Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that lead to respiratory illness, including the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). It is common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. Similar infections are caused by human alpha and beta coronaviruses such as 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1.
The symptoms associated with coronavirus are the common cold, such as running nose, headache, cough, fever, and sore throat. Viruses can spread from human contact with animals. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), scientists think MERS started in camels. Officials do not yet know what animal may have caused the current outbreak in Wuhan.
Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed for the Wuhan coronavirus, but depending on how virulent the virus is, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Caregivers can sometimes be exposed by handling a patient’s waste, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, SARS and MERS were largely transmitted inside hospitals. Some people are also considered to be “super spreaders.”
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019, since then, it has affected more than 400,000 people and caused 18,440 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recent situation report.
The seafood market of Wuhan was identified as the suspected hub of the coronavirus outbreak by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Now, there have been more new cases reported from countries outside of China than from China. Two new countries/territories/areas from the Western Pacific Region and the Eastern Mediterranean Region have reported cases of COVID-19.
The mysterious novel coronavirus outbreak was identified by Chinese authorities on January 7 and since named COVID-19, is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak poses a significant life-threatening and economic risk throughout the world. Over 414,179 cases have been diagnosed across 48 countries, resulting in over 18,440 reported deaths. As far as concern, due to this contagious coronavirus outbreak death has been confirmed in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, France, Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, and other countries. On 31st January 2020, officially WHO has declared it a global health emergency, due to increases number of infectious cases has been confirmed in countries such as South Korea, Afghanistan, France, UAE, and many more countries.
The mortality rate is mostly within 2%~3%, well in line with the WHO official estimate. For example, MERS, SARS and the Wuhan coronavirus appear to cause more severe disease in older people Age group 60-69 years old at 3.6%, 50-59 years old at 1.4% & least 40-49 years old at 0.4%, though uncertainty remains around the latest outbreak. Of the cases of Wuhan coronavirus reported so far, none are yet confirmed to be among children.
Several vaccines, antibiotics & anti-retroviral drugs such as FTNX-1800 (Tonix Pharmaceuticals), Leronlimab (CytoDyn), etc. are undergoing the clinical trials for coronavirus outbreak. Apart from this novel therapies, supportive therapy is also recommended including over the counter medicine for a sore throat, fever & pain reliever medications, etc. to relieve the symptoms, if happens. Additionally, drink plenty of fluids, get rest and sleep as much as possible is recommended.
The government has taken initiative to allocate the emergency funds for improving public health to curb the current global coronavirus outbreak. For instances, The Trump Administration is looking to allocate approximately $2.5 billion in emergency funds to help prepare the country should the current coronavirus crisis become a public health care threat in the U.S. Other governments and global health authorities are taking similarly aggressive steps to prepare for the virus’s continued spread. Furthermore, the UK government like Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that £20m in Government funding will be given to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance programmes targeting the coronavirus.