Since the coronavirus appeared in Wuhan China in December 2019 it has spread around the world.
Coronaviruses or COVID-19 are a large group of viruses that are part of a big species of animals, and humans are included in the animal reign as well.
From science, we know that two coronaviruses have been so far extremely dangerous and that could cause death.
From this family, the MERS- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome- have been well known to humanity for the past few decades. The former is so dangerous, that if infected, three out of four people die. The later shows that about 10% of people infected died from it, especially the elderly.
How do the viruses come to life?
Any human contact with animals is a good launching pad for the acquisition, development, mutation of these viruses.
The transmission of viruses does not happen only from animals to humans, it is from humans to humans when people are closer than three feet (one meter) to each other and one of them got infected.
How do viruses spread?
The viruses can spread among other ways through a sneeze, handshake or sexual contacts. Our habits also can perpetuate their existence and development, for instance not washing our hands properly, keep touching our face.
As viruses do depend on climate, they can thrive, strive or die in certain temperatures. Some do not last at all above 40 Celsius, while some others multiply voraciously. The viruses’ proliferation rate is always based on numbers from the scientific viewpoint.
When the scientists work with the numbers, they learn quickly which virus grows. The coronavirus spread does that fast because the multiplication indicator that the scientists use is greater than the number one (>1).
The formula that determines the coronavirus outbreak includes all the biological and environmental factors known at the time for the virus to develop.
What is the multiplication factor?
When coronavirus infects a human from an animal, the human has the ability to infect more than two people if the multiplication indicator just shown above is >2.
The two people infected can spread the virus to the other two people, and they can do the same to the other two and this goes on forever if not stopped.
From our knowledge on viruses generally, the multiplication indicator could be as high as 18 for example fro measles and as low as 1.5 as it is for ebola.
We all get flu at one point or another and it still shows the multiplication factor is usually not very big. The common flu that we also have vaccines, it shows at 1.2 on average.
Even though we have this number 1.2 who could not be considered high compared to 18, we’ve got to consider the environmental factors that act around the coronavirus. They can change the rate of spread dramatically.
Information plays a huge role
When a virus such as SARS broke out, people weren’t aware of its danger, but once they learned what to do, what the symptoms are they went to get tested and treated early.
Coronavirus is not an infection that bursts right out and shows the symptoms immediately. It takes an incubation period of about 12-14 days.
How can we deal with it?
From the infrastructure viewpoint, we can increase the health system base, raising the numbers of medical staff, increasing the number of hospitals and other adequate medical institutions where personnel is ready to treat all patients infected.
In a short time that the coronavirus spreads these goals of building, qualifying and getting new resources is unimaginable.
Then, a feasible option is to slow down the outbreak of coronavirus. Scientists refer to these as flattening the curve.
It takes longer than if we have all medical equipment, and human resources engaged, and it’s a safer solution, as it involves the mindful, receptive participation of the people in every community based on the information they get from qualified persons who know more about the corona.
Since it takes longer, even the same amount of cases would be a benefit to society as their number does not increase affecting other people’s lives.
The current health institutions, staff, and equipment will deal with the corona outbreak in better conditions as they start treating the patients as they come in and release them once cured.
The flatten curve helps relieve the strain put on the health system resources during the coronavirus spread.
What are the symptoms
Good news, as most people even diagnosed with coronavirus don’t die. Even an overwhelming number of humans do not even get it. Usually, the bodies that are frail, their immune system is low and the elderly get infected.
When infected people get diagnosed, they have the following symptoms:
- start with coughing
- shortness of breath
These are the average flu symptoms.
When people are healthy, even diagnosed, their body having a higher immunity can fight the coronavirus.
In any case, if you experience all the symptoms enumerated above, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
Who can suffer seriously from COVID-19?
As mentioned, coronavirus proves fatal to those whose immune system is weak, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions. It’s harder to fight corona by people who are sick with heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
The people with pneumonia if infected by a coronavirus, the oxygen would not reach into the lungs and the continuous shortage of vital oxygen can lead to the death of the patient.
Those who are diagnosed with sepsis could be a serious target for coronavirus because their body overreacts to any kind of infection.
Their body unbalanced response to the corona infection could be damaging creating severe damage in their body including organ failure and death.
