Coronavirus is the biggest new medical threat in the world. The epicentre of the epidemic appears to be Wuhan in China. A total of 56 deaths have been reported there and more than 688 confirmed cases of infection, at least till the time of publishing this report. That brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1,975. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
The virus is mutating because of the cold weather condition prevailing in China.
Are you in danger of catching coronavirus? Here's how you find out
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others have evolved into more severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS, although so far the new virus does not appear to be nearly as deadly or contagious.
Almost 2,000 cases of a new viral respiratory illness have been confirmed since an outbreak began last month in China. India has not seen any outbreak like situation but it is increasingly becoming necessary to be prepared against any possible infection.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Coronavirus symptoms are almost similar to any other upper respiratory infections that include runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever so it becomes a bit difficult to identify the virus. You should immediately get a lab test done to identify if its a regular case of cough and cold or you are infected by a coronavirus.
Coronavirus: Am I at risk?
Not now, as India has not seen any outbreak like situation but it is better to be prepared against any possible infection. There are lots of different coronaviruses that group into three types. The common cold can be caused by both alpha and beta coronaviruses.
What’s the big concern with coronavirus?
For the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, there is no vaccine, and we’re lacking a specific therapy. So it is key to limit spread through quarantine of infected individuals and by tracing of contacts.
Coronavirus: Do the deaths appear to be among people of a certain age?
Many who died because of coronavirus in China, were aged 80 or over with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Two were in their seventies, five in their sixties and one in his fifties. The youngest was a 36-year-old man and the oldest were two 88-year-old men.
How can I stay safe from coronavirus?
First of all, you need not be concerned about catching this right now. Practice the same precautions that you would to prevent catching a cold. Viruses that cause the common cold are on surfaces of handrails and doorknobs.
Human coronaviruses cannot be cultivated in the laboratory easily, unlike the rhinovirus, another cause of the common cold. This makes it difficult to gauge the coronavirus' impact on national economies and public health.
There is no cure, so treatments include taking care of yourself and over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Follow these steps to protect yourself from coronavirus:
1. Wash your hands: This may seem too simple but it can go a long way in protecting you. Just washing your hands can reduce 33% of communicable illnesses. Take care that you wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds at least.
2. Wear a mask. Avoid close contact with anyone with a cough or flu. Fever, cough and respiratory problems have been identified as early symptoms of coronavirus.
3. Use a tissue to sneeze into. Discard it and use a new one. If you don't have tissues, use your hands to protect others. Wash/sanitise your hands.
4. Coronavirus is suspected to have transmitted to humans from animals. Avoid contact with animals in market areas, especially those where such a virus has been detected.
5. If you are a non-vegetarian. Cook the meat properly and fully. Raw meat is a high-risk food item that may prove to be a vehicle for coronavirus.
6. Rest and avoid overexertion.
7. Drink enough water.
8. Avoid smoking and smoky areas.
9. Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and fever.
10. Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.