What is the Corona-Virus?
Corona-Virus — is a name for a group of viruses that target mammals, including cats, dogs, and humans. They’re well known for causing potentially fatal conditions like kidney failure, pneumonia but also mundane things like some instances of the common cold. (Source; Wikipedia,WHO)
The Coronavirus is not a single virus but actually a “family” of viruses that are known to cause a wide number of different illnesses. These coronaviruses (CoV) symptoms can range from the common cold, all the way to more serious flu-like diseases or MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).(Source; Wikipedia,WHO)
Coronaviruses, mainly target your respiratory system, which is the system associated with breathing. Its primary method of transmission is causing its host to cough it onto someone else. It’s generally a very fragile virus that cannot last outside the body for more than 24 hours and is easily killed with normal household detergents.
Everything You Need to Know About This Frightening Disease
Every time a new disease appears in the news, it causes a mass panic as people understandably get scared that they may be at risk. Suddenly, every sniff and every cough is placed under minute scrutiny. The latest outbreak to hit the news is the Coronavirus, and once again, this has caused a huge amount of fear and uncertainty. Again, this is understandable.
The coronavirus is a disease that spreads quickly, now with over 12,000,000 cases in 200 countries!
While it isn’t generally a fatal disease, it has already taken more than 560,700 lives.
Coronavirus is more widespread than the SARS virus ever became, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Gradually, it’s making its way into the rest of the world.
But is there really cause for such alarm? While the coronavirus is certainly scary, and definitely not to be taken lightly, it is also is important to maintain a sense of perspective.
The NEWS Won’t Tell You That COMMON Flu Kills On Average 3,000 People Every Day Worldwide Simply Because We Live With This Fact So It Doesn’t Sell Any Newspapers…
China where it all started has 85,093 total confirmed cases with unconfirmed death.
Italy now battles with 243,800 cases , with 600–1,000 NEW cases daily & 34,945 dead (mainly because of elderly average population & 2 decades of neglected health care investments)
Spain has 253,908 cases with 34,945 death
United States, there are 3,290,994 cases of the virus 136,621 confirmed dead.
World wide there have been just over 14,700 deaths caused by the disease,. Coronavirus is most comparable to the flu, in terms of its symptoms and the way it spreads. And just like the flu, it is mostly dangerous to those populations already considered at risk: the elderly, very young, or previously unwell.
Statistically, your chances of getting the coronavirus with life threatening complications are extremely low — lower than winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning. But while this is true, it’s also extremely important that we prepare for what seems to becomebecome a more widespread problem, that we know how to protect ourselves, and that we understand this event that is of huge global significance.
Contrary to popular belief then, the coronavirus is not a “new” virus. In fact, the SARS virus that previously dominated headlines is actually a form of coronavirus. The CoV virus that we are currently hearing about in the news, is actually the “novel coronavirus” or (nCoV) which is a strain that has not previously been detected in humans.
The name coronavirus comes from the Latin corona, which stands for corwn, or halo. This describes the appearance of the viral particles (virions) which have a protein coating called a capsid
As with any virus, the difficulty with treating this condition, is that it is known to mutate rapidly, thereby making effective vaccinations or treatments difficulty.
Viruses are different from bacteria. Viruses are smaller and cannot live without a living host. They operate by attaching themselves to cells, and then reprogramming those cells to reproduce. Whereas many bacteria are actually harmless and even beneficial, the vast majority of viruses are harmful to us and are responsible for conditions such as strep throat, tuberculosis, and UTIs. Of course, viruses are also wellknown to cause the common cold, and the flu.
Whereas antibiotics can be used to kill bacteria and end a bacterial infection, viruses are treated with antiviral medications, which are not effective at completely killing the viruses but rather simply preventing the spread by hurting their ability to replicate.
“How it Spreads”
As a virus, coronavirus needs a living host in order to spread. This means that the transfer of the virus must usually happen directly between people, usually travelling no more than 6’ from one person to another.
It is believed (though not confirmed) that this spread acts similarly to the spread of the common cold/flu. That means that it will travel on droplets of saliva when someone coughs or sneezes. The droplets may then be inhaled by another person into the lungs, where it is thought that the
It is currently not confirmed whether the coronavirus can spread by surfaces. If so, the contact would have had to be recent, but it is generally a wise move to act as though surfaces may be contagious.
The coronavirus can also spread via food, which is how it is believed that the virus initially made the leap from animals to humans. Good food hygiene is more important than ever then, and it is likewise important to consider the source of your food.
“A Brief History”
Here is a brief history of coronavirus and what caused it.
The coronavirus that is currently being discussed is called “A novel coronavirus” (nCoV). This is condition began around December 2019, when there was a cluster of pneumonia cases caused by this previously unknown virus.
It is actually thought that this version of the virus likely began in bats. A new study published on January 29th in the Lancet looked at 10 genome sequences of the coronavirus called 2019-nCoV, taken from nine patients from China. In all 10 of these sequences, 99.8% of the genetic makeup was the same. That tells us that the virus is newly affecting humans. We know this, because as a virus propagates and lives for longer, more changes are introduced to the genome as it mutates and evolves. In other words, the virus has recently jumped to humans from another species.
