The recent outbreak of this virus has caused panic among the public. After the news was published regarding its spread from China to other countries there has been huge panic regarding the virus. In Nepal, there has been one reported case of a person being infected with this virus. So what is this coronavirus and how dangerous is it? We have all the answers you need to know.
Common Symptoms of Coronavirus
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease, or people with weakened immune systems.
How To Prevent?
There is no vaccine for coronavirus. To help prevent a coronavirus infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common cold:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are infected.
- You treat a coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids.
- Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever. But don’t give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead.
- A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat.
Is the virus being transmitted from one person to another?
Human to human transmission has been confirmed by China’s national health commission. As of 24 January, the Chinese authorities had acknowledged more than 1,000 cases and 41 deaths. In the past week, the number of confirmed infections has more than tripled and cases have been found in 13 provinces, as well as the municipalities Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin.
The virus has also been confirmed outside China, in Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam. There have not been any confirmed cases in the UK at present, with the 14 people tested for the virus all proving negative. The actual number to have contracted the virus could be far higher as people with mild symptoms may not have been detected. Modeling by WHO experts at Imperial College London suggests there could be 4,000 cases, with uncertainty putting the margins between 1,000 and 9,700.
At what point should you go to the doctor if you have a cough, say?
Unless you have recently traveled to China or been in contact with someone infected with the virus, then you should treat any cough or cold symptoms as normal. The NHS advises that there is generally no need to visit a doctor for a cough unless it is persistent or you are having other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing or you feel very unwell.
Why is this any worse than normal influenza?
We don’t yet know how dangerous the new coronavirus is – and we won’t know until more data comes in. Twenty-six deaths out of 800 reported cases would mean a 3% mortality rate. However, this is likely to be an overestimate since there may be a far larger pool of people who have been infected by the virus but who have not suffered severe enough symptoms to attend hospital and so have not been counted in the data. For comparison, seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below 1% and is thought to cause about 400,000 deaths each year globally. Another key unknown, of which scientists should get a clearer idea in the coming weeks, is how contagious the coronavirus is.
A crucial difference is that unlike flu, there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, which means it is more difficult for vulnerable members of the population – elderly people or those with existing respiratory or immune problems – to protect themselves. One sensible step to get the flu vaccine, which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic.
So should you be worried about the virus? The virus doesn’t seem to affect people who are healthy and have a good immune system. The recent cases of death by the virus have been mostly elders or people who already have an underlying medical condition such as heart disease, respiratory problems, and a weak immune system.
Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal said, “The disease has no boundaries. We will try our best to control its outbreak.” The disease has been diagnosed in patients in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the United States of America. As 26 persons have already died of the novel coronavirus total number of people diagnosed with the new virus has risen to more than 800 cases.