Coronavirus – what is happening? Everyone should know this
Without having time to move away from the escalating conflict between the United States and Iran, the whole world froze again in the nervous expectation of great danger. The reason was what is happening in the Chinese city of Wuhan, reminiscent of the beginning of the zombie apocalypse movie. The number of people infected with the coronavirus increases daily, but before you start panic and get ready for the apocalypse, let’s wait for a minute and figure out what the virus is, as well as it can’t actually be.
According to official data, the outbreak of the disease caused by the coronavirus started back in the second half of December 2019 in Wuhan in the seafood market. A mysterious disease was detected in 27 patients with common symptoms like fever, dry cough, constriction in the chest and shortness of breath. The first suspicion of doctors was a simple common cold, which is characteristic of winter in China, but analysis revealed an unknown virus, subsequently identified as a new stamp of coronavirus. The market where all this was probably started was closed, and people with clinical manifestations were isolated. But it turned out that the virus managed to spread outside China.
January 13, symptoms were found in a resident of Bankok, who visited Wuhan during the New Year holidays.
Every day the number of people with suspected infection was incrising, as did the list of countries in which the mysterious killer was identified.
January 25, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the acceleration of the spread of coronavirus
January 28, the World Health Organization changed the risk assessment of coronavirus from moderate to high.
Coronoviruses are a fairly large family of viruses with about 40 species. They got their name because of a spiky membrane that resembles a crown.
Often such viruses infect various animals, but in some cases they can be transmitted to humans.
Such infections are called zoonoses and, as scientists note, China, which involves various animals in the food industry and medicine, is an ideal environment for the development of such diseases.
According to microbiologist Paul Kellan, the main danger of this strain of coronavirus lies in the fact that it infects a person, is able to mutate in order to adapt to certain characteristics of the body.
Problems and particularities
As it was noted by Chinese doctors, the first victims of the virus before it had health problems of different types, which contributed to its development. Due to the gigantic activity of media and the Internet, it will be quite difficult to determine the actual number of people infected with this disease in the coming weeks; also the identification is complicating by the slight symptoms of coronavirus, similar to the cold.
Minister of Health in China Ma Xiaowei notes that in the early stages of incubation, patients experience symptoms such as:
Severely ill patients may experience breathing difficulties, including respiratory failure.
Ma Xiaowei also claims that there are more cases of mild form, which are characterized by mild fever and occasional cough.
The mild form creates problems for preventive measures, since a person experiencing a disease in this form may not even realize that he is sick and contagious. So to distinguish virus from other diseases we also have to know how it is transmitted.
At the time the outbreak began, the World Health Organization considered that human-to-human transmission was extremely unlikely and the only way to get infected was through contact with infected animals, but already on January 20, the head of the Chinese Health Committee Jun Nanshan said that a new type of coronavirus could have an airborne transmission. It was confirmed when a mysterious disease
was picked up by 14 health workers who were in contact with the infected people.
In order to protect themselves, the residents of Wuhan began to wear protective masks, but this was not enough (the virus is able to be transmitted by contact through the mucous membrane of the eyes). Among potential infection options, doctors also note eating raw or poorly processed meat. Then, coronavirus has a clearly defined risk group: almost all the dead cases are people over the age of 50 who have had health problems.
It is possible that the virus can be born by young people much easier, but additional research will be required to clarify the situation.
Even such an important topic as the methods of possible infection caused a lot of information speculation. Now, when reliable information can be easily drown under the weight of loud and radical statements, it is not difficult to guess that such an important topic would generate a lot of fakes, moreover, even the information that initially seemed true could later become inaccurate.
The description of the first clinical cases of the disease, published in the medical journal The lancet, denied that the seafood market in Wuhan was the starting point of the virus. Dr. Lily Wren claims that one of the first patients fell ill on December 1, 2019 and did not come into contact with the infamous market; do not forget that the first patients went to the hospital, already having pronounced symptoms. According to the specialist in infectious diseases Daniel Lucy – “ Between the infection and the onset of symptoms, the incubation period of the disease should also pass, which means that the infection occurred back in November. “
The entire set of data indicates that the virus did not originate in Wuhan, but entered the city and the market from the outside.
Another topic for information manipulation was the possibility of infection when receiving a parcel from China.
The daily number of buyers on Aliexpress amounts to tens of millions around the world, so the concerns of people are obvious, however,
epidemiologists from different countries agree that the virus cannot exist outside the carrier for more than 2 days, and since most packages from China last for several weeks, then fears are vain.
Also fake information about bananas infected with the virus are represented on social networks, which managed to sow panic in a number of countries, but there are no official confirmations.
The only ways to transmit coronavirus are:
From person to person
From animal to human
Despite the doctors’ statement that you should not panic, the sad news come from Wuhan.
A nurse working in an isolated city recorded a video call, which in a small amount of time gained 2 million views. She reports there that the official media in China underestimate the real number of patients, and in Hubei Province alone, these figures reach 90 thousand people.
China is a totalitarian state and the issue of censorship is especially important there. In addition, earlier in 2002, during the epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome, the PRC authorities already concealed cases of mass infection, therefore, the nurse’s words sound believable. She also noted that the coronavirus mutation in the second form could increase the number to one and a half million around the world, and spread is yet to come.
However, blogger Anastasia Kupyanskaya, who lives in the neighboring city of Luan, claims that there is no panic in the streets of Wuhan, and the only scarce product is masks, the authorities also provide residents with access to relevant information and keep the situation under control.
At the same time, we see photos and videos of other bloggers showing the other side of Wuhan, a deserted metropolis on the streets of which you rarely see a person.
For the first time in history, a city with a population of 11 million people was quarantined. The level of control over the situation in Wuhan is so high that in just a couple of days, workers and volunteers converted empty buildings and emergency rooms into several thousand places; another hospital is being built from scratch, 75 km from Wuhan, and is expected to be completed soon.
On January 28, scientists from Hong Kong announced that they managed to get the coronavirus vaccine. Researchers modified the flu vaccine, adding surface antigens to the virus, but you should not think this will instantly stop the virus. Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-young, responsible for the creation of the vaccine, notes that at least a year of clinical trials is needed, after which it will be convenient to go into serial production. While tests are in progress, the task of all mankind will be to counter panic through the ability to filter and analyze information as the coronavirus outbreak has generated a lot of opinions, facts, and obvious fakes. Take on the account that in fact only some pharmaceutical campaigns really need to create panic to make some money.
We have other tasks now. Remain calm and do not succumb to provocations.
Stay sound and healthy!