Coronavirus Know Transmission, Symptoms, Preventive measures

NYTIMES: Health workers disinfect a residence in Ruichang, China, a city in Jiangxi Province. A coronavirus outbreak that has left more than 100 people dead began in the neighboring province of Hubei. Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Emerging and reemerging pathogens are global challenges for public health. Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped RNA viruses that are distributed broadly among humans, other mammals and birds and cause respiratory, enteric, hepatic and neurologic diseases.  are the largest group of viruses belonging to the Nidovirales order, which includes Coronaviridae, Arteriviridae, and Roniviridae families. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).   

On 31st December 2019, WHO was notified of several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China.  The virus was new, no one knew what was it. As the etiology of the virus was unknown the treatment becomes impossible. But with all the expertise around, on January 7th  2020, Chinese authorities confirmed that the new virus was a coronavirus. The virus was named as “2019-nCoV for a temporary period of time.

Later the official name had been announced for the disease that is coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)


To complicate matters further, it’s hard to say how easily the new coronavirus spreads. Can transmission take place before the onset of symptoms? (Measles, one of the most contagious diseases on Earth, is infectious two to four days beforehand.) Do people who never become symptomatic nonetheless spread the disease? Do symptomatic people become less contagious over time, like SARS, or is it like Ebola, which becomes increasingly contagious as the disease progresses? These are all unanswered questions. Its important to note that person to person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. 

The virus infections were linked to live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person.

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, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. Like its siblings SARS and MERS, the new coronavirus causes pneumonia—the infection of one or both lungs.

As per March 15, Globally there were 153517 confirmed cases with 5735 deaths from the virus with 129 countries, areas or territories having cases. Maximum cases in China with 81048 confirmed cases and 3204 deaths. 

How does it spread? 

Human coronaviruses usually spread from an infected person to others through

·        The air by coughing and sneezing

·        Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

·        Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

·        Very rarely through feces (poop)


Symptoms include as similar as in respiratory illness. Major symptoms are Fever, Cough, shortness of breath, runny nose. CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. 

Preventive measures to follow:

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. These everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are very important they include:

·        Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·        Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

·        Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·        Stay home when you are sick.

·        Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

·        Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Confirmed cases and total deaths due to coronavirus




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