People from all corners of the world are concerned with the quick spread of the 2019 nCoV virus, a virus that brings about acute respiratory conditions. On the 30th of January, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the outbreak caused by that specific coronavirus is now a worldwide public health emergency that has to be dealt with promptly.
In these urgent times, each and every one of us has a responsibility to comply with all advice and recommendations provided to avoid the infection and transmission of the virus. Knowledge is an important tool in curbing this plague; here are the fundamentals you need to know about the virus, its symptoms and the ways by which you can steer clear of this acute respiratory illness.
2019 nCoV Symptoms
The coronavirus is an extensive group of viruses which can trigger respiratory diseases. It is often spread between animals like bats but at times, the coronavirus evolves and gets transmitted to people.
The 2019 nCoV or Novel Coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China. It materialized in the capital’s poultry and seafood market and was transmitted to hundreds of individuals in the area. The first confirmed cases of this respiratory disease came from Finland, India and the Philippines. All patients had one common denominator—travels done in Wuhan, China.
For individuals with confirmed cases of the virus infection, the symptoms include the following:
- Shortness of breath
2019-nCoV symptoms can surface within 2 days or 14 days max after exposure to the virus. This is patterned accordingly on what has been observed as the MERS viruses’ period of incubation.
How It Spreads
There is a lot to learn about the way the 2019-nCoV spreads. At this point, all information gathered about this new coronavirus comes from the same coronaviruses. The virus is spread often person-to-person, through close contact at around 6 feet.
Transmission of nCoV happens primarily through respiratory droplets which are released whenever an infected person sneezes or coughs – the same manner in which colds and influenza are spread. The droplets can settle on the nose or mouth, or likely get breathed in straight to the lungs of a person close by.
At present, spreading the virus by touching an item or a surface containing it remains uncertain. Investigations about the virus are still continuing. We have to learn more about its severity, its transmissibility and proper treatment.
Treatment of 2019 nCoV
At this time, there is no particular antiviral treatment suggested for the disease. Individuals stricken with the infection must be dispatched with stringent care to ease symptoms. For people with severe nCoV cases, proper care for essential organ functioning must be provided.
Tips on Preventing Infection and Spread of the Virus
There are ways in which you can help stop the spread of this highly-contagious disease. Here are some of the basic procedures you need to apply in order to avoid infection and transmission of acute respiratory illnesses.
- Wash your hands frequently particularly if you have had direct contact with infected individuals or their surroundings.
- Wash the hands with water and soap no less than 20 seconds. If there’s no soap and water on hand, use alcohol-based sanitizers containing no less than 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid letting your unwashed hands come in contact with your mouth, nose or eyes.
- Avoid close contact with infected individuals
- Wash and disinfect touched surfaces and things with cleaning agents or sprays
- Avoid close contact with animals, whether farm or wild
- Maintain distance when sneezing or coughing. Cover your sneezes and coughs with tissues and throw them in the trash right after use
- Avoid crowds as much as you can especially during fall or winter.
- Travellers are urged to obtain medical attention promptly if they show acute respiratory illness symptoms and disclose their travel history with their doctor.
The 2019 nCoV outbreak is a medical emergency that is progressing at a rapid pace. Our public health experts though are hard at work researching about the clinical spectrum of this new coronavirus. Good hygiene is crucial to protect us from such diseases. Rest assured, public health specialists are urgently taking proper measures to counter the 2019 nCoV.