Corona viruses are a family of viruses which cause illness which can range from the common cold to diseases which are really severe, like SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory syndrome). This corona virus is a new strain of virus which has not been detected in humans before.
Corona virus is transmitted between animals and also people, in other words, this is zoonotic. Several corona viruses known to be circulating in different animals have not affected any human beings.
This new corona virus has been named as 2019-nCoV (novel corona virus) and is the seventh corona virus to have affected humans.
Signs and Symptoms of Novel Corona virus:
Common signs of the corona virus infection include shortness of breath, cough, fever, cold, sneezing and difficulty in breathing. In very severe cases this infection can cause kidney failure, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and even death.
The period of incubation for this novel corona virus is between 1 day and 14 days. This virus is known to be contagious even before the symptoms show-up.
Summary of the Outbreak of the Corona virus:
On December 31, 2019, WHO was notified of multiple pneumonia cases of a cause which was unknown. This was detected in China, in the city of Wuhan.
The ECDC (European Center of Disease Prevention and Control) said that the patients of the 2019-nCoV exhibited specific symptoms like dyspnoea and fever. Most of the patients of this 2019-nCoV had epidemiological link to Seafood City Market in Wuhan, China. This is the wholesale market for live animals and seafood.
The Number of People Affected:
259 people have died due to this 2019-nCoV in mainland China and around 11,791 people have been affected. There are cases of this virus reported from France, Australia, Italy, Spain, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Nepal, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Russia, The United states, Thailand, The United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Canada, Germany, Vietnam, Cambodia and also United Kingdom.
On the 30th of January 2020, the 2019-nCoV outbreak was declared as Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO as this virus is expected to appear in any country due to international exportation. The effort of China to control the spread of this virus is more than appropriate and has set an altogether new standard for response to an outbreak.
Advice for the Public on the 2019-nCoV:
The standard recommendations for the public by the WHO to reduce transmission and exposure to this virus include safe food habits and respiratory and hand hygiene.
*Clean hands on a frequent basis using soap and water or alcohol-based rub.
*Cover nose and mouth with tissue or flexed elbow when sneezing or coughing. The tissue needs to be thrown way immediately and hands need to be washed.
*Stay away from those suffering from a cold and cough.
*Seek medical care immediately when you have a cough, fever and find it difficult to breathe. It is important to share the previous travel history with the health care provider.
*Avoid direct contact with any live animal or any surfaces when you visit live markets in the area.
*Avoid consuming animal products which are under-cooked or raw. Raw animal organs, meat, milk need to be handled with caution.
Stay Healthy while travelling:
*It is advisable to avoid travelling if you have a cold and cough.
*It is advisable not to touch your nose or mouth.
*When using a face mask, ensure this covers the nose and mouth. Do not touch the mask once this is on.
*The single-use mask needs to be discarded immediately once removed.
CDC issue Health Warning for Wuhan:
On the 23rd of January 2020, the CDC escalated the health warning regarding any travel to Wuhan, China, to a level 3.
This means, the CDC advises the travelers to avoid any travel to Wuhan, China if this is not essential. Wuhan has been identified as the epicenter of the 2019-nCoV.
According to the CDC
*Transport to and from Wuhan has been closed by the Chinese officials. This includes subways, buses, trains and also the international airport.
*People with underlying conditions of health and the older people are at an increased risk of the 2019-nCoV according to the preliminary information.
* Transmission of this virus person-to-person is confirmed.
Officials admit that they are not too sure about the source of the 2019-nCoV and do not understand totally the severity and clinical features.
China has imposed tighter regulations on those vehicles leaving the city. Vehicles are also banned from taking any passengers out of Wuhan. Monitoring the driver’s body temperatures and vehicle disinfection are imposed.
Can Pets spread the Corona virus?
Presently there is no evidence available to prove that animal or pets who are companions are infected with the 2019-nCoV. As this infection is spreading randomly, it s always advisable to wash your hands thoroughly after you have touched your pets.
Stopping the Outbreak:
To stop this outbreak, the Chinese have decided on quarantines. The trains and flights from Wuhan have been shut down for being able to quarantine the city effectively.
According to experts, the city is prone to infectious diseases during this season. The citizens need to concentrate on maintaining the circulation of air, avoid public and closed public places and also wear masks.
Treatment of 2019-nCoV:
It has been proved that the transmission of any corona virus from a person who is infected to another via
*personal contact such as shaking hands or touching.
*The air by sneezing or coughing
*touching the surface or an object which has the virus on it, then touching your nose, mouth or face before washing your hands.
There is no specific treatment for the 2019-nCoV and you need to let the virus run its course with the help of symptomatic medications.
There is no specific age for getting affected with this 2019-nCoV. This can affect the young and the old equally. Those with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, asthma, or heart-disease are more vulnerable and can get infected easily.
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