CORONAVIRUS- BACKGROUND, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT AND ADVICE FOR THE PUBLIC (COVID-19)

Corona-virus has become a health threat to the world but the good news is that you can conquer it if you can practice the health tips that are thoroughly explained in this article.

In this article, you will find out the:
1) Origins of the novel coronavirus.
2) Outline the difference between general coronaviruses and the novel coronavirus.

3) List the signs and symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
4) Define the current understanding of how the novel coronavirus was transmitted to humans.

On December 31st, 2019 WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus.

January 7th, 2020
Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. This new strain of coronavirus has been officially referred to as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day they were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS.
Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:
1) Runny nose
2) Headache
3) Cough
4) Sore throat
5) Fever
6) A general feeling of being unwell

CORONAVIRUS – TRANSMISSION, AND TREATMENT.
2019 is a betacoronavirus, like MERS and SARs, all of which have their origins in bats.
Chinese authorities have successfully sequenced the genome of the virus allowing for effective detection. The US CDC confirmed the same genome in the first two cases in the US.

Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCov in Wuhan, China had some link to large seafood and live animal market (also known as “wet markets”), suggesting that initial spread of the virus was animal-to-person.
Subsequently, it has become clear that human-to-human contact is able to spread the virus.

The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.

HOW DOES THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS SPREAD FROM PERSON-TO-PERSON?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

1) The air by coughing and sneezing
2) Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
3) Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
4) Rarely, fecal contamination
5) When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. The spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.

It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

Should you be tested for the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nC0V)?

US CDC guidelines state: “If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who have recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel.”

Fever may not be present in some patients, such as those who are very young, elderly, immunosuppressed, or taking certain fever-lowering medications. Clinical judgment should be used to guide the testing of patients in such situations.

Close contact is defined as:
Being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters), or within the room or care area, of a novel coronavirus case for a prolonged period of time while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment; close contact can include caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting for area or room with a novel coronavirus case.- or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a novel coronavirus case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

TREATMENT.
According to the US CDC, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for the novel coronavirus infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

WHAT HAPPENS IN HOSPITAL?
Those who get admitted to the hospital are given treatment for their symptoms while their immune systems try to fight the virus off. Hospitalization also serves to isolate patients and stop the virus from spreading.

In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia – an inflammation of the lungs. In those cases, breathing may need to be supported. Patients are given oxygen and in the worst cases may be put on a ventilator. About one in four cases are thought to be severe.

In milder cases, patients struggling to maintain blood pressure can be given an intravenous drip. Fluids can also be given in cases of diarrhea, and ibuprofen is also available for pain relief.

CORONAVIRUS – RECENT DEVELOPMENTS.
Patients with 2019-nCoV infection, are presenting with a wide range of symptoms. Most seem to have mild disease, and about 20% appear to progress to severe disease, including pneumonia, respiratory failure and in some cases death.
According to real-time data from John Hopkins University as of 15:00 (GMT+) February 3rd, 2020, the latest figures on the novel coronavirus are as follows:

1) 17,489 cases confirmed globally with 17, 306 of these cases confirmed in mainland China.
2) 362 confirmed deaths, with the first death outside of China reported in the Philippines.

3) 530 patients of the virus have been reported as having recovered fully.
4) The virus has now been confirmed in 23 countries outside of China. Of these confirmed cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that 2,110 of these cases have been classified as ‘severe’ on February 2nd. Due to the increased transmission of this virus, the WHO has undertaken risk assessments which have concluded that China is now classified as “Very High” risk, while the threat of the virus has been established as a “High” risk at the regional and global level.
CORONAVIRUS – RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
How CoronaVirus spread in China.
Thousands of patients have been infected with the virus across China, with central Hubei province being the worst-affected. Restrictions on travel are affecting at least 20 million people across 10 cities – including the capital Wuhan, where the virus emerged.

In a bid to tackle the increased demand for medical services, the authorities are building two makeshift hospitals, one with 1,000 beds and another with a capacity of 1,500 beds. people have been asked to wear face masks in public places.

The Chinese government has also closed a number of temples, the Forbidden City and part of the Great Wall.

