The new mysterious coronavirus infection first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and with its rapid widespread to America, Europe, Canada, the United Arab Emirates Australia and Africa (suspected case), it has become very necessary for everyone to be on alert to protect themselves and their families.
Chinese authorities first identified this the new coronavirus and so far thousands of cases reported and deaths confirmed.
With a confirmed case in Tibet, every region in mainland China is now infected.
An exact number of those infected and those who have died cannot be provided as these figures keep changing with every minute of the day.
But just as an idea, as of January 29,2020, the death toll had risen to 170 and the confirmed cases of infection was now at 7,711.
Once again, please note that these figures are constantly changing.
As of early 2020. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Army have been closely monitoring the outbreak of the virus.
This protection and prevention guide is written mostly for the ordinary citizens an members of the public (an not medical experts) who want to go about their daily activities and still feel completely safe.
Frantic and relentless efforts are being made to prevent the further spread of the virus and countries are implementing measures like tougher screening measures at their airports, ports and other points of entries.
The answer to this question is an absolute and emphatic YES, and that is why this book
has been written to help you keep yourself and family safe and healthy.
As at the time this book was written, doctors in China have claimed to have found success in curing patients using an experimental drug.
But it is yet to be known if countries like the United States would agree to use this drug considering it hasn’t been fully approved.
So, for now, your best chance of surviving this is to protect yourself.
In addition to the experimental drugs, researchers in Australia have also taken a massive step to finding the cure.
All these would be discussed in detail in a later chapter of this book.
Please take note that even though the writer of this book is a medical researcher, efforts have been kept to keep it as simple as possible in order for everyone to completely understand the contents of the book.
So by way of an introduction, let us talk a little about the virus.
What is the Coronavirus?
Broadly speaking, coronaviruses are a group of disease-causing viruses that mostly affect mammals and birds.
Humans are mammals and can easily contact this virus if adequate protective and preventive measures are not taken.
In humans, it causes respiratory infections and typically, symptoms are mild and included common cold.
However, rarer forms like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have been confirmed to be lethal.
For the purpose of this book, we would be discussing about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which is also known as the Wuhan coronavirus.
The complete DNA sequence of the genome of the virus has been determined through genomic sequencing which shows it to be a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA.
Positive-sense RNA viruses include those like rhinoviruses (common cold), hepatitis C
virus, West Nile virus, dengue virus, SARS and MERS coronaviruses, all of which
accounts for a large fraction of viruses known to man.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first discovered in December 2019.
After a pneumonia outbreak was reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the World Health Organization (WHO) then traced it to a novel strain of coronavirus and labeled it 2019-nCov.
Even though it was first discovered in December 2019, it is believed that the first human infection was have happened a while back in November 2019.
This virus primarily infects the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of humans.
It causes a range of symptoms and has even led to a couple of deaths recorded.
It has been popularly believed that the virus is zoonotic in origin, this is because of epidemiological links to largescale animal and seafood market.
This means that the first patients who got infected with this virus acquired it from animals.
The possibility of this animal to human transmission is due to the ability of the ability of the virus to acquire a series of genetic mutations while in the animal host.
This mutation then allowed it to infect and even multiply inside humans.
Scientist who have been working on the 2019-nCoV have linked its original source to two type of snakes.
These snakes are believed to be the Chinese Krait (also known as Taiwanese Krait) and the Chinese Cobra which are high venomous species of elapid snakes.
This snakes are found in much of central and southern China and Southeast Asia.
However, other disease researchers are disputing this and claiming the main source of the disease is most likely to be the bat.
One of such is Professor Guizhen Wu of the Chinese Center for Disease Control who revealed that the data so far in their
possession was consistent with the virus being initially hosted by bats.
Seen as the biological super villain, bats have long been huge reservoirs of several different types of deadly viruses to humans.
Most common viruses that have been linked to the bat include the Ebola virus, rabies, SARS, MERS and now the Wuhan coronavirus.
In most cases, the transmission from bat to humans is not direct, as they are often intermediaries between them and us.
As an example, the camel was an intermediary between the bat and humans in the transmission of the MERS, while the
civet cat was the intermediary between bats and humans in the spread of SARS.
In the medical field, bats are recognized as important reservoirs for both emerging and re-emerging viruses that can be transmitted from animals to humans, that is, they have zoonotic potentials
Despite all the scientific data and published papers, it is too early to say for sure
whether the new coronavirus originated from bats.
In addition, there has been no prove or confirmation if any intermediary was involved in the transmission.
The first case of the sickness was reported in December 2019 in one of China’s major cities, Wuhan.
In Just a matter of weeks, it has spread to America, Europe, Oceania, Africa (suspected case) and other parts of Asia.
