Coronavirus: All you need to know about the outbreak

Novel Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease that was initially identified in China in a city called Wu-Hon. This is a new virus that had not been detected in humans until 2019 December. The virus was reported to be first identified in a group of patients who suffered from Pneumonia. Chinese authorities recognized the unusual activity through their surveillance systems. People who were infected with Coronavirus had developed multiple respiratory diseases. The symptoms depend on mild virus infection to worst-case scenarios.

Coronavirus outbreak symptoms have Mild symptoms that include running nose, sneeze, coughs, fever, etc. Advanced symptoms include breathlessness and pneumonia. It does not mean that everybody who has developed the symptoms is likely to die. They still have chances of survival if detected at an early stage. At the brink of becoming a pandemic, we give you the essential information to keep yourself safe.

How does the coronavirus spread?

This is an airborne, waterborne disease. Anybody who gets in contact with a person suffering from Coronavirus is likely to develop the infection. The small droplets from your running nose on a tissue paper collected by the garbage person can be a chance to infection.  If you have jobs that require traveling in crowded commutes, an infected person’s sneeze could cause coronavirus. You have to be in close proximity to the infected person in order to receive the infection. Coronavirus outbreak symptoms were first seen as two types of transmission; one is through animal to human and second is between people in close contact.

Can the coronavirus be spread from an asymptomatic person?

Yes, it can be. A person, who seems fine on the outside and not showing any symptoms, could still be carrying and transmitting the virus. For the previous coronaviruses, the World Health Organization has had such cases reported. The number is very limited though. But we cannot limit the cases that even if a person does not show any symptoms like runny nose, fever, consistent cold, sneezing, etc. that one might not be a potential transmitter. WHO recommends, one practice good hand hygiene, and if one is not feeling well it is good to stay at home itself and not transmit the diseases further.

What can one do to avoid coronavirus outbreak symptoms?

If you are feeling unwell it is best advised to stay back at home. Doctors are suggesting that they drink water and have their throat always wet and not dry. Practice good hygiene and sanitize the apartment as much as possible. Please note that when you want to sneeze, do so onto your elbow and not into the thin air or on to somebody else’s face. Using tissue and throw it right away or burn it. Hygiene is the most important aspect to note. Now if one has fever, cough or difficulty breathing, it is best to seek healthcare. It is important to also know where the virus is circulating and avoiding a trip to that area.

As of now, the coronavirus outbreak has happened in different parts of China and people who have traveled to other countries from China are more likely to be transmitters. Coronavirus has spread to other countries as of now. With many cases reported in different countries and even though it is small and that we assume these patients have been isolated. it is also more likely that the family members who have been in touch with these patients, as well as the people who traveled alongside the patient, could be infected.

Is there any treatment for coronavirus as of now?

Since this is a new virus we do not have a specific treatment for this virus. Because this disease causes respiratory illness, doctors treat those symptoms first while keeping the patient stable. It's also a deterrent that antibiotics will not work against the virus. Currently, a lot of research is going into treating and preventing the novel coronavirus.

Scientists hope that the course they tried for other coronaviruses might work for the novel coronavirus as well. As of now in Saudi Arabia, they are researching the Merc coronavirus and trying therapeutics to help get the virus cured. The entire global community is working together to get a clinical trial done on these viruses.

How can one distinguish between normal flu and coronavirus flu?

This is quite crucial and a great way to tell people to stop worrying and that flu you have could be just the flu. Once you consult a doctor, they will conduct a saliva test or a respiratory swab or conduct a PCR test and identify if it is, in fact, the flu, coronavirus or something else. Also, this is flu season so many people could also be suffering from the normal flu. It is always good to get a test done to identify. Wear a mask wherever you need to travel because any kind of virus could spread. There are vaccines in development.

Over the last several years scientists have been trying to investigate and make vaccines for other coronavirus prevention. The World Health Organization is hoping that this could be useful once the vaccine is developed for the novel coronavirus prevention. The Coronavirus stays for very fewer hours on a surface so in case you need to receive a package from abroad let us say China, you are not at risk of procuring the disease. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or do an alcohol rub because we tend to touch our body and face multiple times a day.

Also do note that the virus is only associated with the areas and not to the people from that country living in different parts of the world. It is also good to be aware of health factors like hand hygiene when you are walking in areas that could be prone to such diseases.

Is the virus mutating?

Scientists across the globe are researching this now. They are looking for all of these aspects. As of now, no proof is there on a mutation of viruses. The most important place in a city is the emergency department. So make sure that health care people are reinforced on how to be with patients with the right masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and more. It should be a trained protocol.