Coronaviruses are not an unknown virus family for doctors and researchers. There are hundreds of known corona viruses that cause various diseases in animals and humans the Novel Coronavirus is one of them. The corona viruses are large, round viruses, the shell of which looks like a crown under the electron microscope.
Depending on the virus, coronavirus typically lead to mild cold symptoms or severe pneumonia. The Novel coronavirus newly identified in 2019 bears the scientific name 2019-nCoV. In the past, serious diseases caused by coronaviruses such as SARS or MERS were less easily communicable than influenza, but they have nevertheless led to major outbreaks, sometimes in hospitals like 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease.
2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease
This new virus has the official name SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV). The serious lung disease appeared for the first time with the now official name “Covid-19” in mid-December in the city of Wuhan (central China).
It is one of several hundred different viruses that belong to the corona virus family. Many of these viruses are often only responsible for mild colds.
Not much is known about the cause of the disease, except that the novel virus probably came from an animal in a market in Wuhan. It was then transmitted to a human before the virus adapted to the new host and human-to-human transmission became possible.
Since then, it has spread from person to person. The main source of disease nCoV-2019 is fish market in the Chinese city Wuhan, where wild animals were also offered.
Infection with the novel coronavirus leading to symptoms such as:
- Dry Cough
- Runny nose and fatigue as well as breathing problems.
- Sore throat
- Headache and body aches and chills.
Some sufferers experience nausea and diarrhea. These symptoms can also occur with flu. It is common for people to be infected with the virus but have not yet developed any symptoms. The course of nCoV-2019 varies widely, from asymptomatic courses to pneumonia which may lead to lung failure and death.
The new SARS-CoV-2 viruses multiply in the throat – just like the flu viruses. The pathogen infects cells of the lower respiratory tract in particular and can thus cause pneumonia. Some infected with the pathogen only suffer from mild cold symptoms with chills and a sore throat. Headaches or diarrhea are also possible. Fever does not always occur.
According to the WHO, around 80 percent of cases are mild. This is also observed by the Chinese health authority. However, about 14 percent of patients experience severe symptoms such as shortness of breath. Covid-19 has a life-threatening effect on almost five percent. The lung disease then leads to respiratory arrest, septic shock or multi-organ failure. The WHO states that children are only rarely affected.
The initial assumption that the virus can only be transmitted by people who are already showing symptoms has long been refuted. The transmission takes place according to previous knowledge about droplet and smear infection:
- To Cough
- Shaking Hands
- Normal Exhaled Air
So far it is known that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is spread by droplet infection, for example when coughing or speaking. It is also suspected that the pathogen can also be detected in normal exhaled air.
The incubation period, i.e. the time between the infection and the appearance of symptoms, is a very important factor. It is possible that people can already pass on the pathogen during the incubation period, but do not yet notice any signs of the disease.
According to the WHO, the incubation time for the new coronavirus is probably between 2 and 10 days. In some people, the disease also has a very mild course, with almost no symptoms. So these people could infect others unconsciously.
How are those affected treated if the novel corona virus has been detected in the laboratory? The answer is simple: there is no effective treatment. Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot be combated with antibiotics. Virus-inhibiting agents only have to be tried with this special virus and are generally not able to completely kill viruses. They only inhibit growth or support the body’s immune system.
Treatments are primarily aimed at symptoms, for example by relieving cough or lowering fever. Viruses make the lungs more susceptible to infection with bacteria, a so-called secondary infection. However, these are rare and only associated with the most severe course of the disease.
If more cases are reported in our immediate vicinity, the same precautions apply as are recommended for the flu:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly or (if there is no sink nearby) disinfect them. In general, only hand disinfectants have a virucidal effect.
- Avoid crowds.
- When sneezing or coughing, hold a tissue or the elbow in front of your face.
- A special mouthguard (masks) protects other people from infection. You should wear it if you have a cough or runny nose. However, you cannot reliably protect yourself from infection with a mouthguard (however, the risk of a droplet infection can be reduced).
- Avoid contact with sick people. The general rule is: pay attention to your lifestyle to strengthen your immune system.
- Exercise in nature, a balanced diet , stress reduction and adequate sleep support your immune system.
In order to protect yourself from being infected with the 2019-nCoV pathogen, you would need to know who is infected. Thorough hand hygiene and a disinfectant spray are helpful.
Help or Hotline
Anyone who thinks they have been infected with the corona virus should not go straight to a doctor, but first seek advice on the phone or on the Internet. Many federal and state ministries have compiled comprehensive information on the corona virus on their websites. Hotlines for telephone questions have also been set up in Pakistan.
For details and queries about Novel Coronavirus you can contact with the Government of Pakistan Ministry Of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination via following details.
- Helpline: 1166
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://nhsrc.gov.pk/