What is corona-virus?
Corona-virus is a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Recently have made the jump to humans, but most only cause cold-like symptoms.
Two other corona-viruses, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), are much more severe. It has killed over 1,500 people between them since 2002.
The new virus, officially named COVID-19, is also dangerous. So far, we have classified about 20 percent of confirmed cases as severe or critical.
At present, we have classified about 15 -20% of hospital cases as “severe,” and the current death rate ranges 0.7- 3.4 %. It solely depends on location and from access to excellent hospital care.
This is much lower than the death rates for MERS (30 percent) and SARS (10 percent). But it remains a significant threat. Chinese scientists believe that COVID-19 has transformed into two strains. One is more aggressive than the other, which can further complicate the development of a vaccine.
How did the outbreak start?
We believe the source of the corona-virus to be a “wet market” in Wuhan were both dead and living animals. We also include fish and birds etc.
Such markets present an increased risk of viruses leaping from animals to humans. Because hygiene standards are difficult to maintain if live animals are kept and butchered on-site. Usually, they are also densely packed.
The last outbreak from the animal source has yet to identify. Here people think that the original host to be bats.
The bats are not sold in that market but may have infected live chickens or other soldier animals there. Bats harbor a wide range of zoonotic viruses, including Ebola, HIV, and rabies.
Could the outbreak grow?
It is impossible to say which way the disease will go. But in its current trajectory, it is likely to spread to more countries, affecting many more people. The number of cases is decreasing in China, but it is increasing in the rest of the world. For more information on what we expect to happen.
It seems likely that the corona-virus outbreak that started in China in December will turn into a global pandemic.
The disease is now spreading rapidly in South Korea, Italy, and Iran at present. But is likely to be present but not yet detected in other populated countries in Asia and the Pacific. In several countries, including Italy, there is no apparent direct link to China, making it even more difficult for the virus to spread.
Critics will say the authorities are imposing the blockade on Wuhan and that much of central China. But this step has failed, and that the containment strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been unable.
But there is little doubt that China’s crackdown has delayed the spread of the virus and has bought the rest of the world enough time to prepare.
The critical question now, as the virus gains ground, is whether the NHS and other health authorities around the world have wisely used that time. These are some of the key things to expect if Covid-19 goes around the world now.
If containment doesn’t work, what’s the plan?
The following are the constraints that underlie the public health response to significant new outbreaks while containment strategies aim to stop or retain a disease. The goal of mitigation is to reduce its impact on society.
The ultimate goal of the mitigation system is to reduce the severity of the epidemic, smooth the curve of the outbreak. Also, to reduce the pressure on the health system.
With that, socioeconomic well-being, said Associate Director of Global Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In layman’s terms, planners will try to avoid sharp spikes in case numbers so that the NHS and other services are not overwhelmed.
So how dangerous is the virus?
This is still the million-dollar question. In Wuhan, the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak, the current death rate is between two and four percent.
But it is around 0.7 % in the rest of China and the world, says the WHO. Suppose it falls as low as the 0.026 %death rate for swine flu in 2009. It should be manageable even if it spreads across the UK.
But even with the extra time the China closure bought, experts are still unsure of the clinical severity of the disease or how to treat it.
Who is going to be affected????
The virus is more likely to affect the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. However, a not-insignificant number of healthy young people have also died, and this worries doctors around the world.
Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, doctors in Singapore, where 89 cases of the disease have recorded to date, say that the coronavirus occurs to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, it is much less lethal.
The virus attacks the lungs, with the disease progressing in different phases. CT scans of the lungs show “ground glass” opacity and then “crazy pavement” patterns as they fill with mucus that makes breathing difficult.
“An interesting type of pattern is emerging in China’s report,” said Azra Gani, a professor of the Infectious disease epidemic at Imperial College London.
“There is a tipping point after the first week of infection: some patients drop, but others stay more stable and recover later”.
That kills many patients is that their immune system goes into overdrive, causing septic shock. This is the body’s inflammatory response to microbial infection and can lead to organ failure and death.
Older people and people with underlying conditions are more vulnerable, but young people are not immune.
What is different from this disease is that it is a new virus, and therefore the entire population is possibly sensitive to everyone? Everyone is innocent, and nobody was.