Coronavirus Outbreak: How Dangerous Is It? Signs, Symptoms And Treatments Of The Disease


The outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (nCOV) has caused widespread alarm and panic across the world. Here is everything you need to know about the novel disease

Written By Ananya Varma | Mumbai | Updated On:

The international outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (nCOV) has caused widespread alarm and panic across the world. With its epicentre in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has slowly spread across the globe with cases being reported in the US, Europe (in France), Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.  

China's National Health Commission stated that the epidemic is said to have caused over 40 deaths in China, with as many as 1300 cases of the illness being reported. The World Health Organisation (WHO) however has stated that it is "too early" to declare the disease as a global health emergency. Here is a detailed report about everything you need to know about the coronavirus. 

Read: Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Death toll rises to 41, 1300 cases in China

What is coronavirus?

The 2019 Coronavirus Outbreak in China has been identified as nCoV which is a new strain of the coronaviruses that have their origins from animals. These transmit illnesses from animals to humans, however, human-to-human transmission is also possible.

In humans, the nCoV viruses mostly cause respiratory infections and while most of them are mild, some can be potentially dangerous. Some of the similar viruses are Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). 

Read: China seals 5 cities in a bid to prevent coronavirus spread

Origin of the virus

Just like the SARS outbreak in China back in 2003 which claimed around 800 lives, the Coronavirus Outbreak also began from a 'wet' seafood market (which sells both live and dead animals). The food market where China's deadly coronavirus surfaced was a smorgasbord of exotic wildlife ranging from wolf pups to species linked to previous pandemics such as civets, a Chinese local media reported. It sold animal-based products including foxes, snakes, crocodiles, rats, peacocks. While the Coronavirus is said to have links from bats, it is likely that the host of the infection in Wuhan was snakes. 

Read: China: Huanan Seafood Market believed to be linked to SARS-like virus

Signs & Symptoms of Coronavirus

The Coronavirus cause respiratory tract infections like pneumonia. Its accompanying symptoms include fever, cough, cold and can even escalate to breathing difficulties. Milder symptoms could be a runny nose, headache or just a sore throat. 

The symptoms are said to appear 2-14 days after the individual has caught the infection. The infection is communicable and can be transmitted by another person's sneezing or coughing.

Treatment and Prevention 

In cases of viral pneumonia, antibiotics do not work. There is no medicated treatment or drugs for the disease. The only treatment that can be given is putting the patient on a ventilator and ensuring enough oxygen supply reaches the lungs. The patient is also made to drink lots of fluids to push out the infection from the system. There is no need for any other medicine as the body can recuperate from the infection on its own.

However certain precautions should be taken to avoid coming in contact with the virus. One should ensure that one has plenty of fluids and water every day. We should also make sure to wash our hands at regular intervals. 

Read: Vast virus quarantine in China as cases emerge in Europe, S. Asia

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