Coronavirus: A pandemic! How did the coronavirus pandemic happen, the burning question that is in everyone’s mind right now? It has made quite a stir that people are in a loss of how to tackle this mighty situation. From lacking the knowledge of prevention and protection, spreading rumours about how it is spreading, the world has come to a standstill.
Coronavirus, a large family of viruses, may cause a wide range of diseases. From causing common cold to a more severe respiratory symptom like severe acute respiratory syndrome(SARS) and middle eastern respiratory syndrome(MERS), coronavirus has already shown its dangerous side to the world.
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has recently been identified in 2019. It is a zoonotic virus that mainly spreads between animals and humans. The 2002-04 SARS outbreak was due to the transformation of the virus from civet cats to humans. MERS outbreak happened in the middle eastern countries due to transformation from dromedary camels to humans.
Origin and How Deadly It Is
A pneumonia outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. On 31st December, the outbreak was linked to a novel strain of coronavirus later given an interim name 2019-nCOV my WHO. The international committee on Taxonomy of viruses later called it SARS-COV-2. It is said that the main place of origin was a Huanan seafood wholesale market but later, the authenticity of this statement came into scrutiny and researchers are still working to know where it came from.
As of March 16, 2020, there are at least 6,513 confirmed deaths and more than 169,387 confirmed cases in the coronavirus pandemic. The Wuhan strain has been identified as a new strain of beta coronavirus with genetic similarity to the SARS-Cov that is thought to be spread from a bat.
Common cold or flu like symptoms might appear first with mild throat pain. Those who have weaker immunity might experience diarrhea or nausea. People in this stage can eat or drink normally.
Throat pain increases in intensity and voices become sore. Body temperature starts to rise and difficulty in eating and drinking might also show up. Other symptoms like diarrhea and headache will also go hand in hand.
Throat pain intensifies and pain while eating or drinking rises up. Body ache and weakness all over the torso can be experienced too.
Fever may rise to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Patient complains of a feeling of exhaustion and severe nausea along with difficulty in breathing. Joint pain and diarrhea like symptoms increase in intensity.
Things are starting to get worse as fever reaches 103 degrees. This accompanies severe cough and copious sputum production.
Severe difficulty breathing may be experienced every time a patient breathes. The chest becomes heavy and other symptoms get worse.
The overall condition becomes alarming as the patient may suffer from high fever, shortness of breath and severe respiratory distress.
The virus is more alarming between the infants and the elderly. These groups of people are most immunocompromised, so the viruses have the most effect on them. However, infected people may show no signs of symptoms despite having the virus in their system.
Confirmed Cases and Death Around The Globe (as of March 22, 2020)
Italy currently has the most confirmed cases leaving behind China, Korea and Iran. It has around 328,000 confirmed cases and death has risen to 14,000. Italy has been in a complete lockdown for a while. Only the malls and pharmacies are kept open. A number of airlines have canceled Italy flights.
Numbers across Europe have also been rising in an alarming way. Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has warned some 58 million people could be contracted this virus. In Spain, a state of emergency was called upon this Saturday with a warning that confirmed cases could rise up to 10000 next week.
How to Fight This Deadly Virus
The help of the news and online portals have been immense in spreading rumors about the intensity of this virus. Though the situation is critical, one thing is to give the correct info to the people and other thing is to feed people with information that will not only make them panic but also create problems among them.
Here are some steps that we can follow to stop the spreading:
- If you have the symptoms of coronavirus immediately contact those who are dealing with it.
- If you have a recent traveling history please let the authority know.
- As this has become a global emergency it’s safe to self quarantine to stop its spread.
- Maintaining personal hygiene is the most important step. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, stop using your palm while sneezing or coughing use your elbow instead.
- Do not panic and spread rumours. If you’re reading anything about this virus, please make sure you’re reading it from a verified source.
The time needs all of us to be united and fight this pandemic bravely. Following the government imposed protocols can drastically change the scenario of this disease. Stay indoors, stay hydrated and maintain proper hygiene and inform the authorities if anything comes up. Be gentle to people who are suffering from it and believe in God, who will surely get us past this difficult time.