CORONAVIRUS | Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Prevention

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Coronavirus is a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals including cattle, cats, camels, and bats.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and humans.

Coronavirus causes an illness that ranges from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It was identified as an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019. The WHO declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a global health emergency on January 30, 2020. The disease is called the COVID-19. COVID-19 , is the official name given by WHO to this new strain of coronavirus.

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A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is not the same as the other coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness like common cold or flu. A diagnosis with 2019-nCoV is different than diagnosis with coronavirus 0C43, HKU1, NL63 or 229E. The patients with 2019-nCoV will be evaluated and cared differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis. It is a new strain of coronavirus family which is having currently no cure and no vaccination. Because of its crown like appearance in structure named as coronavirus

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Coronavirus Spreading Sources

Like all of viral infections it is highly contagious i.e. it spreads from person to person. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is primarily spread through droplets emitted from an infected person over a short distance, such as when a person coughs or sneezes. If these droplets come into contact with eyes, nose or mouth of an individual directly, or indirectly through hands that have come into contact with these droplets, the individual may become affected.

coronavirus spreading sources

Evidence suggests that the rate of human to human transmission of this virus appears to be higher than that of SARS. According to recent data the novel coronavirus appears to be more transmissible but less deadly than SARS.

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Novel coronavirus not appear to be airborne as other viruses like Chicken pox, Measles, Smallpox etc. (The airborne viruses can easily be transported via air currents and do not require droplets to contact the eyes or nose).

The novel coronavirus could also transmit thorough surface contact. When a person sneezes or coughs the droplets fall on the surfaces of tables and chairs and virus may remain alive for up to a few days. When someone else touches the surfaces of these tables and chairs the virus can be transferred through his hands, and if he then rubs his eyes or nose without washing his hands, he may become infected. So we should wash our hands.

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The virus droplets can adhere to the surfaces. These surfaces can be

  • Doorknobs
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • train straps
  • cups
  • digital devices like mobile phone or the surface of key board or a laptop
  • tissue paper
  • lift buttons
  • pens
  • Or even the outer surface of the mask of healthy person, etc.

Coronavirus Symptoms

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Symptoms of this viral infection range from asymptomatic (no symptoms at all) to mild to severe symptomatic, it take 2 days to 2 weeks for the symptom to appear depending upon the exposure to virus. Still Very limited data available to interpret exactly the symptom range of the coronavirus. Following are the symptoms collected from the data of patients having novel coronavirus 2019

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose or Rhinorrhea
  • Myalgia ,muscle aches
  • Difficulty in  breathing
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Lower respiratory tract  infection such as bronchitis  or pneumonia

In more severe cases, coronavirus infection can cause

  • Pneumonia
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Kidney failure
  • & even Death  
  • Coronavirus can also cause middle ear infections in children.

NOTE: Coronavirus is more common in people with weakened immune systems, people with cardiopulmonary disease, infants and older adults

Coronavirus Diagnosis

The CDC (Center for disease control and prevention) has developed a new laboratory test kit for use in testing patient specimens for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The test kit is called the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panel.”

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This test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from persons who meet CDC criteria for 2019-nCoV testing. CDC is shipping the test kits to laboratories CDC has designated as qualifies including U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories, and select international laboratories such as the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance Response System (GISRS) laboratories.

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Covid-19 Treatment

There is currently no FDA approved medication for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. 

People infected with this virus should receive supportive care (rest, fluid, fever control etc.) to help ease & relieve the symptoms.

As soon as someone diagnose with novel coronavirus the first measure is to quarantine the person or isolate the person so that to prevent further infection and then to treat person symptomatically

As it is a new strain of virus authorities trying to develop the vaccine but it took long even decades to develop a new vaccine.

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Covid-19 Prevention

Remember there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. However the simple and easy to adopt preventive measures are as follows

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  • The best prevention is to practice good personal hygiene. We all have to do regularly and thoroughly washing of hands with soap and running water for a minimum of 20 seconds,
    • especially before eating
    • after going to toilet.
    • after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If water not available alcohol based hand sanitiser or rub is the best alternative with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Thoroughly cook food especially meat, poultry & eggs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Proper disposal of waste into bins.
  • Always cover your nose and mouth while sneezing by using crook of your elbow or by a tissue paper. Immediately throw the tissue paper into bin after use in order to avoid the spread of infection.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Don’t share food utensils cups and towels.
  • Wear face mask. Health worker advice N95 respirator mask can be used.
  • Avoid wild animals (alive or dead) & animal markets.
Disclaimer

This article is written for the awareness purpose of general public health only. All copyrights are reserved. If you are suffering from any illness consult your healthcare provider. All comments and queries are welcomed at info@ livefitpk.com

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