With the virus outbreak having affected almost every nation, you will be surprised to know that this isn't the first time the world has been hit with the virus Corona. Prior to the current outbreak of Corona, the world has been hit with two different classes, namely Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) & Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) of the same virus family, since the year 2002. Both the viruses have together been reportedly claimed more than 1500 lives in China & Jordan.
Presently, the world is struggling from Corona Virus i.e, COVID-19
How Coronavirus Started
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms. How it all started? What is the source of the virus? Researchers believe the source to be "wet markets" in the Wuhan district of China.
The wet market is a place where animals are sold both dead & alive, including fish & birds. The virus is easy to spread at such kind of places due to the absence of proper hygiene as live animals are kept & butchered on site.
But the major question is how the animals got infected? Researchers believe the original host is Bat. Though Bats are not sold in markets, but researchers have a common belief that Bats may have transmitted the virus to the other animals which are sold in the market.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The symptoms are pretty much similar to other types of respiratory diseases like flu & the common cold. Patients experience cough, high temperature, shortness of breath. If there's a delay in attending to the patient, he/she will suffer severe pneumonia thereafter a multi-organ failure, which leads to death. Symptoms are thought to appear between two and 10 days after contracting the virus, but it may be up to 24 days.
Number of Countries Affected
China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, USA, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, San Marino & India are the countries where confirmed cases of the virus have been reported. The virus is highly airborne & spreads from mere contact with a patient, which has lead to its global outbreak
Number of Reported Death
Out of the 80,270 confirmed cases 2,981 deaths have been reported in China itself. Around the world, there have been 12,888 cases & 220 deaths have been reported.
Coronavirus effect In India
There have been 3 new corona virus-positive cases in India - 1 in Delhi, 1 in Telangana & 1 in Jaipur, who is an Italian national. The government is under alert & doing everything to prevent the outbreak inside the country.
Every Indian resident who is returning from the infected countries is being kept under watch. In Noida (New Delhi), government-issued advisories to the school authorities to keep the schools shut, fearing the spread of the virus. School authorities also requested the parents to keep their wards at home if they show cough or flu symptoms.
How Can You Keep Yourself Safe / How to prevent coronavirus
Amidst all this tension, you need to understand the nature of the virus & how it spreads.
The virus spreads in a similar way to flu or the common cold, in large droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Germs can live on surfaces for several hours. Like cold and flu bugs, the new virus is spread via droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The droplets land on surfaces and are picked up on the hands of others and spread further. People catch the virus when they touch their infected hands to their mouth, nose or eyes.
To keep yourself safe
- Carry a hand sanitizer with you to make frequent cleaning of hands easy
- Always wash your hands before you eat
- Be especially careful about touching things and then touching your face in busy airports and other public transport systems
- Carry disposable tissues with you, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the tissue carefully (catch it, bin it, kill it)
- Do not share snacks from packets or bowls that others are dipping their fingers into
- Avoid shaking hands or cheek kissing if you suspect viruses are circulating
- Regularly clean not only your hands but also commonly used surfaces and devices you touch or handle.