Unlike the new Novel Coronavirus, the main Coronavirus was first identified in the 1960s, but to date, we still don’t know where it comes from. Whereby, it gets its name from its crown-like shape. Sometimes, but not often, a coronavirus can infect both animals and humans. And having said that, on 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus.
However, this raised concerns because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people. One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. And in that case, the new virus is a Novel Coronavirus. For your information, Coronavirus is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and other viruses.
Such as SARS and MERS. Eventually, this new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.” Also known as COVID-19, it affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization. Most people who fall sick will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment.
However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Having said that, in order to fully understand how it really works, we’ll need to look at the role of viruses in our body first.
What Are Viruses?
By definition, A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Equally important, viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms. Including bacteria and archaea. Specifically, a special hormone called interferon is produced by the body when viruses are present.
And this stops the viruses from reproducing by killing the infected cell and its close neighbors. Inside cells, there are enzymes that destroy the RNA of viruses. Some blood cells engulf and destroy other virus-infected cells. Approaches to treat or prevent viral infections exist, but to cure. Whereas an existing infection of this type means permanently altering the viral DNA
Usually, the viral DNA is hidden in human cells. However, “These treatments cause the viruses to go latent or silent. But they don’t remove the virus from your body. Furthermore, another possible treatment depends on the type of virus causing the infection. The effects will last as long as the virus affects the body. Most viral infections last from several days to 2 weeks.
Mononucleosis may last longer. With this in mind, there was a recent outbreak (epidemic) of Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The new virus has been called Wuhan Virus, Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan Seafood Market Pneumonia Virus, and 2019 nCoV.
For more news and updates on the same, therefore, stay up to date (on this blog) or even frequently keep checking the website of the World Health Organization. But, what is Coronavirus really? Well, by definition, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has seen a worldwide pandemic spree.
To enumerate, COVID-19 is defined as an illness caused by a novel coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It was initially reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019.
What The Novel Coronavirus Is All About
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols. You can be infected by breathing in the virus.
That’s if you are near someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus spreads more easily indoors and in crowded settings. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. As can be seen, from the video below, a Coronavirus (CoV) is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus.
Please note, that the information in this video is for educational purposes only, and not to provide medical advice. And if you have any symptoms, please talk to your doctor. That aside, most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms. Luckily, they may recover without special treatment.
However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. But, this is not always a cause for any alarm. Surprisingly, most Coronaviruses are enveloped: Whereby, they include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Wuhan Coronavirus (Novel Coronavirus), etc.
In 2019, illness from SARS-CoV-2 was termed COVID-19 by the WHO, the acronym derived from “coronavirus disease.” The name was chosen to avoid stigmatizing the virus’s origins in terms of populations, geography, or animal associations. On February 11, 2020, the Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses issued a statement.
Whilst, announcing an official designation for the novel virus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). According to WHO, the new Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a Coronavirus) that cause an outbreak of respiratory illness. Particularly, its first case was 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 that there is a possibility of a wide spread between animal-to-person contact. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets. Indicating person-to-person spread is occurring quite rapidly.
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’s important to realize, that some types of them are serious, though.
So far, due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), about roughly 858+ people have already died. Suffice to say, which first appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. And then in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. 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 illnesses, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Not to mention, many of them have died.
Consider the following quick notes:
- Countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula that have reports on MERS include: Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen.
- Countries outside of the Arabian Peninsula with travel-risks associated with MERS include: Algeria, Austria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, The Republic of Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA).
Even when a coronavirus causes MERS or SARS in other countries, the kind of coronavirus infection common in the U.S. isn’t a serious threat to an otherwise healthy adult. Basically, the new Novel Coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. But, most coronaviruses are not dangerous.
On the same note, the CDC had postulated that large numbers of patients could require medical care concurrently, resulting in overloaded public health and healthcare systems and, potentially, elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths.
Additionally, it advised that Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) are the most important response strategy. More so, in terms of delaying viral spread and reducing disease impact. Unfortunately, these concerns have been proven accurate.
The Main Novel Coronavirus Notable Symptoms
First, the symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection. Including running nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won’t even know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.
Secondly, you could get lab tests, including a nose or throat swab culture and blood work, to find out whether your cold was caused by a coronavirus. But, there’s no reason to. The test results wouldn’t change how you treat your symptoms, which typically go away in a few days.
