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What are coronaviruses?

What are coronaviruses?, Magazineup


A recent outbreak of a new type of coronavirus was recorded in the central city of Wuhan, in China.

This outbreak of a new coronavirus has allegedly led to the death of over 200 people within Wuhan, China and has further been said to have infected over a thousand people in the City of Wuhan alone, and over 9,000 worldwide have been said to be infected with the new coronavirus outbreak.

These happenings have led to the lockdown of 20 cities in China by the Chinese government, and a declaration of a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), are a family of viruses that causes sicknesses like the common cold and more serious illnesses like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), to infected persons.

These viruses originated from animals before humans came in contact with them and became infected.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) originated from civet cats, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was said to have originated from a particular type of camels.

There are several of the coronaviruses that have not yet infected humans but very much circulating among animals.

The coronaviruses were discovered for the first time in the 1960s.

The name corona is gotten from the Latin word corona which means a crown or halo. When observed under a microscope, the virus looks like a solar corona.

The viruses are spread just like any virus that causes cold.

They can be spread and contacted via coughs and sneezes of an infected person, touching an infected person or anything that has been touched by them.

These viruses are popular in the US and are more popular in winter and in fall seasons.

The viruses have been contacted by almost everyone – children especially, at least once in their lifetime.

The recent outbreak

The recent outbreak of a new type of coronavirus in December of 2019, was identified by the Chinese government on the 7th of January and codenamed as 2019-nCoV. This new coronavirus, before now, has been known to infect only animals and humans. The 2019-nCoV type of the coronaviruses has, however, been confirmed as transmittable by a human to human contacts.

This was what led to the Chines government locking down different Chinese cities, restricting movements, and have quarantined over 50 million people.

The World Health Organization then declared a global health emergency to quickly address the outbreak.

Experts have said that the new coronavirus outbreak might turn out to be less fatal than the other outbreaks like the SARS which killed 300 people in China alone (the outbreak started from China in 2002 and lasted from then until 2003).

The SARS virus killed 800 people totally worldwide. In 2012, another outbreak, the MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome broke out from Saudi Arabia in 2012, before breaking out in Asia, The middle east, Europe and Africa, resulting in the death of 860 people.

Another MERS outbreak was recorded in  Korea in 2015 as the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of the Arabian Peninsula.

This new 2019-nCoV coronavirus has most of its reported cases in China where it started from, and all the reported death case of the Virus has also been from China.

However, the virus has been spread to many Asian countries and other places in Europe, the middle east, North America and Australia.

With most of the cases in these places been reported from people who have recently travelled to China.

Symptoms of the Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses if not swiftly addressed can lead to serious consequences.

The symptoms of the viruses can be easily mistaken for a common cold or other simple ailments, which allows it enough time to develop into a serious and escalated ailment or infection.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified some possible symptoms of the coronaviruses, and they include

  • Fever and Cold,
  • Short breaths,
  • Cough,
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome,
  • Pneumonia,
  • Kidney failure,
  • Breathing difficulty and other symptoms of a common cold.

Coronaviruses might not get discovered on time.

Their incubation period is not explicitly known, but some medical practitioners have pegged the virus’ incubation period at 10-14 days.

What are coronaviruses?, Magazineup

Prevention and treatment of coronaviruses

These coronaviruses, for now, do not have a specific technique or vaccine for combatting it or for preventing it.

To protect yourself from contracting the virus, what you need to do is:

  • Regularly wash your hands properly with soap and warm water.
  • Imbibe the habit of having a hand sanitizer ready at every time to enable you to sanitise your hands regularly before and after touching things like coffee dispensers at work, doors, mobile phones and PCs and so on.
  • Also, ensure you quickly sanitise your hands after coming in contact with other people, and avoid being too close to people with the infection.

To treat coronavirus infection is mostly similar to treating a cold. What you need to do in case of infection is:

  • Get adequate and proper rest time,
  • Drink plenty of fluids, and
  • Get over-the-counter medicine that cures cold and fever.

Do not forget however that the safest best to ensure your safety is to visit a medical practitioner for proper and professional diagnosis and treatment for the coronavirus infection.

This will help contain the infection early and stop it from getting escalated.

Even though coronaviruses spread through the air at a very fast pace, the recorded death cases have shown that the viruses are not fatal, most especially if they are quickly attended to.

The virus tends to be fatal more in children and aged people as well as people with a weak immune system.

Healthy adults, on the other hand, have a very slim chance of the virus becoming fatal to their system.

Once you visit your doctors for a regular medical check-up, and you quickly report any symptom of a common cold or other symptoms associated with the virus, you will be protected against the virus.

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