The researchers found that the sequences were almost identical, suggesting a single source that must have been the primary host not long ago.
To find out more, the same team of researchers compared this sequence to a library of other viral sequences. They found that the closest match was against similar CoV that began life in bats. Both of the two near-matches found shared 88% of the genetic makeup with the new version.
So how did this virus manage to make the leap? Because no bats have been sold at the Huanan seafood market — believed to be the source of the virus — it is now thought that there was likely another “steppingstone” animal that transmitted the virus. In other words, the bats infected an animal that was then consumed by humans. One possible culprit is snakes, though it is not currently known whether the virus is able to affect snakes.
However, more recent speculation also questions whether the seafood market is in fact the source of the illness.
The first case of nCoV was reported on December 1st 2019, and that patient had no known link to the seafood market. The data also showed that 13 of the earliest 41 hospitalized patients had no link to that marketplace.
New data suggests that the very first infections may actually have occurred in November. That’s because there is an “incubation period” between the infection and the onset of the first symptoms. It’s also worth considering that as many of the symptoms are very similar to the flu, some patients may not have reported the condition at all. This is important to consider, when estimating the potential number of cases.
How the Condition is Being Contained
Governments are taking measures to attempt to control the spread of the virus.
“The Coronavirus and Traveling “
Where Are You At Risk? Stats Outside of China
Depending on where you are located in the world, you stand a slightly higher chance of contracting coronavirus. While the condition is somewhat rare outside of China and even moreso outside of Asia, travelling anywhere will put you at risk. In this chapter, we’ll look at the status of each country and what you need to know when travelling.
Keep in mind that these numbers are changing — and largely growing — all the time. While that’s true though, this list can provide a useful illustration of the most affected areas, as well as the nature of the condition and how it spreads.
Preventative Measures — Face Masks, Hygiene, and Precautions
If you are travelling to any of these affected regions, then it is important to do whatever you can to protect yourself.
The best preventative measures and precautions fall into a few categories. These are:
● Useful tools
● General health
The first and most important measure to take in order to reduce the likelihood of contracting novel coronavirus, is to simply practice the best hygiene possible. That means you should always:
● Wash your hands before touching your face
● Wash your food thoroughly before eating
● Avoid touching other surfaces
The other tip is to avoid spaces where the illness is likely to travel rapidly. A good example of this would be a crowded train or elevator. Here, you will be in close proximity to many other people that could be carrying the disease, in a contained environment. This makes it potentially very easy for virus to spread via air-born droplets.
Where possible, avoid densely crowded areas that are sealed closed!
Wearing gloves may also help to prevent the spread of illness to some degree, as it prevents the virus from landing on your skin and then being transferred to the face that way.
Be careful about the food you eat and for preference choose to buy sealed food items from larger stores.
Another consideration is the role of a face mask. This is a breathing mask that you wear over the mouth and the nose in order to filter air and thereby prevent the spread of disease.
These masks actually serve two purposes: not only do they prevent the wearer from contracting the virus, but they also help to prevent them from spreading it. This works because the mask contains the droplets that they may propel when sneezing or coughing.
So do they actually work? The good news is that they do appear to be effective based on studies. In one study, it was found that those who used the masks correctly were actually 80% less likely to contract flu. Seeing as the coronavirus appears to travel in the same manner as the flu, this makes it likely that the mask would prove similarly beneficial.
This of course works by preventing the droplets of moisture from reaching your mouth or nose where they could cause an infection. Because they are not air-tight (for obvious reasons), this will not have a 100% success rate, but should be effective enough to make a significant improvement.
Likewise, wearing shades could even be useful, seeing as contact with the eyes can also lead to the condition spreading!
Vitamins, Minerals, and How to Improve Your Immunity
While there is no vaccination against coronavirus, generally improving your health and immunity is a way to protect against all disease.
Have you ever had the flu and noticed that your wife and children usually get it too? But every now and then, one of you manages to coast through completely fine! This is because that person has a stronger immune system at that time (or they have encountered that specific mutation of the virus before).
This is what we ideally want to try and emulate when travelling and when being exposed to the virus, and so with that in mind, here are some ways to keep yourself safe and healthy.
The first and most important thing you can do, is to make sure you are eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Avoid “empty calories” that don’t provide any vitamins and minerals, and instead try to get as much colorful fruit and vegetables on your plate as possible.
The most important nutrients to seek out in particular, include vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant that is known to support immunity), vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium. Selenium is useful for preventing the over-activity of the immune system, which can lead to inflammation and other similar issues.
Antioxidants are substances that combat the action of free radicals in the body — and these can otherwise damage cells and tax the immunity.
