Efforts are carried out to learn about the coronavirus, which has already spread like a fire and taking lives of people. The virus has initially spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, to other parts of china and other countries.
China is again in the limelight, this time with outbreak of a disease. Few weeks ago, Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organization that it had an outbreak of unusual pneumonia cases. After the outbreak of this unusual pneumonia cases, scientists are concerned to withdraw as much possible information about this critical condition. But little information has been gathered and many things still remains a mystery.
Efforts are carried out to learn about the new virus, which has already spread like a fire and taking lives of people. The virus has initially spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, to other parts of china and other countries. Recently a similar case was seen in the United States.
Till now Wuhan has observed more than 80 such pneumonia cases, including several severely ill patients and a death.
There are list of questions still which need to be answered. Let us outline things which we have learned about this new disease threat.
Origination of virus?
Chinese health officials initially tracked cases to a large seafood market in Wuhan,a city in central china, that also sold wild animals as meat. The commission said it is a possibility that the infected people caught the virus from animals at a seafood market, where some of the infected patients ran businesses. The virus was called as a coronavirus.
What is a coronavirus?
The virus resembles spiked rings when observed under microscope. It belongs to the family of coronaviridae. The name comes from the spikes that form a halo around the envelope of the virus.
The genetics of this virus is just like other virus, which carries a single strand of RNA and cannot reproduce without invading a living cell. They attach to other cells with the help of spikes. Once the foreign living cell is attacked by this virus, it enters and multiply in number using the molecular machinery of the living cell. The new viruses are released and then infect the other living cells. The cycle continues.
This virus, provisionally called 2019-nCoV, is a coronavirus. It belong to the same family that caused SARS and MERS. It is believed that this virus originated in bats and can spread to other animals before making the leap to people. Once a human being is infected it is possible that this virus can transmit from person to person.
These viruses live in animals that can range from house hold pets, livestock animals to wild animals like bats.
Symptoms who are affected by coronavirus
The patients who tested positive for this virus experienced respiratory illness, fever, and inflammation in the lungs. These virus also has potential to cause severe respiratory illness in immuno-compromised individuals like elderly people or those with HIV-AIDS.
Some of the symptoms in patients include
1. High body temperature
2. Dry Cough
3. Respiratory distress like shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
Also in some patients it was noticed inflamed lungs filled with fluid.
What is the treatment for coronavirus?
Viruses are indeed notorious hardy organisms. They are easily transmitted from individuals and start their own mechanisms of replication. Its the capability of these virus that it goes undetected till the last stage. Scientists are working hard but have not developed any treatments or vaccines to eradicate them. The disease is dealt with the symptoms.
“There is no recognized therapeutic against coronaviruses. The primary objective in an outbreak related to a coronavirus is to give adequate support of care to patients, particularly in terms of respiratory support and multi-organ support.”
-Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme
How many confirmed cases have been reported?
More than 800 people are under this deadly attack of coronavirus. The residents are mainly from China, with a handful of cases confirmed in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the US. There are four suspected cases in New South Wales, Australia, currently being investigated.
Lists of confirmed patients:
China: 830 confirmed cases
Thailand: 4 confirmed cases
Vietnam: 2 confirmed cases
Japan: 2 confirmed cases
South Korea: 1 confirmed case
US: 1 confirmed case
Singapore: 1 confirmed case
How to reduce your risk of coronavirus
With confirmed cases now seen in the US, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and potentially Australia, it’s possible that 2019-nCoV could be spreading much further afield. The WHO recommends a range of measures to protect yourself from contracting the disease, based on good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene — in much the same way you’d reduce the risk of contracting the flu.
Meanwhile, the US State Department has issued a travel advisory, urging people to “exercise increased caution in China.” A warning from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to “avoid nonessential travel.”
Raina MacIntyre, head of the bio-security research program at the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute said that sampling of the market and testing of animals in the Wuhan area would provide more information.