Abigail BanerjiJanuary 22, 2020 17:44:11
Coronavirus is a new virus that started in China and now threatens to become a global epidemic. Although the immediate risk of contamination is low, the situation can change at any time. The virus was first released in December and has accumulated a death toll of nine people so far. However, the number of infected people steadily increases with each passing day.
About the virus and its origin
O Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause many mild to severe illnesses. It is the cousin of the most popular Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Respiratory Syndrome in the Middle East (MERS). These viruses mainly affect animals and do not spread to humans. However, there are seven strains of this virus that can affect humans. Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the condition can progress to pneumonia, kidney failure and even death. For now, there are no vaccine for the new virus.
🔹What is a #coronavirus ?
Where are they from?
🔹 How can I protect myself?Advertisement
– WHO Jordan (@WHOJordan) January 22, 2020
The virus should have originated at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan province, China, as many of the infected individuals worked or visited this area. WHO and Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease and Control, said an animal is probably the main source of the outbreak but they did not find the animal in question. About 62 cases of the coronavirus have been identified in the city of Wuhan.
"All six coronaviruses known to humans, including the one that caused severe acute respiratory disease, originated from wild mammals," said Gao in a report in China Daily.
After the connection between the epidemic and the market, the authorities close the market to contain the spread.
A new coronavirus in China that killed nine people is adapting and changing, highlighting the challenges for health officials in controlling the outbreak https://t.co/0dZLq8R433 pic.twitter.com/fXjaMvpLU0
– Reuters (@Reuters) January 22, 2020
Gao said the virus is constantly adapting and mutating which makes controlling the outbreak a challenge for the authorities.
Some of the infected patients, who denied visiting the market, contracted the disease from others who had visited the zero point. The virus can spread through human-human contact and it can also spread via respiratory transmission.
Wuhan city officials released information about a couple who contracted the virus. The husband, who became ill first, worked in the market, but the wife denied any exposure to the place. Some medical professionals, such as nurses and doctors, who treat the infected also reported that they were infected. So far, fifteen medical professionals have been infected.
What is China doing to contain the outbreak?
The Chinese government does not wish to repeat the performance of the SARS epidemic that occurred in 2002-2003. It started in mainland China and spread across the world, killing about 774 people and infecting 8,098 in 37 countries. Later, the origin of the virus was attributed to horseshoe bats that inhabit caves in southern China's Yunnan province.
This time, China is doing its best to reduce it in the bud and contain the spread of the virus, especially as there is an increase in travel, both at home and abroad, as is the Lunar New Year holiday.
With more than 440 cases of pneumonia reported (at the time of publication of this article), a report in China Daily tells us that the country is adhering to early discovery, diagnosis, treatment and quarantine strategy, to control the outbreak. The country's CDC says the outbreak can be reversed if the right measures are taken to control it now.
"We identified the new Coronavirus just two weeks after the outbreak was reported, and we have very good virus monitoring and quarantine measures, "said Zhong Nanshan, head of a team organized by the National Health Commission and a specialist in respiratory diseases, in an interview with China Daily. "I believe the outbreak will have no impact on society and the economy that SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) caused 17 years ago."
China has a three-tier system that classifies the severity of the epidemic. Currently, coronavirus is classified as class B. However, the death of a fourth person in China has intensified preventive measures in the country for category A.
Public meetings in Hubei province are being discouraged to prevent the spread. Chinese airlines are offering passengers – prevented from leaving Wuhan, Hubei provinces – full refund for your tickets. The Hong Kong airline crew Cathay Pacific Airways is being instructed to wear masks while operating in mainland China to protect themselves against the virus. They also allow passengers to change or cancel their flights, free of charge, until February 15.
O demand for masks increased tenfold in China due to the outbreak of the virus. Online suppliers, like Taobao and JD, have been pulled from their inventory for the masks. Other medical delivery services have also seen an increase.
India's response to the virus
With the uncertainty surrounding the virus and caution, the Health Secretary of the Union of India asked the states and territories of the Union to “review their preparation, identify gaps and strengthen key capacities in the area of surveillance, laboratory support and, in particular , hospital preparation in terms of isolation and ventilatory treatment of patients with severe respiratory disease. "
The Health Organizations at Delhi Airport, Mumbai and Calcutta have posted signs in important locations, informing the public about self-reported diseases. Hospitals connected to these airports have been reviewed for the provision of isolation and intensive care facilities, according to the statement.
According PTI, the National Institute of Virology in Pune, ready to test samples of the virus and 10 other laboratories from the Indian Medical Research Council's viral research and diagnostic laboratory network are also equipped for the test.
The Ministry of Health requested the details of people who applied for Indian visas since December 31st.
"The Ministry of Health also wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide details of travelers from the city of Wuhan who applied for a visa to travel to India since December 31 and to advise applicants when issuing the visa. They were also asked to provide As for the electronic visa issue, the Ministry of Internal Administration is being approached ", said the statement.
India issued a travel notice to its citizens visiting China after a second person died of the virus.
The statement said, "An infection with a new coronavirus has been reported in China. As of January 11, 2020, 41 confirmed cases have been reported so far."
International response to the outbreak
Cases of people infected with the virus are emerging in countries outside of China. They all have one thing in common: they recently visited the country.
South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said they have identified a 35-year-old woman with the virus. She flew from Wuhan, China, to South Korea's Incheon International airport on Sunday, January 19 and was isolated on arrival.
On January 8, a traveler from Wuhan was identified by Thai authorities contracted the disease and were hospitalized. The person has been hospitalized and is recovering from the disease.
Japan also reported a case of the virus. A person who traveled to Wuhan province contracted a fever on 3 January. Although he did not visit any of the zero-point areas of the virus, he was in contact with a person who had pneumonia. He was discharged after being treated for the virus.
THE Indian teacher, resident in China, also contracted the virus. She is being treated in the intensive care unit and is currently on a ventilator. Doctors said she could take a long time to recover.
On January 18, officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they start tracking travelers from China Wuhan city. They take temperatures and ask about passenger symptoms at five airports – Kennedy Airport in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco.
On January 20, a man from Washington State was diagnosed with the virus after traveling to China, his hometown. He is the first American victim to contract the disease and it is reported that he is in a "satisfactory condition", according to Reuters. CDC officials are also tracking who contacted the man to check for symptoms. However, they found no additional patients.
According AP, Dr. Martin Cetron, of the CDC, said: "So far, the risk to the American public is considered low, but the CDC wants to be prepared and is taking precautions."
Other Asian countries are also beginning to screen travelers for the virus from China.
The World Health Organization tweeted that it called an emergency meeting. A panel of experts, Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus and representatives of countries affected by the virus will meet on Wednesday, January 22, to determine "whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international interest" and how it should be managed .
The Emergency Committee on the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will check whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international interest and what recommendations should be made to manage it pic.twitter.com/dFpOkM0CSN
– World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 20, 2020
AN public health crisis is generally declared for epidemics As they are very severe and can cross international borders, they usually need international cooperation. On previous occasions, global emergencies have been declared for crises, including the current Ebola outbreak in Congo, the emergence of the Zika virus in the Americas in 2016 and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said the Chinese share information about pneumonia caused by the virus, according to a report in China Daily.
WHO has published a guide for all countries follow how they can prepare in the event of an outbreak and how to monitor, care for and control the spread of that virus.
The health organization also stated that there are there is no need to restrict travel, yet, since the risk of spreading the virus is low.
More information will be made available after the meeting.
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