Symptoms, prevention and treatment of novel coronavirus (nCoV)

Corona virus outbreak in China has claimed 106 lives so far and infected over 4000 people. China has banned people travelling out of Wuhan city. Many countries are also issuing travel guidance on the same. Few facts to be aware of Coronavirus.

What is Corona Virus?

  • Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). (WHO)
  • Source of corona Virus: Animals.
  • Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans in China in 2002 and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.  As surveillance improves around the world, more coronaviruses are likely to be identified.

What is Novel Coronavirus? Which animal did it originate from?

  • The virus identified in China is – novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  (WHO)
  • Which animal it it come from? The new coronavirus is thought to have originated in a seafood market, where wildlife was also sold illegally.
  • Scientists comparing the genetic sequences of the new coronavirus with those of other known coronaviruses have suggested it likely originated in snakes, according to

What are the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus ?

Fever, coughing and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome(SARS), kidney failure and death.

How to prevent?

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Can it be transmitted from person to person?

Yes, some coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household workplace, or health care centre.

Is vaccine available?

No. As its a new disease, there is no vaccine until one is developed. It can take a number of years for a new vaccine to be developed.

Whats the treatment?

There is no specific treatment for disease caused by a novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment based on the patient’s clinical condition. Moreover, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

Source: WHO

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