Efforts are being made by countries around the world to stop the spread and this book would do its own part to help stop it from spreading.
Field studies have revealed that this virus can be transmitted from human to human.
First humans in China to be infected were mostly workers or consumers at a local Chinese wholesale market were processed meat and live animals were sold for consumption.
Animals like bamboo rats, hedgehogs, reptiles, pigs, camels, foxes, badgers, sheep, poultry, etc were all being sold in the market.
With these facts, initial hypothesis of the spread of the 2019-nCoV is that it passed to humans through an animal that was being sold at the market.
Human to Human Transmission
The 2019-nCoV is transmitted primarily through the air.
Human to human transmission is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets which are produced during coughing or sneezing.
This spread is similar to the way other types of influenza and respiratory pathogens are spread.
The spread is generally believed to occur when in close contacts.
The range of transmission between humans in cases of coughing or sneezing is about 3 feet (or 0.91 meters) to 6 feet (or 1.8 meters). That is, someone can get infected if he/she is standing between 3 to 6 feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs.
Transmission characteristics are similar in magnitude to those of sever acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV).
So far, the Wuhan coronavirus has been able to transmit down a chain of up to four persons.
The ease with which the virus spreads from person-to-person varies due to a number of factors.
Chinese authorities have said that the virus can be transmitted during tis incubation period even though WHO disputes this and says it remains unclear.
As a summary, these are the four ways it spreads;
- Through the air by sneezing or coughing.
- Touching or shaking hands with an infected person. Close personal/bodily contact.
- Touching and object or any surface that has the virus on it, then using that same hand to touch your mouth, nose, eyes or any other opening in the body.
- Fecal contamination, even though this is very rare.
Information here is as of January 29, 2020,
With nearly 8,000 people infected around the world and at least 170 dead, most of
these have been in China especially Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province.
It is also noteworthy that all the deaths have been reported in China.
United States: Five (5) cases have been confirmed while a massive 92 are awaiting testing.
Four States in the United States have been confirmed to have the virus.
These states include;
- California – 2 cases
- Washington – 1 case
- Illinois – 1 case
- Arizona – 1 case
The total number of states in the US under investigation are 36, according to the CDC.
United Kingdom: On January 31, British health officials confirmed two people had tested positive.
At the time of the announcement, the government was planning to receive about 87 citizens from the Wuhan province.
14 confirmed cases.
11 confirmed cases with no deaths
10 cases so far
8 cases with no deaths
8 cases with no deaths
7 cases with no deaths
7 cases with no deaths
5 cases with no deaths
4 cases with no deaths
4 cases with no deaths
United Arab Emirates:
4 cases with no deaths
3 cases with no deaths
4 cases, no deaths, 28 suspects in isolation Cambodia:
1 case with no deaths
1 case with no deaths
1 case with no deaths
1 cases with no deaths
Africa: A case in Zambia was reported, but has not been confirmed.
For now, it is being treated as a ‘suspected case’.
This 2019-nCoV makes the infected person sick and symptoms shown range from mild to moderate respiratory tract illness.
According to the CDC, symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as just two days.
In other cases, it has taken as much as 14 days for any symptom to show.
All the symptoms it presents are similar to a common cold.
These symptoms are less frequent in infected patients.
- Running nose
- Sore throat
The most reported symptoms include
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath
- Respiratory distress
These symptoms present in severe cases and have led to death in most cases.
- Kidney failure
- Impaired liver and kidney function
- Cardiovascular disease
All the severe symptoms caused some form of impairment in immune system of the patients that eventually led to their deaths.
For other set of people listed below, the virus could lead to a lower and much more serious respiratory tract illness like pneumonia and bronchitis.
These set of people include;
- those with a weak immune system,
- the elderly, and
- the very young children,
For the above three groups of people listed above, fever may not be present.
Before we go into the prevention, let us talk briefly about its diagnosis.
This book is not for diagnostic purposes and we advise you proceed to the hospital for medical care if you are in an infected city and the symptoms in chapter two of this book presents itself.
In January, the WHO published a protocol on diagnostic testing for the virus.
This protocol was developed by a team of virologists from the Charite University of Medicine in Germany.
However, for purely informational purposes, to detect coronaviruses, a laboratory test is usually carried out on respiratory specimens and serum (part of your blood).
Reporting your travel history to your doctor is also extremely important.
With no effective treatment or vaccine against the virus, the best option is to prevent yourself from contacting it.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and CDC have given out a number of recommendations for preventions.
These recommendations are for those in affected cities of the outbreak.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (coughing or sneezing).
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not go out if you are sick.
