The understanding of transmission patterns, severity, clinical features and risk factors for COVID-19 Coronavirus is currently limited. Especially among the general population, among health care workers, in households and in other “closed” settings.
On 18 February, a new master protocol entitled “Surface sampling of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A practical “how-to” protocol for health care and public health professionals” was published.
The role of environmental contamination in the transmission of COVID-19 Coronavirus is not yet clear. This protocol was designed to determine viable virus presence and persistence on fomites in various locations where a COVID-19 Coronavirus patient is receiving care or isolated.
As well as, to understand how fomites may play a role in the transmission of the virus in these settings. That said, in this guide, I am going to elaborate further on how to stay safe always.
What is COVID-19 Coronavirus?
Since COVID-19 Coronavirus is enveloped, it may include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle-Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), Wuhan Coronavirus (Novel Coronavirus), etc. And as can be seen, a Coronavirus (CoV) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus.
And with this in mind, there was a recent outbreak (epidemic) of COVID-19 Coronavirus or rather Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The new virus has been called Wuhan Virus, Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan Seafood Market Pneumonia Virus, and 2019 nCoV.
Particularly, first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market.
Suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets.
At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. After all, the latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.
But, it is important to realize, some types of them are serious, though. So far, about 858 people have died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Surprisingly, which first appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. And then in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
And by all means, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. Though it was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, it has since spread to several other countries. Including the United States.
Most people infected with MERS-CoV developed severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Not to mention, many of them have died.
Which are COVID-19 Coronavirus Misconceptions?
As a result of the outbreak of a new COVID-19 Coronavirus, the virus has now infected more than 80,000 globally. Killing at least 2,700 and infections have been reported in at least 15 other countries.
But not only has the virus spread, so too has the misinformation surrounding it. Numerous conspiracies have appeared since the outbreak – not to mention dubious health advice.
The jmexclusives monitoring team has been taking a look at where these have all come from. And here are just but a few mentions;
1. False health advice
As the death toll from the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak continues to rise, social-media users have been sharing advice on ways to treat or prevent the disease. But, at least some of the tips have proved to be misleading or false.
One such claim – shared 16,000 times on Facebook – advises users in the Philippines to “keep your throat moist“, “avoid spicy food” and “load up on vitamin C.” In order to prevent the disease. But, it does not match the advice on the DOH website or its official press releases on the outbreak.
Journalists and fact-checkers have found posts with identical or slightly altered wording – said to be from local health authorities. They’re also being circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp in Canada, Pakistan, and India.
As was the case with the Philippines, the advice does not match the information provided by health officials in those countries. Another unsubstantiated claim shared online suggests avoiding cold or preserved food and drinks. Such as ice cream and milkshakes, for “at least 90 days“.
One of the first to share this advice was a Facebook page called ForChange. Accompanied by a video post of a parasite being removed from the lips of a person. Suggesting the procedure was somehow related to the new coronavirus.
But, as Altnews fact-checkers pointed out, the video is, in fact, three months old and unrelated to the virus. Facebook has since marked the ForChange post as “false information” but dozens of identical messages are still being circulated on the platform.
The World Health Organization‘s official advice for the public on the new COVID-19 Coronavirus suggests only avoiding consuming “raw or undercooked animal products”.
There is currently no vaccine against the virus but standard recommendations to prevent infections apply.
- regular hand washing
- covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing or, failing that, with the crook of your arm
- thoroughly cooking meat and eggs
- avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing or fever
2. Bat Soup Videos
From the very beginning, people speculated online about the origin of the coronavirus. One such clip shows a smiling Chinese woman holding a cooked bat on camera, before admitting it tastes “like chicken meat”. The video prompted outrage online, with some users blaming Chinese eating habits for the outbreak.
Originally filmed in 2016, it shows popular blogger and travel show host Mengyun Wang during a trip to Palau, an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. The clip resurfaced on social media after cases of the new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan late last year.
Following an online backlash, Ms. Wang (as per her apology) stated that she was “just trying to introduce the life of local people” to the audience and had not known that bats could be a virus carrier.
