The sudden outbreak in China of the so called deadly corona virus has caused some 1700 deaths already, other members of the virus’s family originated in animal hosts, the new virus has possibly originated from fish or seafood as many of those infected had been shopping in the Huanan seafood wholesale market. The virus has now been confirmed as being transferable from human to human what else should you know?
- Origins – it is still being investigated where this genome of the coronavirus came from as it is unlike any others which have been discovered in the world to date, other human coronaviruses are those that cause the common cold like 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1 viruses, as well as the deadly zoonotic MERS virus.
- Symptoms – The virus causes pneumonia. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties.
- Travelling – Increases the chance of the virus being spread and ultimately with Chinese New Year starting in a few days then the likelihood it will spread increases exponentially. What it also means is an increase in awareness for cleanliness and the need for avoiding germs, wearing a face mask is likely to help reduce any spray if you sneeze or cough. Three airports in the US are deploying extra health screening from the Centre for Disease Control as part of the boarding process to try and limit any further spreading of the disease.
- Treatment – Viruses unfortunately mean that antibiotics are not a viable treatment, antiviral drugs may manage the symptoms better but ultimately its the strength of the patients immune system which will decide, if they are already in poor health it may not be strong enough. Hopefully new research will shed light on where it came from so a treatment or vaccine can be found.