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News by Sara Health Estimates
Coronavirus (CoV) also called COVID-19 are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness. The coronavirus is actually a new disease that had never been previously identified in humans. Probably the reason you never heard of it until this year.
Where did it start?
Coronavirus first broke out in Wuhan, China. On December 31 2019, China alerted WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. The virus was unknown as at then.
Several of those infected worked at the city’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was shut down on January 1. Many of the infected persons in Wuhan had some links to large seafood or live animal market, health officials believe the virus is zoonotic, meaning it spread from animals to humans. Investigations found out the virus were passed from civet cat to humans. A growing number of infected persons reported they didn’t have contact or exposure to animals, which also indicates a person-to-person spread.
Severity of the illness
According to CNN, as at Feb, 29, 2020, Coronavirus has infected over 2900 people worldwide, the vast majority in mainland China. There has been over 85,000 global cases with infections in every continent except Antarctica. The death toll as at Feb, 28 was at 2800.
Symptoms of coronavirus
- Unknown incubation period
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired liver and kidney functions
- Kidney failure
- Sever cough
In severe cases there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs already used against flu do not work. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system. Many of those who have died were already in poor health.
How to avoid catching or spreading the germs
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Using masks for coronavirus
Using face masks is one of the major prevention technique for coronavirus but doctors are urging people not use masks. This is because it doesn’t help against the spread of the virus and it takes away the most important resource from health care professionals.
Dr. Ryan said masks primarily prevent a person from giving the disease to someone else.
“There are limits to how a mask can protect you from being infected,” he said. “The most important thing everyone can do is wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face and observe very precise hygiene.”
When to wear a mask
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected coronavirus infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Global efforts at this time are focused concurrently on containing the spread and mitigating the impact of this virus. Do your own part by maintaining high hygiene and protecting yourself in crowded areas.
We at Health Estimates Chicago care about your health. Be safe out there!.