Latest reports from Chinese authorities have said that the novel Coronavirus have claimed 212 lives and 9692 cases of Coronavirus infection have been confirmed.
The Coronavirus are a group of viruses that is said to cause diseases in mammals and birds. Coronavirus is said to have discovered in 1960, but it is said that scientists didn’t know where it came from. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections, which are typically mild including the common cold but rarer forms like very severe acute respiratory syndrome, –that had caused SARS in 2002-2003 in the Chinese mainland which claimed 800 lives- also can occur.
In early January this year, WHO have identified this new type of virus as ” 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019- nCov)” in China”. This particular virus got this name Corona from the shape which resembled a crown.
This new novel Coronavirus is said to be more deadly than the previous viruses even though some are found to be mild for which signs and symptoms disappears 3-5 days afterwards.
The novel Coronavirus ,which is causing havoc, have claimed 212 lives and have now reached more than 15 countries of the world. It first started out in the Wuhan province of Hubei in China in December last year.
This Coronavirus which usually infects the upper respiratory areas such as nose and throat can go down to the lower respiratory tract and can cause pnuemonia which can be fatal and can also thereafter spread to the kidneys leading to failure of kidneys if not detected and treated early.
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) can affect both animals and humans. They spread in the same way as other cold viruses. This airborne infective virus can also easily spread through contact such as handshake, body surface, through infected fists, and also through infected animals.
No antibiotic acts on these viruses and till now there has been no vaccine for this coronavirus. To keep one-selves safe, the same precaution to avoid common cold should be taken.
It is recommended that one should wash the hands after coughing and sneezing as well as after we prepare food. Washing of hands as often as possible using warm water and soap or alcohol based sanitizer is advised.
And in case of uncontrolled runny nose, severe cough, sore throat, fever seek doctor’s advice.Remember that Coronavirus spreads the same way as other cold causing viruses. Stay safe, Stay protected.
The writer is a medical doctor, public health specialist, former Chief Medical Officer of Imphal West and now works as resident doctor in Meghalaya for Karuna Trusts.