A coronavirus is a large group of viruses that are very common in animals. In rare cases, humans can get infected from animals – a condition called zoonosis by scientists.
Viruses of this group generally infect patients who have mild and moderate upper respiratory tract diseases and the clinical picture is generally similar to common cold. Runny nose, coughing, sore throat, probably headaches and fever – sometimes persisting for several days – are among the symptoms of coronavirus infection. The virus may cause more severe respiratory tract diseases like pneumonia or bronchitis in elder or younger individuals with a weak immune system. There are very few coronaviruses that can be fatal in human.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which causes respiratory problems, was first reported in the Middle East in 2012. Three fourth of each 10 patients infected by MERS, which has more serious symptoms, have died as reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is another coronavirus that can cause more severe symptoms compared to the other types. It was first identified in Guandong Province of South China. According to the World Health Organization, it can cause respiratory problems along with diarrhea, tiredness, shortness of breath, respiratory distress and renal failure. Depending on the patient’s age, mortality of SARS varies from 0 to 50 percent and elder patients form the high-risk and most vulnerable group.
Coronaviruses can be transmitted through contact of animals with humans. According to the World Health Organization, it is thought that MERS is transmitted among camels and SARS among civet cats. The human-to-human transmission of coronavirus is usually secondary to contact of a human with body secretions of an infected person. However, depending on the infectious potential of the virus, the virus may spread due to cough, sneezing or shaking hands. You may get infected by touching to a place and/or object touched by an infected person and touch your mouth, nose or eyes thereafter.
There is no specific treatment method. Mostly, symptoms disappear spontaneously. After the diagnosis is established, physicians can employ a treatment to alleviate the complaints with painkillers and antipyretics. Good indoor humidity and lukewarm shower may help alleviation of sore throat and/or cough. Moreover, plenty hydration, resting and sleeping will help the treatment. If the symptoms get worse than a standard cold, you should definitely seek help from a physician.
There is no vaccination that may, otherwise, offer protection against coronavirus family. MERS vaccine is still at experimental phase. Simple precautions will be beneficial for prevention
Avoid close contact with infected persons,
Wash hands frequently especially after direct contact with sick people or anything where they stay,
Prevent unprotected contact with farm animals or wild animals,
Keep a distance with others, close your mouth and nose with a single-use tissue while coughing or sneezing, wash hands and not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth, if you are already infected,
Disinfect surfaces that were contacted by infected persons,
Cook foods of animal origin, such as meat and eggs, well.
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that can cause a very large spectrum of outbreaks, ranging from common cold to more serious conditions like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Novel Coronavirus (CoV) is a new type of coronavirus that was not previously identified in humans.
Detailed research showed that SARS-CoV spread from civet cats to humans in China in 2002 and MERS-CoV spread from camels to humans in Saudi Arabia. There are also coronaviruses that are known not to infect human. Worldwide research on this virus family continues.
There is no vaccine for the treatment of Novel Coronavirus yet.
Some species of this virus family may be transmitted from one person to another. The risk of infection may substantially increase at home, workplace and/or crowded places following close contact with an infected person.
There is no specific treatment for the condition caused by Novel Coronavirus. However, most of the symptoms can be treated. The best treatment for a specific patient is dictated by the clinical picture. Moreover, supportive care can be pretty efficient for infected individuals.
Most important preventive measures regarding the infection and transmission are hand hygiene, wearing mask in crowded places and avoiding close contact with persons who have symptoms of respiratory tract diseases, such as coughing or sneezing. Consumption of safe food should also be taken into consideration; animal foods, such as meat and egg, should be cleaned and cooked well.