The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus outbreak that originated from Wuhan, China.
As of April 3, over 54,000 people have died from Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and there have been more than 1 million affected people in 197 countries mostly in America, Spain, Italy, Germany and China.
What is a novel coronavirus?
According to the WHO, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The new coronavirus is first found on 31st December 2019 and named Novel Coronavirus (nCov-19). The disease from this virus is named (COVID-19) that means Coronavirus Disease 19. It was found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. There are several coronaviruses that are circulating in animals but have not yet infected humans. Some of Coronaviruses are not dangerous but Some are serious.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus Disease?
Common symptoms of coronavirus infection are high fever, pain in the throat, coughing and breathing difficulties, muscle pain etc. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, multiple organ failure and death. The incubation period of COVID-19 is thought to be 1 to 14 days. It is contagious before the symptoms appear. That is why many people can get affected unconsciously. Infected patients do not display any symptoms despite having the virus in their body.
Where did it come from?
China alerted the WHO of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan city on December 31. It is thought Coronavirus originated in a local seafood market. Chinese researchers said that this virus could have spread to the human body from an infected animal named pangolin through illegally trafficking of it for food and medicine. Scientists have pointed to either bats or snakes as other possible sources.
How can I protect myself from Coronavirus?
The WHO declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic on March 11 with the alarming level of spread and severity. The WHO has recommended some basic hygiene of washing hands regularly, covering nose and mouth with a tissue or elbow while sneezing or coughing. We have to maintain “social distancing” – keeping at least 1.8 metres (six feet) between myself and others. We should avoid touching our face, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands. We also should avoid unnecessary, unprotected contact with animals and be sure to thoroughly wash hands after contact.