A new strain of Coronavirus is currently spreading across the globe after its origination at a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
As a matter of fact, In China, 81 persons have died with 2,744 cases recorded of the coronavirus. China, however, have stepped up its response to the crisis by restricting movements and closing tourist sites.
WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Most people get infected with coronaviruses at one point in their lives, but symptoms are typically mild to moderate.
The viruses can also cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
World Health Organization ‘WHO’ stated that despite its emergency China, it was too early to declare it a public health emergency of international concern.
These viruses are common amongst animals, but only a small amount of them are known to affect humans. Rarely, coronaviruses can evolve and spread from animals to humans.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE THE VIRUS?
As of Sunday, there are more than 2,700 confirmed cases and at least 80 deaths linked to the 2019-nCoV virus, according to several reports.
HOW FAR HAS THE VIRUS SPREAD AND THE COUNTRIES AFFECTED SO FAR?
The first cases of the pneumonia-like virus were reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.
Since then, the virus has cut across other countries, including Australia, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, Vietnam, etc.
On Saturday (Jan. 25), a “presumptive” case of the virus was reported in Toronto in a man in his 50s who had visited Wuhan, while Portugal’s health ministry says they are watching a patient in Lisbon for the virus; the person also had recently traveled to Wuhan, the Times said.
WHERE DID THE VIRUS COME FROM?
Since the virus first popped up in Wuhan in people who had visited a local seafood and animal market, officials could only state that it likely hopped from an animal to humans. In a new study, however, researchers sequenced the genes of 2019-nCoV (as the virus is now called), and then they compared it with the genetic sequences of more than 200 coronaviruses that infect various animals around the world. Their results, detailed in the Journal of Medical Virology, suggested that 2019-nCoV likely has its origin from snakes.
As regards the kind of snake, the scientists noted there are two snakes that are common to southeastern China where the outbreak originated: the many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus) and the Chinese cobra (Naja atra).
However, some experts have criticized the study, saying it’s unclear if coronaviruses can indeed infect snakes.
CAN THE VIRUS SPREAD BETWEEN PEOPLE?
Yes, in some cases, according to the CDC, but the primary mode of transmission seems to be from animal to human. In terms of how one would catch the virus, the CDC says that the coronaviruses are most commonly spread between an infected person and others via the air (from viral particles from a cough or sneeze), close personal contact (touching or shaking hands), an object or surface with viral particles on it (then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands), and rarely from fecal contamination.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND HOW DO YOU TREAT IT?
Symptoms of the new coronavirus may include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. There are no specific treatments for coronavirus infections and most people will recover on their own, according to the CDC. So treatment involves rest and medication to relieve symptoms. A humidifier or hot shower can help to relieve a sore throat and cough.
If you are mildly sick, you should drink a lot of fluids and rest but if you are worried about your symptoms, you should see a healthcare provider, they wrote. (This is advice for all coronaviruses, not specifically aimed toward the new coronavirus).
There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus but researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health confirmed they were in preliminary stages of developing one. In addition, the drug company Regeneron announced that it is in the early stages of developing a treatment for this virus.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS?
In Wuhan, avoid contact with sick people, dead or alive animals, animal markets or products that come from animals such as uncooked meat.
Try to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are infected by the coronavirus, try to avoid transmitting it to others such as isolating yourself from other people, wearing a face mask, covering your coughs and sneezes.
The CDC said: “It is likely there will be more cases reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks, likely including person-to-person spread.
Meanwhile, you can catch up on the second episode of The Game Show on Gistcandy TV.
In this episode, Gistcandy TV walks you down through memory lane on how versatile you are with songs. Well, we featured some of our friends but these self-acclaimed ”BADDIES’ fumbled to the fault.