Coronavirus is already close to 80,000 worldwide. Till February 24, 7 persons are died in Italy due to Coronavirus infection (Covid-19). It has caused more alarm in the world population.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are not known by experts at all. In fact, its existence has been known since the last century, although its origin is unknown. Its appearance is very particular. They are shaped like a crown with a corona. Hence its name Coronavirus.
In general, these types of viruses are not dangerous to human health. Normally, they affect the upper respiratory tract, causing symptoms similar to a cold or flu. However, they can also trigger more serious diseases, such as pneumonia. Typically, the symptoms of this disease are overcome. However, the most vulnerable people such as over 65 years or people with previous pathologies can develop complications and not overcome the infection.
Different types of Coronaviruses
There are different types of coronaviruses that can affect both people and animals. Coronaviruses affect humans that have caused different epidemics like the current one Covid-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Library of Medicine of the United States, the following outbreaks have occurred:
- SARS (Severe and Acute Respiratory Syndrome): It is severe and sometimes fatal respiratory disease. It was first discovered in China in 2002 and spread throughout the world. An international effort helped contain it quickly. No new cases have been reported anywhere in the world since 2004.
- MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome): It is severe respiratory disease discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The disease has spread to 27 countries. Only two cases have been registered in the United States. All have been linked to travel or reside in or around the Arabian Peninsula.
- COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019): It is discovered at the end of 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Chinese province of Hubei. Most infections have occurred in China or are related to travel from Hubei province. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) are closely monitoring this outbreak and are giving directions to governments to act in airports and hospitals. [Information Source: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/coronavirus-testing]
According to the map that Johns Hopkins University, created to record the updated data of COVID-19, as of February 24, 2020 the data we have:
- 79,539 cases worldwide at the time of closing this article.
- 2,626 deceased (16,748 in Hubei)
- 251 cases of infection in Italy (six deceased, two recovered)
- 2 cases of infection in Spain (two recovered)
What is the coronavirus transmission path?
So far, it is not known what is the source of coronavirus infection. Regarding the route of Coronavirus transmission, it is suspected that it is transmitted, like other coronavirus families by the 5-micron saliva droplets, as well as by direct contact with secretions with infected people. Even so, other transmission routes are being assessed.
The development period has been estimated between two and 14 days. The symptoms are:
- Runny nose and runny nose
- Head and throat pain
- Chills and malaise
- Difficulty breathing
The most susceptible population as with other respiratory infections such as influenza. Coronavirus is the key cause of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
There is no vaccine to prevent this infection. So, hygiene measures are essential to prevent infection:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water and/or use disinfectant gels with at least 60% alcohol.
- When you cough or sneeze, do it by covering your mouth with a tissue and throwing it away.
- If a handkerchief is not available, protect yourself with the sleeve and wash clothes.
- If you can be in contact with infected people, wear a mask.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis is made by analyzing in the laboratory a sample of nasal excretion, sputum or a blood test.
There is no specific treatment against SARS-CoV-2. Based on previous experience of outbreaks by other coronaviruses.