Medical Experts Still Known Little about 2019-nCoV
There are countless illnesses and viruses that the general public is more than aware of. They’re relatively common, which means that healthcare professionals have the means to treat and eliminate them when they do appear. Vaccines have proven to be a crucial tool in dealing with many of these illnesses. Unfortunately, new diseases and viruses do emerge, leading to large groups of people falling ill and even dying.
That is currently the case as a new coronavirus originating from China has begun to spread. Officials do not know much about this new virus, but it has affected thousands of people already. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), officials have confirmed 6000 cases of this new coronavirus, referred to as 2019-nCoV. While the majority of the cases come from China, it has quickly made its way to other parts of the world, including the United States. In the U.S., there are currently 165 patients under investigation of 2019-nCoV.
This is not the first coronavirus in recorded history. There have been plenty that led to global panic and countless deaths. Tots N Teens Pediatrics want to help you keep your family healthy and safe. Today, we are going to be discussing this new coronavirus and what you can do to stay healthy.
What is Coronavirus?
According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate from animals. They are zoonotic, meaning the virus transfers from animals to humans. Furthermore, coronaviruses cause illnesses that range from the common cold to more severe and deadly diseases. Two other human coronaviruses have proven to cause severe symptoms. They are:
- MERS-CoV: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a coronavirus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). As the name suggests, the virus originated in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia, in September 2012. MERS-CoV is a respiratory illness that came with symptoms of shortness of breath, fever, coughing, and more. As many as 4 out of 10 patients confirmed with the virus have died. It spreads through an infected person’s respiratory secretions, like sneezing and coughing. Experts believe the virus spread from cats to humans.
- SARS-CoV: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus, known as SARS-associated coronavirus or SARS-CoV. The first reported case of SARS was in Asia in February 2003. In the following months, it spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. However, officials finally contained it. Over 8,000 people were infected, and 774 people were killed by the virus. Experts believe the infection spread from camels to humans.
The world is no stranger to coronaviruses. Several known coronaviruses spread between animals that have yet to infect humans. However, they still can, as is the case with 2019-nCoV.
What is 2019-nCoV?
As we have stated, the world is currently dealing with the spread of a brand-new coronavirus, which is being referred to as 2019-nCoV. The beginning of this outbreak began in Wuhan, China. Many believe that the outbreak began when many patients came in contact with a large seafood and animal market, suggesting that the virus spreads from animal to human. However, more and more people have contracted the disease that had reportedly no exposure to these animal markets, which means that the virus is spreading person to person.
Healthcare experts still have no idea how easily or sustainably 2019-nCoV is spreading between people. Due to this fact, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of this illness. Symptoms of 2019-nCoV have ranged from individuals becoming mildly sick with the common cold to cases of those falling seriously ill, leading to numerous deaths.
Some symptoms to stay aware of include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulties breathing
In severe cases:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Impaired liver function
- Kidney failure
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials suspect that symptoms can appear within two days of exposure or as long as 14 days after. Both the MERS-CoV and the SARS-CoV both took the lives of hundreds of individuals, so it’s incredibly important to act quickly if you suspect you’ve come in contact with 2019-nCoV.
Unfortunately, healthcare providers confirm there is no working vaccine to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV. For this reason, they urge individuals throughout the world to practice proper healthcare techniques to avoid being exposed to the virus. Some of the preventative actions the CDC urges people to practice to prevent the spread of this new coronavirus include:
- Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Appling alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content
- Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding contact with sick individuals
- Avoiding contact with other people if you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue then effectively disposing of it
- Making sure to wash your hands after coming into contact with raw meat, animals, or other waste products
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
- Wearing a facemask if you are sick
Unfortunately, since we know very little about this new virus, there are no treatments designed to specifically treat infected people. They only receive treatments to help ease their symptoms.
It was reported on Thursday, January 30th, that the first case of coronavirus spreading from person to person had been confirmed. A Chicago man contracted the illness from his wife, who fell sick after she returned from a trip to Wuhan, China. While there are only six cases of the virus in the U.S., five of them were people who reported the disease after their trip from China. However, the sixth case, the Chicago man, had not visited China.
With the emergence of a new coronavirus, we understand the concerns of many parents who strive to keep their children safe and healthy. We hope that today’s blog was able to shine some light on the current situation surrounding 2019-nCoV. If you have any more questions or would like to learn more about keeping your child safe and healthy, contact Tots N Teens Pediatrics today.