The novel variant of coronavirus is a member of the RNA viruses family originated from the city of China, Wuhan. This virus is similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS Virus, 2002) and The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS/ Camel Fever, 2012) which had previously caused pandemic illnesses.
Few viruses are called Zoonosis which means that they have the capability of infecting both animals and humans, similar to H1N1 virus (infecting Pigs and Poultry). The Coronavirus or Wuhan virus is a novel virus which has modified itself possibly by picking up the antigen from infected bats (which are natural reservoir).
By taking some proteins from an organism the virus assumes a new form called A Novel Virus. This New virus will be able to escape the immune system which was previously designed to counter the older version of the Virus. By escaping host defense, it can cause widespread disease and mortality. This virus being spread easily by the respiratory route can cause Global Pandemics in quick time.
Fears of spreading virus have already pushed airlines around the world to reduce flights to China and also restricted passengers from China to other countries. There are global notifications in place by the regulatory authorities of infectious disease. Coronavirus has been declared as a global emergency.
Coronavirus is a RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) virus which is temporarily named “2019-nCoV.” There are four types of RNA viruses Alpha, Beta, Gama and Delta. The alpha and beta can cause human infections. The current viral strain is the Beta variant.
The incubation period, from the virus entry into the body and manifestations of symptoms, is about 4 to 14 days. Most cases the person will start showing symptoms which are predominantly respiratory symptoms of cold, fever (98%), cough (76%), fatigue (44%) some people can also have diarrhea (3%).
In a FEW CASES, there could be progression to involve the lower respiratory tract of the lungs and manifest it as atypical pneumonia and cause multi-organ dysfunction syndrome with secondary infection and shock. This is the point wherein the infection becomes fatal, however, most others would recover without any complication or sequelae.
In the current scenario, the origin seems to be the bats in close proximity to humans. Sometimes there is an exchange of secretion and suddenly the virus which was inert becomes infective to the humans. Once that happens then it can become more contagious and can be transmitted from one person to other.
Coronavirus Symptoms include fever, cough, cold, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing. In more critical cases, coronavirus infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Dr. Manohar KN, Consultant Physician, Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore says, that the virus spreads through droplet infection and by coughing or sneezing it can transmit from one person to others. This virus can survive in nature only for few minutes but in cases of overcrowding and “uncovered” coughing or sneezing the respiratory secretions can be present on the surface and gives a chance to spread from one person to other, called fomite method of transmission. It is better if people voluntarily isolate themselves when they have symptoms of common cold, as most people can have a simple presentation of the disease but act as a “carrier” and pass on the infection to their close contacts who can have a critical manifestation of the disease.
If you are sick be at home till it gets completely cured.
During the course of illness, if feeling unusually tired, or breathless consult to the nearest doctor as soon as possible especially those who are a high-risk group.
Follow Three C’s – Clean, Cover and Contain. There should be enhanced personal hygiene – cover your cough or sneeze, wash the hands frequently, avoid unnecessarily touching the nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands. Discard the used tissues and masks in a closed bin. Avoid Shaking Hands and stick to “Namskara”.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
If using the mask, avoid frequent touching of the mask.
Wash Hands between handling raw and cooked food.
Thoroughly cook meat before consumption.
Children and the elderly should be more careful.
Pregnant ladies should definitely be more conscious.
People with other medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) should be more careful.
Avoid crowded places and close contact with flu people.
Encourage Self Quarantine.
As till now, there is no vaccine or definitive treatment available, there is a pressing need to develop the best supportive care. Try to avoid the chance of getting infected. Sending a circular to schools, colleges and workplaces, regarding the precautions will be useful. Besides, reassuring the public that coronavirus infection is not universally fatal form one of the most important advice. Cases of fatality, are only a tip of the iceberg and does not represent or include the vast majority of cases who recover without any sequel or who show only a few symptoms.
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