Although bats have been named in recent research from China as a possible source of the virus, bat soup is not particularly commonplace in the country. And the investigations into its exact origins continue.
3. A ‘planned’ COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak
As the United States reported its first case of the coronavirus, several patent documents started to circulate on Twitter and Facebook. That at first glance appears to suggest experts have been aware of the virus for years. One of the first users to float these allegations was a conspiracy theorist and YouTuber Jordan Sather.
In a lengthy thread that has been retweeted thousands of times, he shared a link to a 2015 patent. Filed by the Pirbright Institute in Surrey, England. That talks about developing a weakened version of coronavirus. For potential use as a vaccine to prevent or treat respiratory diseases.
Sather used the fact that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a donor to both Pirbright and vaccine development.
Suggesting that the current outbreak virus has somehow been deliberately manufactured. To attract funding for the development of a vaccine.
“And how much funding has the Gates Foundation given to vaccine programs throughout the years? But, Pirbright’s patent is not for the new COVID-19 Coronavirus. Instead, it covers the avian infectious bronchitis virus, a member of the wider coronavirus family that infects poultry.
As for the speculation about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pirbright spokeswoman Teresa Maughan told Buzzfeed News that the institute’s particular work with the infectious bronchitis virus was not funded by this foundation.
4. The New World ‘Bioweapon’ Conspiracies
Another baseless claim that has gone viral online suggests the virus was part of China’s “covert biological weapons program” and may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Many accounts pushing the theory cite two widely-shared Washington Times articles both of which quote a former Israeli military intelligence officer for the claim.
However, no evidence is provided for the claim in the two articles. And the Israeli source (as quoted) says that “so far, there isn’t evidence or indication” suggesting a leak.
5. Unidentified ‘Spy Team’
Another claim inaccurately linked the virus to the suspension of a researcher at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory.
Virologist Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband and some of her students from China were removed from the lab following a possible “policy breach,” according to a report by Canada’s national broadcaster CBC last year. Police told CBC News there was “no threat to public safety”.
Another report said Dr.Xiangguo Qiu had visited the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences twice a year for two years.
A tweet with more than 12,000 retweets and 13,000 likes – claimed without evidence that Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband were a “spy team“, had sent “pathogens to the Wuhan facility”, and that her husband “specialized in coronavirus research”.
6. The ‘Wuhan Nurse Viral Video’
Different versions of a “whistleblower” video, alleged to have been taken by a “doctor” or a “nurse” in Hubei province, have racked up a million views on various social media platforms and mentioned in numerous online reports.
According to the English subtitles, the woman is a nurse in a Wuhan hospital. However, she does not claim to be either a nurse or a doctor in the video at all. This seems to be merely an assumption on the part of those who have uploaded various versions of the video to social media.
The woman, who does not identify herself, is wearing a protective suit in an unknown location. However, her suit and mask do not match the ones worn by medical staff in Hubei.
Due to a lockdown, it is difficult to verify videos from the province. But she makes a number of unsubstantiated claims about the virus, making it unlikely for her to be a nurse or a paramedic.
She also claims the virus has a “second mutation”, which can infect up to 14 people. But the World Health Organization has preliminarily estimated the number of infections an individual carrying the virus can cause is 1.4 to 2.5
“She doesn’t sound like someone from [a] medical professional background,” Muyi Xiao, a Wuhan native and the visuals editor for the ChinaFile online magazine, told the BBC.
Although the exact location of the video is unknown, it is likely that the woman is a Hubei resident sharing her personal opinion about the outbreak.
“I think there is [a] possibility that she thinks she is telling the truth. Because no one knows the truth,” Badiucao, a Chinese political activist currently based in Australia, told the BBC.
“No transparency [has] just left people guessing and panicking.”
What are the Best COVID-19 Coronavirus measures?
But, before that, it is worth noting that registrations for the meeting are at a good level and continue to grow in line with expectations. My policy regarding the risk to health posed by COVID-19 Coronavirus is that I will follow public health guidelines.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority.
COVID-19 is still affecting most people in China with some outbreaks in other countries.
Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
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