Coronavirus; What it is and how to protect yourself against it.
A Global health emergency was declared some time ago by the World Health Organization (WHO) after the outbreak of a new type of virus that has led to the death of over 200 people in the central city of Wuhan, China. The virus, called coronavirus has been reported to have allegedly infected over 1000 people in Wuhan, and over 9,000 people on a worldwide scale, leading to a government lockdown in about 20 cities by the Chinese government.
About the Virus
The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined the new Corona Virus as a family of viruses responsible for causing sicknesses that range from the common cold to more serious illnesses like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The viruses originally originated from animals before coming in contact with humans. SARS originated from civet cats, while MERS originated from a type of camel. Several of these coronaviruses are known to be circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
These viruses were first discovered in the 1960s. The name Coronavirus is gotten from a Latin word corona which means crown or halo, and under electron microscopic observation, the image of the coronavirus looks like a solar corona. Coronaviruses are mostly spread like every other cold-causing virus, either through coughs and sneezes of an infected person, physical contact with an infected person, or touching things that have been touched by an infected person.
Coronaviruses are very popular in the United States, where they are more common during fall or winter. In fact, almost everyone, children especially get an infection of the coronavirus at least once in their lifetime.
The first outbreak
The new coronavirus outbreak was identified by the Chinese government on the 7th of January and codenamed as 2019-nCoV. This coronavirus strain, previously, has not been known to infect humans. This 2019-nCoV strain of the coronaviruses, however, has been confirmed to be transmittable from human to human.
This has led the Chinese government to lockdown different cities in China, restricted movements, and quarantine over 50 million individuals, and the World Health Organization, in response to this new coronavirus outbreak declared a global health emergency.
According to experts, the new coronavirus might turn out to be less fatal than other coronaviruses like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed almost 800 people worldwide and over 300 of this death were recorded in China, where the virus started from during the 2002-2003 outbreak of the virus. Or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which appeared first in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and later on in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Killing one-third of the infected people totaling about 860 recorded deaths. There was another outbreak of MERS in 2015, in Korea, which was said to be the largest outbreak of the virus outside of the Arabian Peninsula.
Most reported cases of this new 2019-nCoV which started in December of 2019, have been from China where also, all deaths from the virus have been recorded.
The virus has, however, spread to a lot of Asian countries, and places in Australia, Europe, North America, and the middle east. The majority of the cases of this virus outside of China have been recorded to be from people who have traveled to the country recently.
The virus has spread to many Asian countries, as well as Australia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Nearly all of the dozens of cases outside China are among people who recently traveled there.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The dangers of coronaviruses are grave and deadly because the symptoms might be easily disregarded as a simple illness until it becomes escalated and fatal. According to the World Health Organization, some possible symptoms of a coronavirus infection include
- Fever and Cold,
- Short breaths,
- Breathing difficulty,
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome,
- Kidney failure, and sometimes
The coronaviruses have been said to have an incubation period of between 10 and 14 days. However, this figure remains largely unproven.
Prevention, Precautions, and Treatment of coronaviruses
Coronaviruses currently have no such thing as immunization techniques or vaccines. The new outbreak of the virus, like the previous outbreaks has no known cure or protective treatment. You, however, try to avoid the virus by:
Washing your hands properly and regularly with warm water and soap. You should also cultivate the habit of moving around with sanitizers to regularly sanitize your hands before and after touching things like doors at banks, general office coffee dispensers, mobile phones and computers and also after coming in contact with other people and avoid getting into close proximity with known infected persons.
Treating a coronavirus infection is mostly like treating a cold. What you need to do is:
- Take time out and get enough rest,
- Drink water and other fluids as much as possible,
- Get over-the-counter medicines for treating cold, sore throat or fever.
And the best way to stay safe of course is to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent the virus from becoming more serious or fatal. Despite the widespread of the virus, and the recorded death tolls, coronaviruses are usually not deadly or fatal infections. They tend to be more fatal in children and adults with a weak immune system. As a healthy adult, the possibilities of the coronavirus becoming deadly is very slim. However, if you feel any symptom of cold, or fever, either by you or a child which refuses to go in a few days, you need to see a doctor immediately to be properly diagnosed and treated and to remain safe and healthy.
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