All you need to know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Common Human Coronavirus usually results in severe flu, headache, cough, tiredness, sore throat, followed with fever high or low in some cases. Human coronaviruses sometimes cause respiratory system diseases including pneumonia or bronchitis.
Currently, our friendly neighbor China’s central city Wuhan is tremendously affected by this virus and more than 500 people are infected to date. Chinese officials reported that more than 90 patients are in critical condition.
Now, reports are airing in news that the Chinese authorities have lockdown the city, no one can enter or leave the city. Authorities barred transportation links from the rambling city, interrupting automobiles, subway system, ferryboats and/or closing the air field and train stations.
What is Coronavirus?
There are basically two common human coronaviruses MERS and SARS known to be the most frequent attackers which can cause even deaths.
MERS stands for “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome” and per the CDC the symptoms of MERS are more severe and cause deaths to every 3 to 4 persons out of 10 affected. This virus was reported in Middle East in 2012. MERS can cause severe problems in lower respiratory.
Similarly, SARS stands for “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome” first reported in Chinese province of Guangdong. This is more severe than its cousin and cause nearly half deaths to its affected numbers.
The virus that spread in Wuhan is presently considered to be trivial than the above two also, it takes longer to appear symptoms like cough, shortness of breath and other related indications.
How this virus spread around?
Mostly, several viruses spread around in humans through interaction with each other (infected) and with infected animals. This virus is no exception in relation to its family. A report from WHO states that the MERS started in camels first and then spread to humans and in case of SARS scientists believed that civet cats are to be blamed. In case of current outbreak of this virus, people can get infected if they come into direct contact with another person. This can occur if someone get in contact with cough, sneeze, handshake, touching infected person or something which has been touched by the infected and then you take your touched hand without washing towards your mouth, nose, and eyes.
The virus in Wuhan is spreading across to humans though interactions. It may be spreading more in hospitals as it happened before in case of SARS and MERS.
Prevention and Cautions
Fortunately you can adopt measures to save yourself from the deadly virus by not touching the affected person or things, spread awareness, avoid touching your nose, eyes, or mouth if get in contact with the affected without washing. Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soaps and for at least more than 20 seconds. Wear face masks if you are nearer to an open infected environment.
Bad news is no vaccine is currently available against this virus. The US National Institutes of Health is currently been working to prepare a vaccine to counter this virus but it would take almost a year before it reaches to general public.
Visit hospital or a registered practitioner if you feel the symptoms to avoid any kind of panic situation.
If traveling to China, be aware of symptoms and avoid live animal markets, which is where the latest outbreak began in Wuhan.
Symptoms & treatment
Flu, cough, shortness in breathing, runny nose, sore throat, possible fever with headache, and upper or lower respiratory tract infections along with common cold. It may cause weaker immune system in old and young people.
Seek immediate medical care, drink water as much more as you can, take rest and sleep more and more. Unfortunately there is no specific treatment for this class of virus. Doctors can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication. The CDC says a room humidifier or a hot shower can help with a sore throat or cough.
Who is affected more?
Well, older population and younger children are more prone to this coronavirus causing weak immune system. Pregnant women are advised to be more careful and cautioned because this can prove to be deadly towards the unborn child or mother.
What is happening in Pakistan?
Pakistani authorities are seems to be well prepared and ready to tackle the current epidemic. According to officials special counters and desks are been placed at airports, seaports and every land entry points to check specifically if coming from effected areas.
“As many as 41 direct or transit flights from China land at the major airports every week. Passengers arriving on these flights will be screened and those showing any symptoms, will be quarantined, if needed, for at least fourteen days as per international guidelines,” Dr. Zafar stated as chair of an emergency meeting convened to strategize preemptive measures while also addressing growing public anxiety. “At present, China is the only country where the specific diagnostic test for this disease is now available. We will acquire the required technology to conduct the test here in Pakistan, in due course,” he added.