It’s also important to eat plenty of fiber, fermented foods, and yogurts. These contain live cultures of healthy bacteria that help to strengthen the body’s immunity. That’s because friendly bacteria in the stomach and gut can actually help to destroy harmful bacteria that otherwise wreaks havoc on the immune system. Getting a wide variety of different natural foods is the very best thing you can do for a healthy microbiome.
Another thing to consider is the importance of spending time outside. Sunlight encourages the body to produce vitamin D, which has recently been shown by studies to actually be more important than vitamin C for strengthening immunity.
Fresh air and cold exposure is also beneficial. Not only does fresh air help to clear out the lungs, but being cold can actually help to “train” the immune system, so that it is capable of working harder and doing its job better!
Other things can also affect your immunity. Did you know for example, that flossing your teeth can make you less likely to contract a wide range of illnesses? This is because our mouths are constantly bombarded by bacteria, which leaves us susceptible to other problems. When the mouth is clean, that problem disappears.
But the most important lifestyle factors of all are to a) avoid stress and b) get lots of sleep. When we are stressed or sleep deprived, this causes the body to suppress immune activity, leaving us open to attack. When we are rested both mentally and physically, we go into those battles with a full tank of fuel behind us.
Symptoms of Coronavirus — Recognizing it in Yourself and Others
The symptoms of coronavirus are generally very similar to the symptoms of other viruses and chest infections. This can make it particularly difficult to identify cases, and this is one of the reasons that the problem has been able to spread so quickly.
Symptoms of coronavirus include:
● Coughing — A persistent and potentially painful cough that can also keep you awake at night.
● A sore throat — This goes hand-in-hand with the cough, but is also due to inflammation of the airways.
● Tiredness and lethargy — Like most viral infections, the flu will leave you feeling tired and exhausted from small amounts of activity. This is owing to the effort your body is putting in when fighting the infection.
● Temperature — A temperature is your body’s way of attempting to drive out invading viruses.
This will cause the body to become very hot, as it tries to make the environment inhospitable. That means that the temperature in itself is not actually a negative thing, but rather an important strategy used by the body — so you should not try to fight the body by bringing the temperature back down. That said, you should monitor the temperature and make sure it doesn’t get too high, which can be dangerous. Likewise, you should keep drinking lots of water, as dehydration is one of the most serious complications of a fever.
● Difficulty breathing — This is the most severe symptom of coronavirus. Listen for a “rattling sound” in the chest. Likewise, look for signs of effortful, rapid breathing. If the patient also has signs of bluing around the lips in particular, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
If you notice any signs of coronavirus, then you should seriously consider whether this is the possible cause. With the symptoms being so similar to other types of cold and virus, it can be difficult to distinguish between them. The main evidence then is situational/contextual: have you been to any of the most affected areas in China? Have you met anyone from that region, or who has travelled to the region?
Also making life more difficult is the fact that symptoms can take several days to emerge — anywhere from 2–10 days. You need to think back at least this far then when considering whether Coronavirus is a likely candidate for your problems.
Treatment and Outcomes
If you notice any of the signs of coronavirus, then it is crucial that you seek medical attention immediately. Again, this is not necessarily for your own sake as much as to try and control the spread of the disease and prevent it spreading to anyone else. Many governments and health officials advise and request that patients attempt to “self-quarantine.” This essentially means that they should avoid going out into public spaces, and should stay home as much as possible.
This also includes not visiting the doctor or hospital waiting rooms, where you can of course risk spreading the disease to others. For that reason, it’s instead recommended that you call the doctor to visit you.
If you are taken into hospital, you will be placed under observation, and your breathing will be assisted should you need it. This can involve the use of a nebulizer, as well as oxygen mask. These will help you to take more oxygen into the lungs with each breath, as well as to reduce swelling and other effects that are making it more difficult to breathe.
Your temperature will also be monitored.
Things you can do yourself to help ease the symptoms and provide self-care include:
● Getting lots of rest and not pushing yourself mentally or physically
● Drinking lots of water — if you have a fever, then one of the most serious concerns is that this can lead to dehydration and associated problems
● Manage the build up of phlegm and mucus by using steam inhalation. To do this, fill a boil full of hot water and then hold your head over it with a blanket. Make sure that the steam is not hot enough to burn your nostrils, but that it is warm enough to break down the mucus. You can also try taking long hot showers.
You may also need to manage some secondary symptoms that can be caused by the primary symptoms. For example, you may struggle with poor sleep, or you might have headaches due to the build up of pressure in the sinuses. To deal with these, you can use analgesics.
There is no known cure for coronavirus, and as a viral infection it cannot be treated with antibiotics. However, with that said, the condition is also self-limiting, meaning that it will disappear over time. This can take a few days to a few months, depending on the severity of the infection, the appearance of complications, the health of the patient, and the treatment given.
Hopefully, this guide has served as a useful introduction and comprehensive overview of the coronavirus. You now know where you are likely to encounter it, and how to spot the symptoms. You understand the nature and the history of the condition, and you know how to keep yourself as safe as possible.t don’t lose your mind worrying about the disease — there are many more pressing concerns that most of us should be focusing on.
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