Breaking news! New Chinese coronavirus. Symptoms and Diagnosis
A new type of virus has appeared in China that causes pneumonia, due to which three people have already died, and the total number of victims can be 1.7 thousand. It already has a name, approximate symptoms of the disease are known, but nobody knows the main thing yet: how it is transmitted and how to prevent it.
Last year December 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new type of virus that appeared in Chinese city of Wuhan. This is a large city with a population of more than 11 million people, it is located further than a thousand kilometers south of Beijing.
Before, scientists did not encounter something similar, but the virus is already attributed to the family of coronaviruses that can cause various diseases in people: from the common cold to SARS - a severe acute respiratory syndrome (TARS or SORS). The latter can be fatal. Such viruses “work” according to the following principle: they have something like spikes, which allows them to attach to cells. They use them as a kind of "factory" that produces new viruses - they infect a new cell, and the process repeats.
A new type of virus causes something similar to pneumonia. Not much is known about it so far. But the new virus has already been given the name 2019-nCoV.
Due to the sharp increase in the incidence rate, authorities fear that the epidemic could spread even wider. Millions of Chinese this week celebrates the New Year according to the lunar calendar (January 25th), it is customary to visit relatives on this holiday, for which many have to travel to other regions of the country.
In Wuhan, three people had already died because of it by January 20, according to the website of the Municipal Health Committee. According to official dates, more than 200 people got sick, and the Chinese authorities have already confirmed this, writes Reuters. Scientists from Imperial College London do not particularly trust the official data and insist that there are already about 1.7 thousand victims of the virus, Interfax writes.
There are cases not only in China, but also in Thailand and Japan - they became infected in Wuhan, where the virus appeared. In addition, writes The Wall Street Journal, a Chinese woman who flew to South Korea also became infected with the virus. Symptoms in patients are different, someone begins with something like pneumonia. Basically, a disease caused by a virus is accompanied by a dry cough and fever. So far, scientists have not developed an antivirus, so doctors are treating the symptoms identified in patients.
The first sick was infected from seafood in the wholesale market. This is not uncommon - in the past, viral diseases and epidemics were also associated with them. That market, due to which a new virus began to spread, was closed on January 1, 2020.
But, as CNet writes, there is a good news. While the virus does not seem to be very contagious, Interfax clarifies that there are no recorded cases where the virus would be transmitted from person to person. However, exactly how the virus then spreads is not yet clear, and WHO does not exclude that it is still contagious.
Outside of Asia, there are no confirmed cases of virus infection. However, in the United States, for example, precautions have already been taken - from Friday, January 17, passengers who fly from Wuhan are undergoing additional searches, they are looking for signs of a new virus. This affected three airports: in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
Additional precautions have been taken in China. At the airport in Wuhan, passengers are screened right on the plane.
Precautions include the fact that the Chinese New Year is approaching - the holiday begins on January 25, 2020. That is, hundreds of millions of Chinese will travel around the world, and most importantly - to visit relatives abroad, and they can come to visit them from abroad, Science Alert explains.
WHO also does not recommend relaxing, because the fact that cases have not yet been identified does not mean that they are not. The organization recommends following hygiene requirements: wash hands with soap, cover your nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who have a cold or the flu. At the same time, it will be the prevention of influenza. The WHO also advises careful preparation of meat and eggs, as well as avoiding unprotected contact with animals: both wild and farm.
In connection with the increase in the amount of news about the new virus, how not to recall vaccines? So the opponent of vaccinations on Twitter offered an alternative to injections, only his idea only once again proves the victory of vaccination.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The mechanism of the spread of the virus is not yet fully understood. It is known that you can get infected through close and prolonged contact with a sick person, since most transmission cases occurred in hospitals and at home.
Most at risk are people with weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and kidney failure. It is rarely transmitted to children (according to statistics, only 3% of all cases were children under the age of 14).
The manifestations of the new coronavirus are similar to the usual flu: fever, cough, shortness of breath, general malaise, diarrhea. Symptoms do not appear immediately, the incubation period lasts 7-14 days.
In severe cases of the disease, respiratory arrest may occur, which requires mechanical ventilation and assistance in the intensive care unit.
Mortality from the virus is 36-40%.
Identification of patients in the initial stages is not always possible due to the fact that, like other respiratory infections, the coronavirus does not have particular symptoms in the early stages.
In the process of treatment, emphasis is placed on the restoration of respiratory tract functions. Plasma treatment is used for patients who have successfully suffered a coronavirus infection (a similar approach was used in the treatment of SARS and Ebola).
Prevention measures are important to prevent the possible spread of 2019-nCoV. Hygiene is required, including washing or disinfecting hands regularly. Only products of animal origin that have undergone proper heat treatment or pasteurization can be eaten.
When communicating with infected people, protective measures should be taken against infection transmitted by airborne droplets, for example using protective masks.