Novel Corona Virus ALERT

Novel Corona Virus (2019- nCoV)

The novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) which is hitting the world recently was first detected in the Wuhan city of china in December- 31, 2019 (WHO). The virus attacks in the respiratory system of human and cause acute respiratory syndrome. Till date the virus has caused many deaths, mostly in china where the virus was detected. The second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO- Director- General under the International Health Regulation(IHR)(2005) held on 30 January 2020 concluded that the outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Following are the novel corona virus situation reports published by the WHO (world health organization) on different dates in recent days.

WHO-2019-nCoV- situation reports:

  • 2020, 20 January : 282 confirmed cases (278 from china, Thailand- 2, Japan- 1, Korea- 1) with 6 deaths.
  • 2020, 21 January : 314 confirmed cases (309 from china, Thailand- 2, Japan- 1, Korea- 1)
  • 2020, 22 January: 581 confirmed cases (571 from China, Japan- 1, Korea- 1, Thailand- 4, US- 1) with 17 deaths.
  • 2020, 23 January: 846 confirmed cases (830 from china, Japan- 1, Korea- 2, Viet Nam- 2, Singapore- 1, Thailand- 4, US- 1) with 25 deaths.
  • 2020, 25 January: 1320 confirmed cases globally ( 1297 from china, Japan- 3, Korea- 2, Viet Nam- 2, Singapore- 3, Australia- 3, Thailand- 4, Nepal- 1, US- 2, France- 3) with 41 deaths.
  • 2020, 26 January: 2014 confirmed cases (1985 from china and remaining outside china including Malaysia) with 56 deaths.
  • 2020, 27 January: 2798 confirmed cases ( China- 2741, 37 outside china including Canada) with 80 deaths.
  • 2020, 28 January: 4593 confirmed cases( china- 4537, 56 ouside china including Germany, Sri-Lanka, Cambodia, Canada) with 106 deaths.
  • 2020, 29 January: 6065 confirmed cases (5997 from china, 68 outside china including Arab) with 132 deaths.
  • 2020, 30 January: 7818 confirmed cases (7736 from china, 82 outside china including Finland, India, Philippines) with 170 deaths.
  • 2020, 31 January: 9826 confirmed cases (9720- china, 106 outside china including Italy, Finland) with 213 deaths.
  • 2020, 1 February: 11953 confirmed cases ( china- 11821, 132 outside china including Sweden, Spain, Russia) with 259 deaths.
  • 2020, 2 February: 14557 confirmed cases (china- 14411, 146 outside china) with 305 deaths.

Corona viruses are enveloped, spherical or pleomorphic, single stranded RNA particles. The name corona is given due to its crown like appearance produced by the club- shaped projections from the outer surface of the envelop.

Mode of transmission:

  • Many patients in China reportedly had some link to seafood and animal market since the disease outbreak. This indicates the animal to human transmission.
  • Growing number of patients and global detection of cases confirms person to person transmission. This can happen due to droplets infection from infected person during coughing and sneezing.
  • Contaminated surface contact to mouth, nose and eyes.

Symptoms and complications:

Generally signs and symptoms of disease appear in 2 to 14 days of viral infection. Patients with infection are observed with respiratory symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia (chronic lower respiratory syndrome)

An outbreak of corona virus associated respiratory disease known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred in 2002-2003. The outbreak began in November 2002 in the Guangdong province in South China where it caused many deaths.

Prevention:

There is no specific treatment for infection with corona virus. There is no vaccine for human corona viruses developed till date. Control measures such as isolation of patients, strict quarantine of infected individuals, screening of travelers are being practiced globally.

What we can do for the protection?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol based hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home and stay away from other healthy people when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with tissues and dispose properly.
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Avoid contact with pets and other animals.
  • Consult your doctor if you develop the symptoms.
  • Do not travel while you are sick.

 

References:

World health organization (WHO)

Center for disease control and prevention (CDC)

A textbook of microbiology, P. Chakraborty.

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