All you need to know about COVID-19 that has created havoc across the world
It all started when headlines broke that a deadly virus originating from a seafood market in Wuhan, China where wildlife was also traded illegally has spread all over the country. A huge crisis has emerged where the country had to go for a shutdown and make emergency hospitals within few days to curb the situation. While everyone was praying for the country, the virus slowly took over the world and spread across other countries.
It has been only three months since the first case at China was reported where scientists shared that there has been an outbreak of a virus that causes unusual cases of pneumonia, and as of April 24, more than 1,91,000 people worldwide have died of COVID-19, more than 2.71 million people have tested positive. In India within few weeks number of effected have reached almost 23,239 and the death toll is rising regularly. Like Italy, China and other countries, India has also gone under lockdown and some places have even declared curfew as a method to control the spread. As it has no vaccine yet and is highly mutant and spreads fast, social distancing is the only solution, as per the experts’ opinion.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared this virus outbreak as global pandemic as it has spread all across the world taking hundreds and thousands of lives.
Here we will share all about this deadly virus whose mortality rate is only 3.4% but has created havoc all across.
- What is coronavirus?
As per the WHO, coronaviruses are a family of viruses causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The virus was originally transmitted from animals to human beings. For instance, SARS was transmitted from civet cats and MERS was from a camel. Various coronaviruses circulate among animals and are yet to be detected and have not affected humans yet.
The virus looks as if it is surrounded by a solar corona under an electron microscope, and therefore gets the name coronavirus, which originally comes from the Latin word corona meaning halo or crown.
The Chinese authorities announced this novel coronavirus on January 7, 2020, and titled it SARS-CoV-2, which has never been identified in humans earlier. It is popularly known as COVID-19 or coronavirus across the world. Though very little about this virus is known, it is confirmed that the virus transmits through human to human. Some researches show that almost 80% of people who are infected show no or only mild symptoms and may not even know they are sick. However, more studies are required to unravel the mysteries of this virus.
- What are the symptoms?
According to WHO, the infection would cause fever, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, cough and a flu-like feeling. In some severe cases, it might lead to pneumonia, organ failures and death. The incubation period of the infection and onset of symptoms ranges from 1 to 14 days and generally infected people show signs within 5-6 days. Although, symptoms can be asymptomatic despite the virus remaining in their systems.
Various data shows that almost 80% of the patients have a mild effect of the disease while 13% have severe and 6% have critical effects.
- What are the steps taken to stop it?
In this world crisis, scientists are trying their best to come up with a vaccine but they have also warned that its availability for mass distribution will not happen before 2021.While scientists are racing for the invention the countries have introduced their own set of rules to stop the spread. These measures include nationwide lockdown, curfew, bans on mass gathering, closure of schools, clubs, restaurants, issued a work-from-home decree, closed borders, cancelled inter-city as well as international flights and many more.Various global, as well as private organisations, are carrying online campaigns to spread awareness and asking people to wash their hands with soaps or alcohol-based gel with minimum 20 seconds, cover face with tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing, dispose tissues in a waste bin and maintain hygiene, maintain social distancing and avoid touching the face.
While nobody knows when the outbreak will stop, China is slowly stabilizing from the situation, where it originated. After almost a massive 2 months-long lockdown people have started returning to the normal life. However, it is to be seen whether such a return spurs another outbreak or not. Meanwhile, in India, doctors and leaders are trying their best to control the spread and it is yet to be seen when people can return to their normal life.