproportionately infected.
Men are more likely to die from infection compared to women, possibly because they produce weaker immune responses and have higher rates of tobacco consumption, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure than women, which may increase the risk of complications following an infection.
How did the outbreak start?
The source if coronavirus is believed to be a “wet market” in the Wuhan which sold both death and live animals including fish and birds.
Such markets pose a heightened risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans because hygiene standards are difficult to maintain live animals are being kept and butchered on-site. Typically they are also densely packed.
The animal source of the latest outbreak has not yet been identified, but the original host os though to be bats. Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected live chickens or other animals sold there.
Bats are host to a wide range of zoonotic viruses including Ebola, HIV, and rabies.
Could the outbreak grow bigger?
It is possible to say which way to disease will go but, on its current trajectory, it is likely to spread to more countries, affecting many more people. The number of cases is beginning to decrease in China but is climbing in the rest of the world.
Is there a test for the virus? What is the treatment?
There is a diagnostic test that can determine of you are infected. It was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in genetic information about the virus provided by the Chinese authorities.
In early February, the C.D.C sent diagnostic test kits to 200 state laboratories are making their own tests. Other countries are using tests manufactured locally or sent out by the W.H.O.
The C.D.C announced that anyone who wanted to be tested could if a doctor approves the request. Private companies, such as LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, also rushing to provide tests at various labs across the country, but the supply has yet to meet public demand. Many patients complain that they still cannot get tested.
Once a coronavirus is infection is confirmed, the treatment is mainly supportive, making sure the patient is getting enough oxygen, managing his od her fever and using a ventilator to push air into the lungs if necessary, said, said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Chairwoman of the public health committee at the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Patients with mild cases are told to rest and drink plenty of fluids “while the immune system does its job and heals itself,” she said. Most people with mild infections recover in about two weeks. More than half of those who have been infected globally have already recovered.
A number of drugs are currently being tested as potential treatments, including an antiviral medication called redeliver, which appears to be effective in animals.
Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Based on available information to date, those most at risk include.
Tedros said that although older people had been the hardest hit by the disease, younger people were not spared, saying they made up many of the sufferers needing hospital treatment.
He said solidarity between the generations was one of the keys to defeating the spread of the pandemic.
“Today I (Tedros) have a message for young people: you are not invincible. This virus could put you in the hospital for weeks – or even kill you, “Tedros warned.
“Even if you don’t get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else.
“I’m grateful that so many young people are spreading the word and not the virus.”
WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said that two out of three people in intensive care in badly-hit Italy were aged under 70.
- People 65 years and older
- Who lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Any age with the following underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled-
- Chronic lung disease or asthma
- Congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Neurologic conditions take to weaken the ability to cough
- Weakened immune system
- Chemotherapy or radiation for cancer (currently or in the recent past)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Lack of spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly
- Extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI]>_40)
- People who are pregnant.
The WHO also said it was now using the term “physical distancing” rather than “social distancing” to describe the need to maintain space between people to avoid the virus passing.
Although people may need to go into physical isolation, they did not need to become socially isolated, he said, adding it was important to maintain good mental health during the crisis.
“We can keep connected in many without physically being in the same space,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, who heads the WHO’s emerging diseases unit.
“We want people to still remain connected.”
Tedros added: “It’s normal to feel stressed, confused, and scared during the crisis. Talking to people you know and trust can help.”
Whilst advising people to maintain their mental and physical health during the crisis, including exercising and eating a healthy diet to help the immune system, Tedros also had a message for the world’s smokers.
“Don’t smoke. Smoking can increase your risk of developing severe disease if you become infected with COVID-19,” he said.
The WHO also said it was launching a new health alert messaging service on WhatsApp, containing news, information, details on the symptoms, and how to prevent against catching the virus.
TO access t, WhatsApp users need to send the word “hi” to the number 0041 798 931 892
The service is initially available in English, with other languages to be rolled out next week.
Coronavirus: Do you need a mask?
As the coronavirus conditions to spread around the world, protection is on everyone’s mind. Many celebrities have posted photos of themselves on social media wearing masks over their noses and mouths to try to ward off the virus. Some are wearing them on planes, and others put them on when just running errands.
“I’ve already been in this movie. Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hand frequently,” actress Gwyneth Paltrow said in a recent Instagram post referencing her role in the 2011 fil Contagion.
But are masks necessary?
For most people, the answer is no, according to the CDC. Only medical professionals, people caring for someone with coronavirus, or those who ave the condition need to wear a mask.
Neha Pathak, MD WebMD’s medical editor, says a mask may do a good job of reminding you to not touch your face. That can keep infected sneeze and cough droplets from getting into your nose and mouth. But masks may sometimes “do more harm than good because people have a false sense of security.”
You may slack on basic hygiene practices- like washing your hands- that do a better job of protecting you from coronavirus.
And although celebrity selfies show a variety of styles, Pathak notes that not all masks are the same or si the same job.