What is the coronavirus? How did the outbreak start and could it be even bigger?

What is the coronavirus_

What is a coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause disease in animals, Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most only cause cold-like symptoms.

Two other coronaviruses, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) are much more severe, killing more than 1,500 people between them since 2002.

The new virus, officially named Covid-19, is also dangerous: so far, about 20 per cent of confirmed cases have been classified as severe or critical. So far, about 15 to 20 per cent of hospital cases have been classified as “severe” and the current death rate ranges from 0.7 per cent to 3.4 per cent, depending on location and, fundamentally, from access to good hospital care.

This is much lower than the death rates for Mers (30 per cent) and Sars (10 per cent), but it remains a significant threat.

Chinese scientists believe that Covid-1 has been transformed into two strains, one more aggressive than the other, which can further complicate the development of a vaccine.


How did the outbreak start?

The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a “wet market” in Wuhan where both dead and living animals, including fish and birds, are soldiers.

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 be identified, but the original host is believed to be bats. The bats were not sold in the Wuhan market but may have infected live chickens or other soldier animals there.

Bats harbour 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 starting to decrease in China, but it is increasing in the rest of the world. For more information on what is expected to happen,


It seems increasingly likely that the coronavirus 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 and 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 has failed and that the containment strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO) has failed.

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?

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 and reduce the pressure on the health system.


And 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 epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, the current death rate is between two and four per cent, but it is around 0.7 per cent in the rest of China and the world, says the WHO. If it falls as low as the 0.026 per cent 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. 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 been recorded to date, say that the coronavirus occurs similarly to severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), although 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 pattern is emerging in China’s report,” said Azra Gani, a professor of 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.” hat 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 with this disease is that it is a new virus, and therefore the entire population is potentially sensitive to everyone. “Everyone is immunologically innocent, and nobody was

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