Coronavirus are the viruses that cause illness in birds and mammals. This virus can cause respiratory infections in humans. The symptoms are typically mild including common cold but sometimes rarer forms may occur like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) can be lethal. In pigs and cows it may cause diarrhea, while an upper respiratory disease in chickens.
Unfortunately, no approved antivirals or vaccinations are available currently for this particular coronavirus, so treatment is supportive. About 18 years ago there was a similar threat from the SARS virus. In 2002-03, more than 800 people died due to SARS all over the world.
Thousands of people across the world were infected by it. It also had an impact on economic activities. The Chinese authority has given the coronavirus epidemic the same rating that was given in the past at the time of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus epidemic.
It means that anyone in the country who is confirmed to be infected with it will be kept isolated. WHO has issued some special advice for hospitals, health workers and doctors. In this advisory, it has been said that infected patients should be examined immediately. Patient should be classified as mild, moderate or severe in view of infection.
All precautions should be taken to ensure that the health worker is not a victim of infection himself. Apart from the use of masks, gloves, gowns, it has also been advised to control the activity of infected patients in the hospital.
Many scientists are doing a great job to understand the virus, and Chinese health Ministry have posted its full genome in international databases. For the sickest patients with this disease, specialized, aggressive care in an intensive care unit (ICU) can be lifesaving.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus (COV) belongs to a family of viruses whose infection can cause problems ranging from a cold to breathlessness. This virus has never been seen before. The virus infection started in December in Wuhan, China.
According to Eugene Gu, MD, Founder-CEO of Cool Quit,
“Any vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus would focus on the antigenic viral spike proteins which look like a halo or crown…of bulbous spikes for which the coronavirus is named. This protein binds to the ACE2 receptor in our lung cells like a forged key to break in.”
According to World Health Organization (WHO), fever, cough, shortness of breath are its symptoms. No vaccine has been made to stop this virus from spreading till now.
CORONAVIRUS: IMPORTANT FACTS AND FIGURES
The death rate from the coronavirus in China has crossed 212. So far, more than 8000 confirmed cases of pneumonia have been reported. China’s health officials have given this information. There have been cases of coronavirus from all the provinces of China except Tibet. Preventing this disease from spreading has become a major challenge for health officials.
India’s national helpline for information and assistance related to the coronavirus threat is 011-23978046.
After continuous cases of coronavirus worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus an international emergency. Out of China, 82 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 18 countries.
Coronavirus has 14 cases in Thailand, 11 cases in Japan, 10 cases in Singapore, 4 cases in South Korea, 7 cases each in Australia and Malaysia, 5 cases each in the US and France, 4 each in Germany and the United Arab Emirates. Three cases have been confirmed.
The virus first caught in China in December. It is expected to reach in other countries. The virus accountable for this epidemic that started in Wuhan has been named Novell Corona Virus or nCoV.
It can be assumed that this is a new breed of Corona family, which had not yet been identified in humans.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) infection may cause following symptoms, including —
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
In more severe cases, coronavirus infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Many individuals recover from this infection within a few days. However, some individuals — especially the very young, elderly, or people who have a weakened immunity system — may develop a more serious infection, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
Reports by TIME magazine and the Wall Street Journal say the market sold all kinds of wildlife, from ostriches to porcupines. According to the TIME magazine report, January 24,
“It was no secret to anyone in Wuhan that Huanan Seafood Market sold a lot more than its name suggested. While one side of the low-slung warren of stalls did primarily stock fish and shellfish, the other offered a cornucopia of spices, sundries and, if you knew where to look, beavers, porcupines and snakes.”
This virus spreads from person to person. Therefore, great care is being taken about this.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) TRANSMISSION:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including cattle, camels, cats, and bats.
Coronavirus is rarely transmitted through fecal contamination. Person to person transmission of coronavirus infection is supposed to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when a patient or infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. According to Dr. Vaishampayan,
The Wuhan coronavirus is most likely transmitted through coughing and sneezing, as is the case with influenza and other respiratory viruses
HOW TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS?
Health Ministry has issued guidelines to prevent corona virus.
According to the Ministry —
- Hands should be washed properly with warm water or soap
- Alcohol based hand rub can also be used
- Keep your nose and mouth covered with mask or handkerchief while coughing and peeling
- Stay away from individuals who have cold and flu symptoms
- Avoid the consumption of eggs and meat
- Avoid direct and unprotected contact with wild animals
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products
China is doing everything possible to stop the virus from spreading. According to World Health Organization,
“There is no specific treatment for disease caused by a novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment based on the patient’s clinical condition. Moreover, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.”
Many countries have asked their citizens not to go to Wuhan affected Corona. Many countries have also banned people coming from Wuhan. Russia has also closed its eastern border with China.
Reuters Factbox article said on January 31 —
“It is unclear how deadly the new virus is. Although severe cases can cause pneumonia and death, there may be many cases of milder disease going undetected. Many of those who have died had pre-existing medical conditions or were elderly, those with weakened immune systems.”
“Most [coronavirus] cases are in people who have been in Wuhan, family members of those infected, or medical workers. Transmission is most likely through close contact with an infected person via particles in the air from coughing or sneezing, or by someone touching an infected person or object with the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.”
HOW TO TREAT CORONA VIRUS?
No drugs or vaccine have been approved for any coronavirus diseases. Dr. Vaishampayan said;
The main treatment is supportive care, including making sure the patient is getting enough oxygen, and using a ventilator to push air into the lungs if necessary. Patients should rest and drink plenty of fluids “while the immune system does its job and heals itself”.
LATEST STUDIES AND TRAILS ON COVID19
Many countries are trying hard to make anti-corona vaccine. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, a clinical trial has been started to make ANTI-COVID19 vaccine. This trial is named LY3819253 (LY-CoV555).
The purpose of this study is to test the tolerability and safety of LY3819253 when it is given by injection into participants’s vein hospitalized with corona virus. Blood tests will also be done to measure how much LY3819253 is in the bloodstream of the patient and how long the body takes to eliminate it.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, participation could last about eight weeks and may include up to fifteen visits in the hospital or the home. According to Boston Herald, the first patients to try a potential COVID-19 antibody treatment were dosed at major medical centers in the U.S., Indianapolis—based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced it.
The treatment (LY-CoV555) was developed from one of the the blood sample of U.S.’s patient who recovered from corona virus. The medicine is directed against the spike protein of COVID19 and is designed to restrict its entry into the human cells, neutralizing the virus and potentially preventing and treating corona virus, according to a release from the company.
Lilly’s chief scientific officer Dr. Daniel Skovronsky said;
“We are privileged to help usher in this new era of drug development with the first potential new medicine specifically designed to attack the virus. Antibody therapies such as LY-CoV555 may have potential for both prevention and treatment of COVID-19, ”
The first patients in the study were dosed at major medical centers including NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, United States.
Dr. Mark Mulligan, director of infectious diseases and immunology and director of the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Health said;
“Antibody treatments like the one being studied here hold promise to be effective medical countermeasures against this deadly infection,”
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