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All You Need To Know About Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of various viruses clubbed together and surrounded by protein spikes, giving it the appearance of a crown. This gives us the reason why this virus is termed as ‘Corona’ – that looks like a crown. The new coronavirus, widely known as COVID-19 or SARS-COV2, was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. From a mysterious illness to a global pandemic, deadly COVID-19 is now creating turmoil across the world. It is considered a Pandemic disease globally.

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Origin

The source of origination of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is important to contain the infection. Coronaviruses are zoonotic pathogens that started infecting animals and then transmitted to humans through spillover. For example, MERS-CoV or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus, first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012, was transmitted from camels. Similarly, SARS-CoV or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus, first identified in China in 2003, was possibly transmitted through civet cats.

The original animal reservoir of COVID-19 is unknown. However, some researchers have proclaimed that bats are the most likely reservoir of COVID-19, but there are not enough pieces of evidence to prove the fact. 

Symptoms

Let us have a closer look at the symptoms of coronavirus disease. World Health Organization (WHO), have proclaimed that the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  1. Fever

  2. Tiredness

  3. Dry cough, and

  4. Difficulty in breathing (in severe cases)

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    It may take 1 to 14 days of time to develop the symptoms in the person who is already infected with the virus. According to WHO, older people and people with pre-existing medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to experience severe symptoms of COVID-19.

    How it spreads?

    1. Person-to-person

    Coronaviruses can be transmitted from person-to-person. People can catch the infection through respiratory droplets that are released when a person coughs or sneezes. When you come in contact with the infected person, the viruses can make an entry into your body through droplets of saliva or discharge.

     Coronavirus Transmission CentreStep Blog

    1. From touching contaminated surfaces and objects

    The respiratory droplets exhaled by the infected person can land on the surfaces and objects. If you accidentally touch these surfaces and objects and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth with the same hands, you are at higher risk of getting the infection.

    There are also assumptions that COVID-19 can spread through air and feces. However, there are no pieces of evidence yet reported that can claim the facts.

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    Worldwide Effects and Worst Affected Countries

    According to WHO, the coronavirus outbreak has caused 754,947 confirmed cases and 36,571 deaths across the globe until the present. This gives us a clear picture of how critical is the outbreak situation. Many countries have shut down their transportation systems. Millions of people in the world are confined to their homes. Schools, colleges, shops, markets, shopping malls, cinemas, etc. are also closed down.  As reported by the WHO, the worst affected countries are as follows:

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    Economic effects

    The ongoing spread of coronavirus has become the biggest threat to the global economy. Let us discuss them one by one:

    • Affecting the global supply chain

    China’s economy is deeply interwoven with the world’s economy. China’s GDP stands out at 16% of the global total. With all the factories shutting down in China, coronavirus outbreak has extremely affected the supply chains across the globe, because there are various companies in the world that solely rely upon the Chinese factories for different parts and materials.

    • Travel and tourism industry

    In order to combat the spread of infection, several countries have suspended airlines and other domestic transport services. Due to this, the travel and tourism industry of various countries has seen a rapid fall in revenues and employment generation.

    • Hospitality industry

    In order to maintain social distancing, several countries have declared complete lock-down, making it mandatory to close restaurants, hotels, malls, etc. Hotels are left with empty rooms and restaurant bookings have almost collapsed in several countries. Let’s have a look at the fall of reservation in various countries:

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    • Impact on stock markets

    The outbreak has caused a big shift in stock markets, which in turn, has affected many investors who did their investments in pensions or ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts). Nikkei, Dow Jones, and FTSE have already witnessed a huge downfall since the beginning of the outbreak.

    Travel advice

    Following are some advisories on travel that are recommended by WHO:

    • Many countries are setting up multiple screen tests at various locations like airports, railway stations, and bus stands, but it is not an effective way to detect the infected person, as the infected person may be in incubation period (time from catching the infection to the appearance of the symptoms).

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      • Some travelers are using antipyretic (medication used to lower body temperature) to avoid detection through screen tests. Thus, it may not restrict the importation of infected people.

      • It is advised to delay or avoid traveling to affected areas, especially if you are a senior citizen or you are having any existing health problem.

