At this time, if the entire world is worried about something, it is the novel coronavirus (nCoV) or also known as the Wuhan coronavirus. Not to mention that this outbreak has already created much fuss across the world. Coronavirus which is caused by SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019.
The coronavirus outbreak has turned into an ongoing public health emergency with many considering it as the worldwide pandemic. Over 95,000 cases have been confirmed and over 3,200 people have died, as of 5th March 2020. The numbers of infected people across the globe are multiplying at a rapid speed on a daily basis with new cases coming from different corners of the world.
To this very day, 85 countries and territories have been affected by the coronavirus, with Central China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran suffering the major outbreak.
What Is Coronavirus Disease?
This disease is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encounter before. This virus has come from animals, just like other coronaviruses (CoV). Most of the people who were initially infected with the coronavirus had either worked or often shopped in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.
However, a new study conducted by Chinese Researchers shows that the novel coronavirus didn’t originate from the Huanan Seafood Market. The study also indicated that the infection may have begun in late November 2019 from human-to-human transmission from a place other than the Huanan Seafood Market. So how the virus actually got spread might take some time to become apparent, but for now you must make sure that you are safe from the transmission.
Coronaviruses has its roots in a large family of viruses that cause illness. These illnesses include common cold in the initial stange. These viruses also cause severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). However, this novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a fresh virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
What Are the Symptoms of This Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?
Those infected by the coronavirus may either be asymptomatic or develop various symptoms like fever, cold, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, or muscle pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed 55,924 laboratory-confirmed cases in China and indicated the following typical signs and symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease:
- Dry cough
- Respiratory symptoms
- Sputum production
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain or joint pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Nasal congestion
- Conjunctival congestion
What Are the Standard Recommendations to Prevent the Infection?
WHO has suggested the following to prevent the infection:
- Regular hand washing
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Cook meat, eggs etc. thoroughly
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as sneezing and coughing
Is the Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic?
As per WHO, a pandemic “the worldwide spread of a disease”.
The spread of the coronavirus outside China is worrisome but not an unforeseen development. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern.
For now, the major issues that require further insights are:
- How contagious this new coronavirus between people?
- What percentage of infected people become severely ill and end up in hospital?
In most of the cases, the viruses that spread easily tend to have a milder impact. In general, the coronavirus appears to be taking older people into its grip, with few cases in children.
Should You Panic?
Dr Roderico H. Ofrin, the Regional Coordinator of South-East Asia, Emergency Risk Management (ERM), WHO, said that people of India need not panic for the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). All the cases tested positive in the country were because of travelling abroad. The Indian citizens' caught the coronavirus on foreign land.
However, Dr Roderico H. Ofrin cautioned the old and the very young since that's the age group which is most vulnerable to the coronavirus.