With information changing so quickly and every news report about the virus seeming to raise the stakes, you may be wondering how worried you should be. Here’s a primer on what we do — and don’t — know about this virus and what it may mean for you. While there is much we don’t yet understand about the virus, public health officials, medical experts, and scientists are working in collaboration to learn more.
What exactly is this “Corona Virus”
Corona-viruses are an extremely common cause of colds and other upper respiratory infections. These viruses are zoonoses, which means they can infect certain animals and spread from one animal to another. A corona-virus can potentially spread to humans, particularly if certain mutations in the virus occur.
Chinese health authorities reported a group of cases of viral pneumonia to the World Health Organization (WHO) in late December 2019. Many of the ill people had contact with a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, a large city in eastern China, though it has since become clear that the virus can spread from person to person.
What are the symptoms of this corona virus?
The symptoms can include a cough, possibly with a fever and shortness of breath. There are some early reports of non-respiratory symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Many people recover within a few days. However, some people — especially the very young, elderly, or people who have a weakened immune system — may develop a more serious infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
Is the New Corona Virus really that Fatal?
The outbreak of a new coronavirus has sparked fear and rumor mills. When compared to other deadly Virus counterpart SARS the corona virus mortality rate pales in comparison. SARS had a fatality rate of 9.6% compared to the fatality rate of 2.1% for this new 2019-nCoV strain of coronavirus, which has remained steady for the last several weeks. Fortunately for human beings, a pathogen like 2019-nCoV cannot have its cake and eat it too. The virus cannot be both deadly and undetectable. To illustrate, we can consider the hypothetical examples of a severe and a non-severe respiratory virus.
With a more severe symptoms profile, a respiratory infection will have more sudden onset, earlier symptoms, a higher chance of severity and death, and it will probably cause patients to report to hospitals at an earlier stage of infection. An outbreak of a respiratory virus like this will typically be deadly but containable.
Some tips for effective prevention of Corona Virus
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or a hand sanitizer with more than 40% Alcohol is highly advised.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands especially mouth and nose.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing case
- The consumption of raw or under-cooked 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.
And the most Important thing to remember – It is during these times that Fake news spreads even worse than the Virus itself. One should not fall for such news and to not panic. Follow all precautions and Stay safe.