Coronavirus symptoms and how to save yourself from this deadly virus

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  • Coronavirus – Background and Symptoms

  • Background:
    December 31st  2019 
    WHO was alerted to several cases of coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus.

    January 7th 2020

    Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

    Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. This new strain of conoravirus has been officially referred to as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 
    WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day they were informed, to learn more about the coronavirus symptoms, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.

    Signs of Coronaviruses
    • Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms of coronavirus  may include
      • Runny nose
      • Headache
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Fever
      • General feeling of being unwell
    • Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults
    • Coronavirus – Background and Symptoms
    • Signs and Symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
    • Source: WHO
    • Based on what was seen with other coronaviruses, it is believed that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.
    • Coronavirus – Transmission and Treatment

    • Introduction
    • 2019-coronavirus symptoms is a betacoronavirus, like MERS and SARs, all of which have their origins in bats.
      Chinese authorities have successfully sequenced the genome of the virus allowing for effective detection. The US CDC confirmed the same genome in the first two cases in the US.

      Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-coronavirus symptoms in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market (also known as “wet markets”),  suggesting that initial spread of the virus was animal-to-person.

      Subsequently it has become clear that human-to-human contact is able to spread the virus.

      The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
    • How does the Novel Coronavirus spread from Person-to-Person?

    • Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
      • The air by coughing and sneezing
      • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
      • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
      • Rarely, fecal contamination
    • When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts. 2

      It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
      • US CDC guidelines state: “If you develop a fever* and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact. If you have had close contact** with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel.”

        * Fever may not be present in some patients, such as those who are very young, elderly, immunosuppressed, or taking certain fever-lowering medications. Clinical judgment should be used to guide testing of patients in such situations.
        ** Close contact is defined as:
        • being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters), or within the room or care area, of a novel coronavirus case for a prolonged period of time while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment ; close contact can include caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a novel coronavirus case.– or –
        • having direct contact with infectious secretions of a novel coronavirus case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
        • Treatment

          According to the US CDC, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for the novel coronavirus infection. People infected with 2019-coronavirus symptoms should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-coronavirus symptoms should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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