Coronavirus has suddenly become subject of international interest as the death toll rose to 106 in China and has affected more than 4500 globally so far. People from more than 20 cities- including Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and the epicenter of the virus- have been prevented from traveling to curb the spreading of the disease during the Lunar New Year, which is busiest travel season in China.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against any unnecessary travel to China. It urged to avoid contact with anyone who is sick and also animals and the market place which they are sold. Anyone who is older or has health issues should consult a health provider before making a trip to China
Experts are comparing the latest coronavirus to the 2003 outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus is a large group of viruses that can be transmitted by both animals and people with cold-related diseases. The intensity of the infection ranges from the common cold to acute respiratory syndrome.
Coronavirus is named after crown-like spikes on their surfaces viewed from a telescope. They infect most commonly mammals and spreads easily from mammals to humans and humans to humans.
WHERE DID THE CORONAVIRUS COME FROM?
In December, China notified WHO of several cases of human respiratory illness. The infected virus has since been identified as a novel coronavirus now called 2019- nCoV. The strains of the virus have been linked to the seafood market in the city of Wuhan that was selling live animals including wild animals.
The chairman of the WHO committee gathered data on the outbreak, said that the virus is spreading more easily from person to person via droplets when an infected person breathes out, coughs or sneezes.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS INFECTION?
- Sour throat
- Breathing problem
In advance stages, patients can very serious issues which can lead to death such as,
- Severe Pneumonia
- Kidney failure
WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?
No drugs have been approved for any coronavirus infections, including Wuhan coronavirus, through an antiviral medicine that appears to be effective for animals. The main treatment as of now is supportive care which includes making sure the patient is getting enough oxygen supply. Using ventilators to push oxygen into the lungs if necessary. Patients are advised to rest and take plenty of fluids while the immune system does its job itself.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CORONAVIRUS?
- Wash your hands with soaps and water frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes or nose with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with the person who is sick.
- Wearing the mask can reduce the chances of spreading infection.
- Carry disposable tissues with you. Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of used tissue carefully.
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
- Avoid contact with live wild and farm animals