If you ask us about the common talk among print, electronic, and digital media around the globe these days, then we would say it is the new coronavirus.
Yes, the same virus that has taken China by storm. As per 11th February 2020, the death toll as a result of coronavirus surpassed 1023, whereas 44,672 people were reported infected.
The coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China, has spread to other countries. But due to timely action, destructive effects were mitigated. At this time of confusion and panic, it is best to take precautions against the coronavirus to limit its spread.
Before we go into the symptoms and precautions of coronavirus, let's understand what the infection is about!
Question#1 What Is CoronaVirus?
Coronavirus is not a single virus but a group of viruses that infect animals. However, due to genetic mutations, this virus has the potential of jumping from one host to another.
Coronavirus is not a brand new virus. The first case of coronavirus was reported in the 1960s as a common cold-causing virus. The coronavirus, which just surfaced in Wuhan, China, is a new subtype of the same virus, which is something more than just a common-cold causing virus.
A previous strain of the coronavirus called SARS was transmitted from cats to humans, and then came MERS, which was transmitted from camels to humans. Both viruses had severe effects.
Much recently, a genetic mutation has caused a new strain of coronavirus called new coronavirus or nCoV19 to jump from bats to humans. nCoV19 spreads through close contact in particular through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes and is said to be highly infectious.
Question#2 What Are The Common Symptoms Of Coronavirus?
The initial symptoms of coronavirus are sore throat, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting, followed by a fever. If left untreated, fever gradually progresses to pneumonia, which results in shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties.
In severe cases, there can be organ failures. Recovery from the virus purely depends on the strength of the patient’s immune system. If you have a weak defense system, the virus is not only more likely to attack you but may also prove to be fatal.
Question#3 Can I Catch The Coronavirus?
Doctors and researchers are still trying to understand the mode of transmission of coronavirus. China’s national health commissions have confirmed that the virus does transmit through human to human contact. Research states that the virus may spread person to person if
You come in close contact with a carrier - within about 6 feet
You get in contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person.
If you inhale respiratory droplets of an infected person.
You may even contract the virus if you touch something that has coronavirus on its surface and then bring the hand near your mouth, nose and even your eyes, which is why regular washing of hands is advised.
However, these are only the preliminary conclusions that are still being worked on.
Question#4 How Is Coronavirus Different From The Flu Virus?
If you have picked cold and flu, it doesn't necessarily mean it is the coronavirus. You can only know for sure if you visit the doctor as soon as you observe coughs and sore throat. Only a laboratory test of your fluids can confirm if you have caught the symptoms of coronavirus or influenza.
Considering the current emergency in mind, we would recommend that you not try home remedies and visit the doctor ASAP. Scientists are still not fully aware of how dangerous the coronavirus is until they have more data.
Currently, what we know is that the coronavirus is transmittable and has a mortality rate of 2%. Seasonal flu, on the other hand, has a mortality rate of below 1%. What makes coronavirus more dangerous is that it is contagious and does not have a vaccine against it.
Question#5 What Are The Precautions Of Coronavirus?
Since the coronavirus infection is a viral infection, you cannot take any antibiotics to treat it. Even if you try to treat it with antibiotics, it won't work. Treating viral infections requires vaccines. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to evade the symptoms of coronavirus as of now. The only way to avoid the symptoms of coronavirus is taking necessary precautions. Some of the precautions of coronavirus as directed by WHO are:
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap or alcoholic sanitizer
- Covering your mouth while sneezing
- Avoiding unprotected contact with animals and thoroughly washing hands after the contact
- Thoroughly cooking seafood and meat before consuming
- Avoiding close contact with people suffering from respiratory distress
- Avoiding touching your nose, mouth, and eye with unwashed hands
- Avoiding raw meat
- Wearing masks while travelling or in large crowds
- Keeping the throat moist by sipping on water.
- Upping your Vitamin C intake
- Taking all precautions you’d take to avoid seasonal flu
Looking at the pace of this virus's spread and the complexity of our global world, it is predicted that the virus may continue to spread. It would help if you do not panic and instead take all the precautions of coronavirus. If you feel you are showing symptoms of flu or fever, do not waste time and get tested immediately for your safety and safety of those around you.
- CDC. 2019. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d). Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) or Common Cold.
- World Health Organization.(n.d).Coronavirus Infections, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
- WebMD. (n.d). Lung Medical Reference
- World Health Organization. 2020. Coronavirus