How long does can coronavirus live in our environment?
There are surfaces like metal, plastic and solid material generally. By touching these and getting the infection the probability is quite low. On these materials, the virus can live up to three days or seventy-two hours.
On cardboard, the virus expires within one day only. It may be a probability that people get infected from cardboards only if people who used the same cardboard before were sick and actually sneezed, coughed or had contaminated hands that held it.
In the air, it lasts for a half-hour if the virus droplets are smaller than five micrometers, or five millionth of a meter. The coronavirus droplets can be released at six feet (two meters) height and after about half-hour, they drop on the ground if they don’t get someone infected in the meantime.
What do the world countries do to stop the pandemic?
Countries which first came into contact and the virus spread there earlier and exponentially also have prepared numerous responses. They still tweak some of their measures to help a more rapid decline of the coronavirus outbreak.
When the authorities locked down the Wuhan city in China once they found out how aggressive the corona could be, it brought the attention to the world public which started tougher measures while the virus then was supposed to spread at a lower rate.
Many countries introduced regional quarantine which later they extended in some of the worst affected areas all over the world.
Some countries haven’t used the quarantine method for decades as it was not necessary.
However, in the past half-century, the world changed dramatically: we travel a lot more, for pleasure and for business, we have a mobile workforce, the borders opened in between many countries and the population increased at more than double.
As the quarantine methods were applied in the past, we want to know how effective they can be today.
The restriction of large groups of people may prevent the spread of coronavirus.
It’s crucial to get immediate medical attention and diagnostic in the early stages of the sickness when we first detect the symptoms.
South Korea just started to use pioneering technology such as ‘drive-thru’ testing. China already deployed thermal monitoring equipment to monitor, and record temperatures in public places.
The engaging of numerous resources, investment to building infrastructure faster, the governments around the world work together to lower the risks, and consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.
What an individual could do to minimize the risk of getting infected?
if you receive a cardboard box or cardboard envelope or any other item made of cardboard, wipe it out with disinfectant wipes and wash your hands.
Other materials and items made of plastic and steel that we touch must be wiped with disinfectant.
Some recently only a few days old research shows that coronavirus can last in the air for about thirty minutes. This contradicts with a previous old statement of the World Health Organization that the virus is not airborne.
In the air is best to keep away from other persons, and for the medical staff, they should wear respiratory masks to keep the spreading of the virus low.
People should keep a distance from each other to help contain the outbreak. There are a few things which are easy to do for each of us to help minimize the risks of COVID-19
- wash our hands frequently and thoroughly; keep soaping them for at least twenty seconds
- keeps hands off the face and skin in general, but especially around mouth and nose
- avoid the airborne coronavirus droplets by avoiding close contact with persons who are coughing, sneezing, or even talking.
- to be safe, keep the three feet (one meter) distance in between
- when water is not available, we can use hand sanitizer making sure that the alcohol concentration is at least 60%
- when it happens that we cough or sneeze, avoid using the hands to cover the mouth or nose, use a tissue instead. If a tissue is not handy, use the crook of our elbow
- wearing masks is in a debate because people tend to wear the respiratory masks improperly. When not used correctly, and the person is not sick with coronavirus, the mask can be a fateful carrier of the corona.
Individuals’ roles in limiting the spread of COVID-19 are crucial, however, the measures taken by the governments and authorities world-wide are meant to stop the spread of the virus.
After more than three weeks of a global outbreak there are several conclusions which could give us some optimistic outlook on the matter:
- the vast majority of people who got infected by coronavirus recovered
- the overwhelming majority of people who contracted the virus have either a weak immune system, have pre-existing critical illnesses, are elderly
- touching the metal, cardboard and plastic have little chance of getting the disease
- in the air, the coronavirus droplets stay about thirty minutes, and then drop into the soil, the chances to get it that way are minimal
- unless we have permanent contact, such as living with the person that already contracted the disease there are minimal chances to get infected.
Nevertheless, the chances to get infected should not be minimized as any of us no matter how strong of a body we take pride to continuously develop and maintain, the infectious virus is always alert to attack.
The coronavirus causes a huge recession in the world, people will lose their job (Naukri)
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