An unprecedented threat to the world now is the Coronavirus. Thousands of people are dying just in a day because of the infections caused by the virus. The world is struggling hard to get the situation under control. However, the happenings are saddening and dreadful. Many developed countries even after possessing advanced technologies in the health care systems cannot contain the spread of the virus. This highly threatening pandemic has locked down the entire nation. Let us see, all the information about the virus and the plight of the world.
What are coronaviruses?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a recently discovered coronavirus-caused infectious disease. It is common for the people infected with the coronavirus to have respiratory disease and recover without any special treatment being needed. Older people and those with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to experience serious illness.
Being well educated about the COVID-19 virus, the illness it causes and how its spreads are the best way to avoid and slow down transmission. Save yourself and others from contamination by washing your hands or regularly using a rub based on alcohol, and not touching your skin. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, the COVID-19 virus spreads mainly by droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, so it is important that you also practice day to day hygiene practices.
There are no unique COVID-19 vaccines or therapies available at this time. There are also several current clinical trials testing new therapies. As soon as clinical results are available WHO will continue to provide updated information. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the coronaviridae family of single-stranded RNA viruses, a common type of virus that affects mammals, birds, and reptiles.
It normally triggers mild infections in humans, similar to the common cold, and accounts for 10–30 percent of adult upper respiratory tract infections. More severe infections are uncommon, although coronaviruses can cause neurological and enteric disease. A coronavirus incubation time varies but usually is up to two weeks.
What is a Pandemic and Stages of a Pandemic?
In the first stage of an outbreak of disease, which ultimately takes the form of a globe-sweeping pandemic, cases are transported into a country where the infection did not originate. The outbreak whose distribution is within the borders of one or more countries is not a pandemic. The second stage is when they start spreading the virus locally. Local transmission means the source of the infection is within a given area and the route that the virus took from one person to the next is known.
The third stage is that of transmission to the population that is called Community Transmission. The third stage is the inability to connect reported cases by transmission chains for a large number of cases or by-positive tests by sentinel samples the third stage is that of transmission to the population. It is a very dangerous stage.
Previous outbreaks of coronavirus include the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), first recorded in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 and extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), found in southern China in 2003. MERS infected about 2,500 people and resulted in more than 850 deaths while SARS infected more than 8,000 people and resulted in almost 800 deaths. Under these cases, the case fatality rates were 35% and 10% respectively.
SARS-CoV-2 is a new type of coronavirus previously unrecognized in humans. While the incubation period for this strain is currently unclear, it is indicated by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that symptoms may occur in 2 to 14 days after exposure. Chinese researchers have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 can become infectious during its time of incubation.
What about the new Virus?
Where the virus originated is still unknown. The virus was originally believed to originate in a food market in Wuhan and then spread from animal to human. Some work has suggested that transmission between snake and human could be cross-species; however, this argument has been contested. Mammals such as camels and bats were implicated in previous outbreaks of coronavirus but the exact animal origin, if any, of SARS-CoV-2 is not yet clear.
How does it spread?
Increasing numbers of reported diagnoses, including in healthcare professionals, have suggested that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from person to person occurs. The approximate number of reproductions (i.e. the average number of cases produced by a single case throughout its infectious period) is currently estimated to be between 1.4 and 2.5 people, which means that each infected individual may infect between 1.4 and 2.5 people.
Just like other common respiratory infections like MERS and SARS are spread by respiratory droplets produced by an infected person when they sneeze or cough. Measures to guard against the infection work under the current assumption that SARS-CoV-2 is spread in the same manner.
How is it diagnosed?
This virus will infect the respiratory system, which is the sore throat, nasal system, malaise, headache, and breathing. The coronavirus can cause pneumonia, extreme acute respiratory syndrome, renal failure and death in serious cases.
Most of the countries started taking preventive action plans very soon. The preventive measures were made in four stages and they were “contain, delay, mitigate and research”. All the doctors and the medical professors saw the approach growing in the upward curve and warned the world countries that the count of infection and death may double every 5 to 6 days. They recommended avoiding any sort of social gathering and follow household isolation to contain the spread of the virus.
As days went by and the spread of the virus increased, many countries all over the world locked down. The boundaries were sealed and the entire movement of the people was shutdown. The WHO recommended people to follow social distancing, self-quarantine, wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds 10 to 20 times a day to not be infected. The number of tests has been increased in all countries. Many countries are following the policy of “trace, test and treat” to contain the spread of the virus among the people.