Lastly, if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia. Especially, in regards to older people, people with heart disease, or people with weakened immune systems as well. So, what should you do about the Novel Coronavirus?
Simply put, because this is a coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advised people on that. In general, on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease. In April 2014, the first American was hospitalized for MERS in Indiana and another case was reported in Florida. Both had just returned from Saudi Arabia.
In May 2015, there was an outbreak of MERS in Korea, which was the largest outbreak outside of the Arabian Peninsula. However, in 2003, 774 people died from a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. As of 2015, there were no further reports of cases of SARS. Where MERS and SARS are some of the common types of coronaviruses.
But, is there a cure for Coronavirus? Well, most coronaviruses spread the same way other cold-causing viruses do (meaning, through infected people coughing and sneezing). Or even, by touching an infected person’s hands or face. As well as, by touching things such as doorknobs that infected people have touched.
What To Do If You Feel Unwell — Plus Some Safety Steps
One thing is for sure, if you feel unwell, there are a few things that you can do. For example, if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately. Call by telephone first and follow the directions of your local health authority. Equally important, it’s also advisable that you know the full range of the COVID-19 symptoms.
Keeping in mind, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, tiredness, and loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include aches and pains, headache, sore throat, etc. As well as red or irritated eyes, diarrhea, and a skin rash or even discoloration of fingers or toes. Always remember, almost everyone can get a Coronavirus infection.
At least once in their life, most likely as a young child. And for instance, in the United States, coronaviruses are more common in the fall and winter. But, anyone can come down with a coronavirus infection at any time. Currently, there is no vaccine for coronavirus but there are a few things you can do. For instance, to help prevent flu infection, there are similar things to do.
Specifically, just like when trying to avoid the common cold. On the other side, just the same ways you treat a common cold, you can use the same measures to manage it. You should also try and keep yourself and others safe at all times. And then, the next thing is to make sure that you get the COVID-19 Vaccine. Below are the other safety steps you should take.
Safety Step #1: Prevent/Manage Any Infections
Technically, the first step, in this case, is to keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources. Such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Local and national authorities and public health units are best placed here — to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
On the other hand, if you are suspicious, try to stay home and self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset — plus three days after symptoms cease. Call your health care provider or hotline for advice. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house or have someone near you, wear a properly fitted mask to avoid infecting others.
Make sure that you also drink enough fluids or water and get plenty of rest. And, if need be, take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever. You should also wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And also, keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
And also, as I aforementioned, using a humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat. But of course, if you get sick, treat your symptoms and contact a doctor if they get worse or don’t go away. But also, don’t give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead.
Safety Step #2: Protect Yourself And Those Around
Similarly, the first thing here is to avoid close interactions/contact in crowded places. Keep a physical distance of at least 1 meter from others, even if they don’t appear to be sick. Wear a properly fitted mask when physical distancing is not possible and in poorly ventilated settings. Clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of used tissues immediately and clean hands regularly. If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate until you recover. Get vaccinated as soon as it’s your turn and follow the vaccination guides. And, avoid close contact with people who are infected.
In addition, you should also make sure that you properly wear your face mask, especially, in public or crowded places. Always, make sure that you clean your hands before you put your mask on. As well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time. However, make sure that you don’t use masks with valves.
Not forgetting, when you take off your mask, store it in a clean plastic bag. And then again, make sure that every day you wash it thoroughly — that’s if it’s a fabric mask. Or rather, dispose of it in a trash bin if it’s a medical mask. Even the CDC advises the use of simple face mask coverings to slow the spread of Coronavirus always.
As well as to help people who may have COVID-19 and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Safety Step #3: Make Your Environment More Safe
Of course, the risks of getting COVID-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. Most outbreak reports point to places where people are gathering in masses. Often in crowded indoor settings and where they talk loudly, shout, breathe heavily, or sing.
Such as restaurants, choir practices, fitness classes, nightclubs, offices, and places of worship. That said, to make your environment as safe as possible: One, avoid the 3Cs: spaces that are Closed, Crowded, or involve Close contact. Two, only meet people outside: Bear in mind, that outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings in this case.