- Any tissue or cloth used in covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing should be thrown away.
- Disinfect and clean objects or surfaces that you touch regularly.
- Wear masks if you are indoors in crowded areas or the midst of the outbreak like hospitals, airports, trains in the affected cities.
- Avoid taking your children to indoor playgrounds.
- Avoid going into crowded shopping centers or malls or packed restaurants.
- Tell your children not to share meals during lunch in schools.
- Enforce a strict regular handwashing routine in your home, especially for your children. To make this more fun and less of a burden, teach them a prolonged “handwashing song”.
- Avoid eating raw and undercooked animals.
- Avoid direct contact with live animals.
- Always protect yourself when touching animals in affect cities.
- Exercise great care whenever you handle raw meat, milk or other animal organs. This would help prevent cross-contamination with uncooked food.
If you have been following the story and watching TV broadcasts, you would see a number of people wearing masks outdoors and walking on the streets.
Such people are just uninformed as study shows that viruses do not spread so well through air.
Wearing the mask also poses another risk because if it is used incorrectly and intercepts the virus, it can easily enter your body.
The absence of air filters in the mask and the lack of protection for the eyes also
makes them ineffective in the prevention of the virus.
Theoretically speaking, if you must use a mask, it is advisable to use a new one every time you step out of your house.
Properly disposing of the used masks is also crucial.
Looking at the bigger picture at preventing the spread, countries are taking big steps to contain the virus.
China has sealed off the affected cities and a number of transport systems have been shut down.
In addition, the Chinese government is doing its best to make sure people remain at home with workers in the Hubei Province advised to work from home.
In relation to sports, they have been an announcement of postponement of all football games by the Chinese Football Association.
Other countries like the United States are also doing their best to prevent the spread.
Citizens are being evacuated from Wuhan.
The European Union are also making sure their citizens are safe and getting them out of China and the affected province.
Countries are generally advising their citizens to avoid travelling to China if the trip is not very important.
So far, there is no cure or vaccine for the 2019-nCoV infection.
Many people who contact it only have mild symptoms and eventually recover from it even though some have died from it.
People with pre-existing illness are prone to this infection and need greater care in handling it.
The 2019-nCoV virus is believe to be less deadly than the SARS virus which killed nearly 800 people worldwide during the 2002/2003 outbreak.
MERS is the least spread but deadliest of the three as it killed a third of all those infected.
With no cure for the 2019-nCoV, treatment is mainly focused on alleviating the symptoms like dry cough, fever and shortness of breath.
Despite the lack of specific treatment or vaccine, here are four steps provided by the US CDC to help infected persons from relieving their symptoms.
- Take regular flu drugs/medications.
- Drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Adequate rest
- See a doctor if symptoms persist especially if you just returned from China.
- In severe cases, any form of treatment should focus on supporting vital organs of the body.
There has been no specific or approved treatment for the disease yet but efforts are in overdrive to find the cure.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) is already testing existing treatments for pneumonia to determine their efficacy in treatment of coronavirus-related pneumonia.
According to reports, doctors in China are claiming that they have cured a patient of the 2019-nCoV virus.
The reports say they did this using an “HIV wonder drug” with Chinese authorities claiming the patient has fully recovered.
The Municipal Health Commission of Shanghai described the drug as being somewhat successful in stopping the spread of the disease to cells.
In addition, lopinavir/ritonavir which are combination antiretroviral HIV drugs are being used by some hospitals in China.
Australian scientists are also at the forefront of the battle against the deadly coronavirus as a team of researchers at Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, announced that they have recreated the virus.
The sample was grown from an infected patient and they are expected to share it with the World Health Organization and laboratories around the world.
This is not a cure for the virus, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
For them, it is a piece of the puzzle they have provided.
Only two countries were highlighted here, but it doesn’t mean they are the only two countries taking efforts to find a cure for the virus.
Researchers around the world are doing their best to bring this Wuhan coronavirus to an end.
According to World Health Organization, the current Wuhan coronavirus is not a global emergency and as at January 29, 2020, it had not declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Even though the declaration has not yet been made, the WHO confirmed that it thinks the situation if in fact a serious one.
Such declarations have only used five times and for the gravest epidemics.
Take a look at the five global health emergencies since 2005 (this is when the declaration was formalized).
2009: Used for the swine flu
UPDATE: On January, 30, 2020 the UN agency finally declared the Wuhan coronavirus an international emergency.
The effect of this would be improved international coordination in fighting the disease.
As for the CD in the United States, they consider is a very serious threat to public health even though they say the immediate risk to the general American population is currently low.
Investigations and researches are still ongoing to be able to learn more things like its transmissibility, severity and other things about the virus.