Coronavirus is the latest virus to have struck humankind, and it originated in the same place that saw the outbreak of the SARS virus in 2003. China is currently on lockdown as the virus, named the Wuhan virus is spreading and an increasing number of cases are being reported daily.
What is the coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is usually found in birds and mammals and causes respiratory problems in chickens and diarrhea in pigs and cows. In humans, it causes infections related to the respiratory system, which can be mild or severe, but if severe, it can prove to be fatal. Coronavirus in dogs causes intestinal complications and is highly contagious.
As of today, there is no coronavirus vaccine available. There is also no known treatment for coronavirus. The symptoms are cough, pneumonia, sore throat, fever, etc and are not very different from that of a common cold.
The origin of the virus can be traced back to the 1960s when the first instance was reported as bronchitis in chickens and as nasal infections in humans. The SARS outbreak in 2003 was also a form of coronavirus.
How and when was the Coronavirus infection detected?
The Coronavirus officially named the 2019-nCoV by WHO, was detected on 31st December 2019, in Wuhan in China. The origin is suspected to be from animals and was encountered at a seafood market, which the authorities have now shut down.
Apart from selling seafood, the market also offered on sale, wild foxes, exotic animals, snakes, rats, camel meat, etc, any of which could be the source of the virus.
As per reports, this particular strain detected in Wuhan is similar to a strain of the virus found in bats, which are the most probable source of the outbreak. Despite this, a few locals were seen savoring the mammal at a local eatery.
What has been the impact of Coronavirus in humans so far?
The infection from the virus has affected more than 1300 people so far, and the death toll has risen to 41 worldwide. Having originated in China, the virus has now spread to other Asian countries such as Singapore, Nepal, India, Thailand, Korea, Japan, etc.
All the airports are being screened for the virus for flights incoming from China. The city is on lockdown, along with 11 other cities where the virus is suspected as having spread. People are scared of leaving their homes to avoid contracting the virus.
The authorities in various regions have tried to withhold numbers about the spread of the virus, and have been given a strict warning, considering the severity of the situation. Earlier, only 25% of the cases were reported. Currently in India, 8 cases have been suspected so far in the state of Kerela.
This is the time of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the celebration plans have been called off in the outbreak city of Wuhan. A 1000 bed hospital has already been set up in the city, which has a population of around 11 million, to deal with the crisis.
Other regions are preparing in similar ways to tackle this grave situation. The mortality rate so far is 3% out of the affected patients but there is hope for those who have only been mildly affected.
The virus is communicable and spreads if one is too close to the affected individual, through sneezing and coughing. All the countries in South Asia have now taken measures to control this situation and there is a travel ban to cities like Wuhan and other severely affected areas.
All we can do now is pray and be cautious, and cooperate with governments everywhere by assisting them and adhering to their rules.
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