Featured Image Caption: Coronavirus Infection
Everybody’s talking about coronavirus and naturally so, since it is becoming a major epidemic across the globe. The coronavirus was first detected in China last month and continues spreading its dangerous tentacles worldwide. It has killed many people and sickened countless more individuals. Several patients have been affected in Thailand, Japan and Taiwan apart from China and even in the United States of America.
WHO (World Health Organization) officials have stated till now that the outbreak of the coronavirus has not yet touched the level of any global health emergency. However, the director-general at the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has already issued a warning, stating that although coronavirus is not yet a major global epidemic, it could become one soon.
What is coronavirus and how did it originate?
Coronavirus is a new type of virus that global scientists are having a hard time comprehending. This virus circulates through several animals and also humans. Some of its types may lead to common colds while other types have evolved into major ailments including MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The virus that broke out in China came up as a pneumonia-esque illness. Most people who fell sick were linked to a market for big seafood and live animals at Wuhan, indicating its spread from animals to human bodies as per several experts. The market has already been closed for disinfection purposes.
Officials panicked about the outbreak of this virus when several cases were detected in Japan and Thailand amongst those who had visited Wuhan in the recent past. Health authorities are now taking several strategies globally including screenings at airports for blocking the spread of this virus. Older adults who already have health issues may be at higher risks of becoming severely impacted. Most deaths linked to coronavirus have been observed for people who are more than 50 years of age with medical issues of their own.
The SARS outbreak in the year 2003 in China was believed to have come from transmission between animals and humans in a marketplace similar to the Wuhan market. More than 8,000 people got sick globally while 774 people died as per CDC reports. 2,500 people globally have been affected by MERS since the year 2012 with 858 deaths in all as per the WHO (World Health Organization). Experts have already issued a caution, stating that it will still take more time to find answers to some basic aspects relating to the coronavirus. This includes the animal that was the source of this outbreak of the virus and what makes some people more vulnerable towards contracting infections as compared to others.
The situation in China
The death toll in China from the coronavirus has gone up to 80. As per reports, the number of people who have been infected has crossed a whopping 2,700 individuals. Authorities in China had previously declared the extension of a public holiday for containing the spread of this virus. Changes have been directed by authorities as well with regard to starting dates for schools and people have been asked to work from their homes online. Transportation restrictions have also been placed throughout China for de-linking major routes of transmission. The Chief of the WHO is now going to Beijing for meeting Government officials from China to discuss measures to combat this crisis.
The coronavirus has originated in Hubei which is the capital of Wuhan and has rapidly spread throughout China with cases confirmed in at least 12 countries including Australia, France and the USA. Authorities are perplexed with this new strain of coronavirus occurring due to a mutation which has taken place already.
How can the disease be checked?
The virus may become fatal when it evolves towards becoming ARDS or pneumonia. There are no official treatment guidelines available at the moment nor any vaccine for prevention of the same. People should always be alert and get diagnosis done by their doctors in case of cold and cough on a recurring basis. If someone has frequently travelled to China earlier and is facing any respiratory symptoms then he/she should be put into droplet and airborne isolation immediately. The respiratory secretion of these people should not be allowed to come into contact with others.
You should always cover your mouth with tissue whenever you cough or sneeze, particularly in public places. Throw away this tissue immediately thereafter. Keep washing your hands frequently. Use a mask whenever possible to safeguard yourself and keep crowded places at bay. Cover your nose whenever you are around any individual who is sneezing/coughing. Hospitals should also be extra alert about patients who are getting admitted with severe respiratory ailments. Here’s hoping that the coronavirus is contained worldwide and that thousands of ailing people recover soon.