The new coronavirus have put the scientific community and the general public on alert all across the world. In this article, you’ll learn how this virus infects.
Coronavirus infections are many and different. Coronaviruses are an extensive family of viruses and are not a single variety.
Possibly, the best known history of coronaviruses is the SARS outbreak of 2002 in China. SARS is an acute and severe respiratory syndrome with a high mortality rate.
One of the main reservoirs of these viruses are animals. Although they infect humans, they circulate among animal species causing them pathologies.
Currently, from the end of December of 2019 until now, health agencies have registered a new outbreak of coronavirus infections. These new coronavirus cases have generated a worldwide alert.
Officially, notifications to health agencies began on December 31, 2019. The World Health Organization in China received a report on cases of pneumonia of unknown origin in the Wuhan area. Later, on January 7, 2020, scientists were able to identify the causative agent of these conditions as the coronavirus 2019-nCoV.
So far, Wuhan coronavirus infection has expanded to reach 448 confirmed cases. In this affected group there were 9 who died. The majority of cases occurred in China, with 7 appearing outside this country.
A new coronavirus epidemics in the world
The World Health Organization has recorded, in the last twenty years, 3 outbreaks of coronavirus infection.
The three shoots are:
- SARS in 2002: it was an epidemic very named in the news. The name of the clinical picture that was generated was that of acute and severe respiratory syndrome. It also happened in China and ended up affecting about 8,000 people worldwide. The mortality rate of this outbreak was 10%, that is to say that of every 100 infected, 10 died.
- Middle East syndrome in 2012: with the acronym MERS it was cataloged in 2012. It started in Saudi Arabia and the coronavirus was called MERS-CoV. To date, this variety of the virus has 2400 infected with a high mortality of 35%.
- Wuhan in 2019: it is the most recent coronavirus infection and that is on the lips of all the news. So far, its mortality rate is lower than the two previous outbreaks, which is encouraging. The epidemic is still in development and we don’t know for sure what the final scope will be. Thanks to technology, Google has arranged an interactive map with real-time information and geolocation of cases that are confirmed.
How the coronavirus spreads?
Coronavirus infections can occur from an animal to a human being, or among humans. In the case of this outbreak in China it is suspected that the onset has been the passage of a variety of the virus from animals to a first human case.
When the SARS epidemic occurred in 2002, the main ones involved were bats and some small mammals. The outbreak is currently associated with an animal market located in Wuhan.
Once the interhuman contagion begins, the modality is the same as the flu virus, for example. Through small droplets that go through the airways, the viruses furrow the air to deposit in the airways of another subject.
Coronavirus infections mainly cover the spectrum of respiratory symptoms. In general terms, they are similar to common flu or pneumonia symptoms due to the usual germs.
Among the most frequent signs are:
- Asthenia: fatigue, tiredness
- Odinogaphy: sore throat and trouble swallowing
- Shortness of breath: shortness of breath with respiratory distress
Other systems and organs were also involved in previous outbreaks. The Middle East respiratory syndrome, for example, was in some patients with gastroenteritis. However, the usual thing is that it culminates in the development of pneumonia.
International health agencies are being very cautious when issuing their reports. You do not want to generate panic and constantly assess the situation to make recommendations.
So far, the World Health Organization does not consider it necessary to suspend trips to the Wuhan area or establish other types of restrictive transport measures. However, these considerations may change over time.
If someone must travel to the Wuhan region and cannot postpone their transfer, they should:
- Avoid contact with people with respiratory symptoms
- Do not stay in places with presence of animals
- Reject raw food
Health institutions may reconsider these measures and make them more stringent in the coming weeks, due to the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Many tourists come to the country for this event and that would generate a cluster of people, as well as an exponential increase in the risk of infection.
On the other hand, in general terms and for the rest of the world, the recommended measures remain the same as those applied to all respiratory diseases:
- Intensive hand washing
- Failure to attend workplaces of those who have respiratory symptoms
- Use of sleeves or scarves to cover the airways those suffering from flu
- Extreme precautions in chronic patients, such as diabetics, insufficient renal or immunosuppressed
Coronavirus infections have alerted the world population on different occasions. We already have three major outbreaks in twenty years. The current one seems to have less lethality than the previous ones, but it is still developing.
For those who live in the most affected areas or must travel there, the recommendations have to do mainly with avoiding direct contact. For the rest of the countries, as of the date, the take prevention and the same measures to control influenza or pneumonia outbreaks.
Anyway, if you have symptoms compatible with a flu, the fundamental thing is the medical consultation. Health professionals are the ones who can advise you on the steps to follow to arrive at a diagnosis and get a treatment in the best possible way.
Don’t forget to SHARE the symptoms of the new coronavirus with your friends and family on your social networks!