What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is not a single virus but a family of viruses that cause diseases in mammals. It is a large group of viruses that can cause illness as a minor cold, or as serious as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) and acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. They often present with pneumonia-like symptoms. Coronaviruses are so named because of the crown-like appearance of their virus particles when seen under an electron microscope (corona meaning crown).
There are 7 strains of coronaviruses documented to date, including new coronavirus.
- Human Coronavirus 229E(HCoV-229E)
- Human Coronavirus OC43(HCoV-OC43)
- New Haven Coronavirus( HCoV- NL63)
- SARS related coronavirus(SARS-CoV)
- Human Coronavirus HKU1
- Novel Coronavirus(2019-nCoV)
Initially, the Coronavirus is thought to be a zoonotic virus. A zoonotic virus comes from animals to humans.
Where Did the New Coronavirus Come From?
Health administrators believe the outbreak began in a large animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. 27 out of 41 first cases have some exposure to that fish market in China, according to a report in the Lancet. But 3 out of 41 cases have no direct contact with the market.
What Are the Symptoms of The Virus And How Do You Know If You Have It?
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of Breath
- Respiratory distress
- Serious infection can lead to other r life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia, kidney failure, Death usually occurs as a result of respiratory failure.
How Fatal Is Coronavirus?
In coronavirus, the mortality rate has ranged between 2% and about 3.4%, according to calculations of confirmed cases and deaths worldwide, which change daily. But the true rate won’t be known until epidemiologists can find out the denominator. Meaning how many people have actually been infected.
The virus seems to be less deadly than SARS, which erupted in China in 2002 and spread globally in 2003. SARS killed about 10% of the people it infected. It is also less deadly than MERS or Ebola.
How Is The Virus Spread Among Humans?
Initially, the Coronavirus is thought to be a Zoonotic disease. A zoonotic disease is a disease that spreads between animals and people. In other words, the disease is believed to come from animals to humans.
Researchers aren't sure how the novel coronavirus first infected people in China. But the viruses that cause SARS and MERS originate from bats.
Human coronaviruses mostly spread from an infected person to another person through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- The close personal contact
- Touching an object or surface. Then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
It transmits through “respiratory droplets” when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes, according to the World Health Organization.
Everyone can get affected by it, but the risk is highest in older people and those with other health conditions. In other words, people having a bad immune system can easily get affected. A study in the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that most of the deaths occur at the age of 60 or more and had other illnesses.
In a study, China found a mortality rate of 14.8% in people ages older, and 8% in people ages 70 to 79. Compared with a 2.3% mortality rate in the population studied. Most of the patients died were admitted to hospitals when their illness was advanced.
The viruses can survive briefly on surfaces depending on conditions of humidity and temperature.
How Fast it Can Affect Us?
According to most estimates, people become ill between 2 and 15 days after infection. One report also shows a person who became ill 27 days after infection. an average incubation period of 5.2 days.
You can also catch the virus from someone else even before they have symptoms. According to a special administrative region of China, A 15-year-old resident of Wuhan tested positive for the coronavirus despite having no fever or cough.
How can you Protect Yourself-Precautions?
The most important thing you can do is stop touching your face again and again. This is because the virus only gets inside you from eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands properly and frequently when you are eating something, or you are at the office, greet others without shaking hands. Be extra careful when you are in public places. Wear a mask and be safe and healthy.
Find out how you can protect yourself and loved ones from #coronavirus. 👇
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) March 2, 2020