Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Everything you need to know regarding the life threatening virus
What is Corona Virus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). An outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was initially identified during mid-December 2019 in the city of Wuhan in central China, as an emerging cluster of people with pneumonia with no clear cause, which was linked primarily to stallholders who worked at the Huanan Seafood Market, which also sold live animals.
About 858 people have died from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which first appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and then in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. In April 2014, the first American was hospitalized for MERS in Indiana and another case was reported in Florida. Both had just returned from Saudi Arabia. In May 2015, there was an outbreak of MERS in Korea, which was the largest outbreak outside of the Arabian Peninsula. In 2003, 774 people died from a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. As of 2015, there were no further reports of cases of SARS. MERS and SARS are types of coronaviruses.
Symptoms & complications of coronavirus:
The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including runny nose, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Let's go back to where it all started. When the people in China were bidding Good-Bye's to 2019, little did it knew what is waiting for them in 2020.
On 31st December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January. The chronology of the events is explained below.
Cases have been reported in Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taipei Municipality, China, Macau Special Administrative Region, United States of America and the Republic of Korea; All had travel history to Wuhan. Currently, cases infected in China have been exported to the US, Thailand, Japan and Republic of Korea. It is expected that more cases will be exported to other countries, and that further transmission may occur. In Wuhan, the capital of Hubei - and the place where the virus originated - all bus, subway and ferry services have been suspended and all outbound planes and trains cancelled. The lockdown comes on the eve of Lunar New Year, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar.
Till date, a total of 581 confirmed cases have been reported for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) globally out of which , 571 cases were reported from China. Of the 571 cases, 95 cases are severely ill. Seventeen deaths have been reported (all from Hubei Province);
Is it a threat to India?
Twenty-five Indian students, of whom 20 are from Kerala, are trapped in Wuhan after the Chinese city of 11 million was locked down to contain the spread of a new strain of a coronavirus, while 14 students interning at a hospital in Yichang, about 300km from Wuhan, planned to fly to Kolkata from Kunming airport on Thursday night or Friday morning.
Two of five travellers who have returned to Mumbai from Wuhan and other parts of China have, meanwhile, been admitted to Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli, the city’s main isolation facility, as a precautionary measure as the virus, first reported in China, spread to Singapore and Vietnam. It has killed 18 people and affected over 600 in different parts of the world. In Mumbai, officials said the five passengers were put under surveillance soon after they returned from China in the last 48 hours. While three of them are residents of Jogeshwari, Kalyan and Nala Sopara, two are from Pune. “Since the passengers from Kalyan and Nalasopara have shown signs of a mild cold and cough, we have asked them to come and get admitted to Kasturba Hospital so that we can run some checks and rule out any infection,” said the BMC executive health officer, Dr Padmaja Keskar.
Health secretary Preeti Sudan said the situation is being monitored in consultation with WHO. “The public health preparedness is being reviewed on day-to-day basis and the core capacities to timely detect and manage importation of the nCoV into the country are being strengthened further,” Sudan said. The ministry has also issued necessary directions to all those concerned on laboratory diagnosis, surveillance, infection prevention and control and risk communication. Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has been geared up for community surveillance and contact tracing. The National Institute Of Virology, Pune, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) laboratory are coordinating testing of samples for the novel coronavirus (nCoV) in the country. Note for Doctors:
The spread of the virus outside China is worrying but not an unexpected development. It increases the likelihood that the World Health Organization will declare the outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday evening. The key concerns are how transmissible this new coronavirus is between people and what proportion become severely ill and end up in hospital. Often viruses that spread easily tend to have a milder impact.
Doctors, Healthcare workers, Nurses could be at risk if they unexpectedly came across someone with respiratory symptoms who had travelled to an affected region. Generally, the coronavirus appears to be hitting older people hardest, with few cases in children. So take care of yourself as well to prevent any unfortunate incidences. India previously experienced the 'Nipah Virus' outbreak in Kerala where we lost a lot of lives along with the life of Healthcare worker 'Nurse Lini'.