Source: China National Health Commission, BBC Research, January 28th, 2020

Locations with Confirmed Cases of Novel Coronavirus

As of February 3rd, 2020, 26 countries or regions outside of China have confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. According to data from John Hopkins University5, these countries or regions include:
China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines,
Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, USA, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Macau

OTHER RECENT DEVELOPMENTS.
Scientists in Australia have become the first to recreate the new coronavirus outside of China in what they have called a “significant breakthrough”. The discovery will be shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the hope it may help efforts to diagnose and treat the virus.

Scientists in China have also recreated the virus and shared its genome sequence.

Chinese authorities have said the virus-like the normal flu – is able to spread during its incubation period. According to the WHO, the incubation period can range from two to 10 days, however, WHO said it remains unclear whether it is contagious before symptoms appear.
A number of airlines have canceled all flights to China.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Thursday that Russia would be closing its land border with China from Friday until at least March 1st. Singapore banned the entry and transfer of travelers holding passports issued by China’s Hubei province from Wednesday onwards. Mongolia’s official news agency has said the country closed border crossings with China on Monday, according to the AP.

CORONAVIRUS – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE.
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on the characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications).

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on the characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications).

The World Health Organisation coordinates global responses in this case. Established in 1948, it is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system.

WHO STATEMENT 30 JANUARY 2020.
1) The Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk.

2) The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

3) Since 2009, there have been six PHEIC declarations: the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, the 2014 polio declaration, the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, the 2015-16 Zika virus epidemic, the Kivu Ebola epidemic, and the 2020 novel coronavirus outbreak.

4) It is expected that further international exportation of cases may appear in any country. Thus, all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of the onward spread of 2019-nCoVinfection, and to share full data with WHO.

5) Countries should place particular emphasis on reducing human infection, prevention of secondary transmission and international spread, and active participation in increasing knowledge on the virus and the disease, as well as advancing research.

6) The Committee does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.

CDC’S INTERIM RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE COMMERCIAL AIRLINE INDUSTRY.

The CDC has instructed airlines to report travelers with specific symptoms arriving from China.

The criteria for reporting a suspected case of novel coronavirus include travelers arriving from China with:
1) Fever (person feels warm to the touch, gives a history of feeling feverish, or has an actual measured temperature of 100.4°F [38° C] or higher) that has persisted for more than 48 hours; OR

2) Fever AND one of the following:
√ Persistent cough
√ Difficulty breathing
√ Appears obviously unwell

3) After arrival, a health assessment of the sick traveler’s symptoms and possible exposures will be carried out, CDC will update the airline about the results of the testing and any need for follow-up of exposed crew members or passengers.

ADVICE FOR THE PUBLIC.
Here you will find out the following:
1) Describe how the general public can reduce exposure to and transmission of the novel coronavirus.

2) Identify precautionary measures you can take to reduce your risk of being exposed to novel coronavirus.

3) Define the procedure for correctly washing your hands.

4) Outline the different circumstances in which you should wash your hands.

5) Identify the appropriate guidelines for practicing food safety.

6) Outline precautionary measures that should be taken if or when shopping or working in wet markets within China and Southeast Asia.

7) Outline guidelines for how to stay healthy while traveling as per WHO recommendations.

CORONAVIRUS – PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS FROM GETTING SICK.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows:
Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

1) When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.

2) Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.
3) If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

4) When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of a novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.

5) The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

6) Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.

GUIDELINES ON WHEN TO WASH YOUR HANDS.

According to the WHO, the general public is advised to wash your hands in the following circumstances:
1) After coughing or sneezing.

2) When caring for the sick.
3) Before, during and after you prepare food.
4) Before eating.
5) After toilet use.
6) When hands are visibly dirty.
7) After handling animals or animal waste.

8) To wash your hands correctly, please ensure to wash your hands with soap and running water when hands are visibly dirty. If your hands are not visibly dirty, wash them with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.

9) Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.

10) Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
11) Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
12) Avoid unprotected contact with wild or farm animals.

OTHER PRECAUTIONS.
Throw tissue into the closed bin after use immediately after use.
Avoid close contact when you are experiencing cough and fever.
When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue paper.