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Coronavirus: Types, Symptoms, Facts and Preventions

24 February
2020

Coronavirus: Types, Symptoms, Facts and Preventions

Earlier in January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Coronavirus emerging from China is a global health emergency. For the first time, the cases of this infection were reported in Wuhan, China, earlier in December 2019. Since that time, several cases have been reported in other parts of the world. All those cases related to this infection are related to those individuals who have travelled to China. At present, the WHO and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are monitoring the global epidemic.

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is from a family of viruses that causes an illness that ranges from the common cold to severe diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). The diseases are transmitted between people and animals. The new disease has been termed as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (novel coronavirus), which has not been detected in human beings earlier.

At present, the new rampantly spreading form of coronavirus is spreading from person to person. The disease can be spread by respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. At this point, it is unclear how the disease is spreading and how contagious it actually is. Research is presently ongoing and considering how unknown the disease is, it may take some time.

What Are The Common Symptoms of Coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus can be mild from severe from person to person. Some of the common symptoms faced by patients include difficulty in breathing, respiratory symptom, cough, and fever. In those cases, where the disease has become severe, patients have suffered from kidney failure, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and even death. There is no vaccine available to cure the disease.

Symptoms of Coronavirus include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • exacerbated asthma

Unlike the rhinovirus which is another cause of the common cold, the human coronavirus cannot be cultivated in the laboratory. Thereby, it is now difficult to gauge the impact of coronavirus on public health and economies.

Considering that there is no cure of the Coronavirus, the treatment includes taking over the counter medicines and taking care of yourself. Below are some of the precautionary measures you can take:

  • Make sure to rest and avoid exertion.
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid smoking and smoky areas that can affect your breathing.
  • Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and fever.
  • Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.

To detect the virus, the doctor will simply take a sample of your respiratory fluid such mucus from your nose or blood.

Some Facts on Coronaviruses

  • There is no cure to date for the common cold.
  • A coronavirus can cause both SARS and MERS in patients.
  • Coronavirus has infected many different species.
  • There are seven known human coronaviruses.
  • To date, SARS has spread from China causing infection in 37 countries, approximately killing 774 people.

Types of Coronavirus

There are different types of coronavirus that vary in terms of severity. The extent to which the impact the human life and how far it can spread is subjective. At present, there are seven recognized types of coronavirus that has infected the human race

This include:

  • 229E (alpha coronavirus)
  • NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
  • OC43 (beta coronavirus)
  • HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

The rare and severe form of coronavirus includes MERS-CoV, which can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This is the virus responsible for SARS.

In 2019, a more contagious form of coronavirus has started to circulate, but it does not have any name yet. The health bodies are presently referring it to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov).

Transmission

At this point, there has not been substantial research on how human coronavirus is transmitted from one body to another. However, it is believed that the virus is transmitted using secreted fluids from the respiratory system. Coronaviruses can be spread in the following ways:

  • If the patient coughs or sneezing without covering the mouth. This disperses microscopic droplets into the air, spreading the virus.
  • By touching or shaking hands with a person who has contracted the virus. The virus can transmit from one person to another.
  • Making contact with any surface or object that has the residue of the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Rarely, coronavirus may also spread through contact with feces.

People residing within the United States are more likely to contract the disease during fall or winter. However, the disease is still active all year round. Young individuals are more likely to contract the virus and people are likely to contract more than one infection throughout their lifetime. It is estimated that most people will become infected once in the lifetime with coronavirus.

The coronavirus has mutating ability which thereby makes it extremely contagious.

In order to prevent transmission, it is advised to stay at home and rest if you experience any symptoms. Make sure to avoid human contact. Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing to prevent the virus from spreading. Also ensure that you dispose the tissue and maintain hygiene at all instances.

To prevent transmission, be sure to stay at home and rest while experiencing symptoms and avoid close contact with other people. Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief while coughing or sneezing can also help prevent the spread of a coronavirus. Be sure to dispose of any used tissues and maintain hygiene around the home.

How to Prevent Coronavirus from Spreading?

The CDC and WHO recommends you to take regular precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease:

How to Prevent Coronavirus
  • Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer or wash your hand regularly with soap.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissue or elbow when you cough and sneeze.
  • Dot touch the mouth, eyes or nose if your hands are dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean those surfaces that you come in contact with frequently.
  • Avoid going to public areas, school or work when sick.

The WHO also recommends the steps:

  • Check with your medical expert if you have any symptom including cough, fever, and breathing. Also inform that about any travel recently.
  • Don't eat animal organs or raw meat.
  • If you are going to live market in areas that have been infected by cases of coronavirus. Avoid contact with surfaces and live animal physically.

Considering the current epidemic, it is advised to take adequate precautionary measures. So far, medical experts are not able to come up with a vaccine or treatment to combat the disease. Thereby, the only way to avoid catching the disease is by staying indoors and keeping your mouth covered outdoors.