      • Practice social distancing while traveling. Keep a distance of at least one meter from the person who is displaying symptoms.

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      • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand rub.

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      • While sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or paper tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately and properly after use.

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      • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose.

      • Travelers who have returned from affected areas should quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor the symptoms. They should also follow the national protocols of the respected country.

      Myth busters

      Following questions and their answers will help you to bust out some myths related to COVID-19:

      • Can the virus spread in a hot and humid climate?

      Yes. It can spread to all areas, irrespective of the climate.

       Coronavirus Temperature Myth CentreStep Blog

      • Can cold weather and snow kill the virus?

      We all know that the normal human temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, irrespective of the external temperature. Therefore, cold weather and snow cannot destroy the virus. The best way to kill the virus is to clean your hands with soap and water regularly.

      • Can COVID-19 be transmitted through mosquito bites?

      The novel coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. There has been no evidence to date that proves that COVID-19 can be transmitted through mosquito bites.

      Coronavirus Myths CentreStep Blog

      • How effective are thermal scanners?

      Thermal scanners are effective in measuring the body temperature that may have arisen due to coronavirus infection. However, it fails to detect people who are infected with the virus but are not sick with a fever.

      • Can anti-pneumonia vaccines protect you against the new coronavirus?

      No. Vaccines against pneumonia cannot help you to fight against COVID-19 as this virus is entirely new and different. It requires a different vaccine of its own.

      • Can garlic help to prevent COVID-19?

      Garlic is notorious for its antimicrobial properties. However, there are no pieces of evidence to support the fact that garlic can help in preventing people from catching COVID-19.

      Coronavirus Myths CentreStep Blog

      • Does COVID-19 only affect older people?

      COVID-19 can affect people of all ages. However, WHO has proclaimed that elderly people and people with existing medical problems are more likely to experience severe symptoms of COVID-19.

      • Is there any medicine to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

      Presently, there is no specific medicine or vaccine that can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19.

      • Can antibiotics help in preventing or treating the novel coronavirus?

      No. Antibiotics only work against bacteria and not viruses.

      Vaccine

      COVID-19 or novel coronavirus is entirely new and different from other coronaviruses. It is so different that it requires a vaccine of its own. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or treat COVID-19. Several investigations, researches, and experiments are going on to develop vaccines and medicines for COVID-19. The most effective way to prevent novel coronavirus is by practicing social distancing.

      Prevention

      As no vaccines or medicines have been formulated for COVID-19, it becomes extremely important to know how to prevent coronavirus infection.

      Coronavirus Prevention CentreStep Blog

      • Regularly clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub for about 20 seconds.

      • Practice social distancing, For example, avoids going to large gatherings or events, canceling visits to your loved ones, working from home, etc.

      • Maintain a distance of about 3 feet from the person who is displaying the symptoms of COVID-19 like coughing or sneezing.

      • Cover your mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue while sneezing and coughing. Immediately dispose of the tissue paper.

      • If you are feeling sick, avoid going to public places. Seek medical attention immediately if you are suffering from fever, cough or shortness of breath.

      • Stay aware of the latest news and information about COVID-19, as it can not only help you but also others around you.

      • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.

      • Beware of fake news, rumors regarding the outbreak, because it may mislead you, and add to your anxiety.

      Donations

      WHO has come out with the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan that primarily aims to improve the country’s preparedness and response towards this outbreak. WHO is coordinating to combat the spread of COVID-19. It is helping countries to prevent, detect, and respond to this pandemic. In response to WHO’s appeal for COVID-19, several countries and organizations have contributed by donating through COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

      Several donors have provided funds to WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE). Currently, WHO has released approximately $9 million from CFE to support Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan in various countries. The donors are as follows:

      • Austria

      • Canada

      • Denmark

      • Germany

      • Kuwait

      • Luxembourg

      • Netherlands

      • For Donations Click the image below
      Coronavirus Donation CentreStep Blog

        Final Thoughts

        The coronavirus outbreak has caused widespread panic across the globe. It has not only affected humans physically but also mentally. However, by following various preventive measures we can combat its spread and win the battle against COVID-19.

        Let’s stay strong and navigate through this hard time together.

        Source: WHO

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