Coronavirus is a single stranded, enveloped RNA virus. The virus derive its name from Latin word ‘corona’ meaning ‘crown‘ as it has club shaped peplomers, which project outside its envelope giving an appearance of crown.
The average size of virus particle is 100 nm. The multiplication of the virus occurs in cytoplasm of the cell.
The earliest coronaviruses were discovered were an infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two in human patients with the common cold (later named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43). Coronaviruses were found to be causing diseases in livestock since early 1970s.
Coronaviruses are extensively found in tropical climates and survive best at low temperatures. A high penetration of ultra-violet radiation and increasing temperatures have negative effect on the survival of virus particles. Coronaviruses in humans vary significantly in terms of fatality with MERS-CoV being most fatal to common cold virus being relatively harmless.
Coronaviruses generally cause colds with fever and sore throat occurring primarily in winter and spring seasons. The viruses may also cause pneumonia and bronchitis either due to direct viraemia or due to secondary bacterial infections.
Diseases caused or outbreaks
|Name of the disease||Year and place of outbreak||Symptoms||Fatality Rate||Zoonotic Risk|
|Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)||2003, Southern China||Flu-like symptoms like fever, muscle pain, lethargy, cough, sore throat, etc. along with diarrhea||10.0 %||Transmission from human to pets reported|
|Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)||2012 Middle East, 2015 South Korea and 2018 Middle East||Fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia and diarrhea have also been reported.||34.4 %||Transmission from dromedary camels to humans reported|
|Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) or COVID-19||2019, Wuhan, China||Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, tiredness and in severe cases, there is difficulty in breathing and coughing up of blood. There may be nausea and diarrhea.||Upto 3.0 %, senior citizens at higher risk||Evidences of pets being infected from humans have been reported|
Person to person from aerosols and body fluids. Touching the contaminated surface and then face also spread the virus. Spread from humans to animals and vice versa also reported.
Clinical isolation and quarantine is most effective in prevention and containment of the virus. A quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people and goods which is intended to prevent mainly the spread of disease or pests.
- Hand-washing for at least 20 seconds (with soap or alcoholic sanitizer)
- Disinfection of surfaces for fomites
- Avoiding contact with bodily fluids
- Avoid touching your face or nose
- Maintain 1 meter distance between yourself and other infected person
- Washing the personal items infected individual in hot, soapy water (eating utensils, dishes, bedding, etc.)
- Sneeze or cough in a tissue paper or in handkerchief
- Keeping children with symptoms home from school
- Simple hygiene measures
- Isolating oneself as much as possible to minimize the chances of transmission of the virus
- Staying at home and social distancing
- Avoid smoking as it weaken the lung immunity
- While working with farm animals, keep separate farm clothes and sanitize yourself before entering your home
Vaccination and recovery
The vaccine for coronavirus is yet to be developed. A person recovers from coronavirus in three to six weeks keeping the health status in mind.
Request for all those reading this blog: Stay Home, Stay Safe
For more info: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
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