Particularly, that’s if indoor spaces are small and without outdoor air coming in. If you can’t avoid crowded or indoor settings, take these precautions: First, sit close to an open window: More so, to increase the amount of natural ventilation when indoors. Secondly, wear a face mask always: Whereas you can consider the above face mask tips to guide you.
Safety Step #4: Keep Good Hygiene For Overall Wellness
By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses that cause colds, flu, and COVID-19. To ensure good hygiene you should: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with either an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. This eliminates germs that may be on your hands, including viruses.
Likewise, clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, especially those which are regularly touched, such as door handles, faucets, and phone screens. You should also cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. And then, dispose of the used tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands.
Forthwith, one other way to manage the infection mortality of the Novel Coronavirus is by using a humidifier or steamy shower that can help ease a sore and scratchy throat.
Safety Step #5: Go For A Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine
First of all, the COVID-19 vaccine introduction toolbox equips all countries to prepare for and implement COVID-19 vaccination by providing guidance, tools, and training. This toolbox is intended to support Ministries of Health, health workers, partner organizations, and other stakeholders. However, most governments do not mandate (require) vaccination for people.
Additionally, CDC does not maintain or monitor a person’s vaccination records. Whether a state or local government or employer, for example, can require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of state or another applicable external law icon. Secondly, it’s important to realize, that none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes it.
Meaning, that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with Novel Coronavirus. Vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes, this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. But, these symptoms are normal! And they are signs that our body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Perse, in order to understand how COVID-19 Vaccines work, it helps to first look at how our bodies fight illness. When germs, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. The same case applies to COVID-19, and that’s why it’s important to stay cautious.
Additionally, these Novel Coronavirus vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. In this article, we’ll look into details of how COVID-19 Vaccines work.
The good news is that; the COVID-19 vaccines material never enters the nucleus of the cell — which is where our DNA is kept. Equally important, none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests — which are used to see if you have a current infection.
Fully vaccinated individuals might consider wearing a mask in public indoor areas, regardless of transmission level, if they or someone in their home is immunocompromised, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated (including children younger than 12 years who are ineligible for vaccination).
As a matter of fact, most historic terrifying viruses can be either beneficial (the symbionts) or, at least, harmless (passenger viruses). Wikipedia defines a passenger virus as a “virus that is frequently found in samples from diseased tissue. Such as tumors but, do not contribute to causing the disease.
Molecular biologist Peter H. Duesberg, Ph.D. at the University of California in Berkeley describes passenger viruses as “fossils” of viruses that caused infections long ago and were killed by the immune system. Old pathogenic viruses leave behind fossils, or traces, of their DNA in the cells where they replicated. These fossils play no role, either good or bad. They’re just dead!
On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. And then, on March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, its first such designation since declaring H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009. CDC recommends that persons who are fully vaccinated also wear masks in public indoor settings.
Luckily, among many other NGOs and non-profit bodies, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been working with Chinese authorities and other leading global experts. Especially, from the day of the first information share. In order to learn more about the virus. As well as, how it affects the sick, the best control ways, and how to respond.
Below are more quick facts of what we know so far:
- The human toll: More than 50 people are dead — all in China — as the Wuhan Coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Over 2,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China.
- Global spread: More than 40 confirmed cases have been identified in 13 places outside mainland China. And nearly 60 million people have been affected by Beijing’s attempts to either partially or fully lockdown affected cities.
- Contagious before symptoms: People can spread the virus before symptoms show, China’s health minister said Sunday, which would make it harder to contain.
- ‘Paramount importance’: President Xi Jinping said China is facing a grave situation over the rapidly spreading epidemic of the deadly new coronavirus.
Finally, the feasibility and implications of suppression and mitigation strategies have been rigorously analyzed. And, they are being encouraged or enforced by many governments to slow or halt viral transmission. Population-wide social distancing plus other interventions (eg, home self-isolation, school and business closures) are strongly advised.
Basically, all these policies are a key requirement for long periods of the Novel Coronavirus medical approach — in terms of mitigation, prevention, management, and treatment — and, in particular, to avoid rebound viral transmission. You can see Virology on the basis of evidence regarding emerging variants of concern that we should worry about.
Related Resource: Handwashing | Why Life Is Better With Clean Hands Nowadays
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