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With the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease in China, the thing that kept most people alert is whether the virus will actually invade their countries or not. No doubt it is a serious issue, and in order to contain our panic and ensure we’re taking protective measures to avoid infection, we need to know what coronavirus is and how dangerous it can be.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a common virus that causes infection in the respiratory tract, especially the nose, sinuses, and upper throat. There are many types of Coronaviruses and are usually associated with the common cold. Most Coronaviruses types are not dangerous, however, a few of them are, and can cause serious illness that would extend to death.
An example of conditions caused by the viruses would be the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The new Coronavirus that’s spread in Wuhan, China 2020 is called Novel Coronavirus or Coronavirus Disease or COVID-19 (formerly named 2019-nCoV) and is a new strain of the virus that hasn’t been previously identified in humans.
The dangerous thing about Coronaviruses is that they can be transmitted between animals and humans.
Warning signs that this might be COVID-19
In most cases, symptoms of any Coronavirus infection could be confused with the symptoms of influenza, such as runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and in some cases, fever. A blood test is a must to confirm whether it’s a Conrovirus infection or not. Coronavirus could be dangerous if it spreads to the lower respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs).
The symptoms of the new Coronavirus don’t differ much from that of any other Coronavirus. So far, the symptoms that reportedly appeared on the infected people in Wuhan, China ranged from almost significant to severe symptoms which include:
- Shortness of breath
That being said, if you experienced the above symptoms, please don’t neglect it believing it’s a slight flu and make sure to see the doctor immediately.
How COVID-19 spreads
The virus can be transmitted through person-to-person contact, through close contact and/or respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. Another way COVID-19 could spread is through the infected surfaces and/or objects.
Treatment of the COVID-19
So far, there’s no prescribed treatment for the virus. Infected people should be hospitalized to ensure receiving extra support.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
The bad news is that there’s no vaccination against all types of Coronaviruses, the good news though is that scientists are working on a vaccine against Novel Coronavirus, however, it’s expected to be ready to be tested in people by April 2020, although it’d take longer before it could be ready for use by the masses.
Prevention of Coronavirus
An infection could be prevented through the following:
- Frequent proper hand-washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Keeping hands away from eyes, nose and, mouth
- Avoiding close contact with infected persons or those at risk
- Staying home whenever sick
- Frequently disinfecting surfaces
- Wearing a mask in public places
The status of Egypt
On January 24th, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Population reported that Egypt was amongst the first countries that have taken preventive safety measures against the new Coronavirus. This was shown in the Ministry of Health’s integrated plan that covers early detection, quarantine, and treatment options. The plan also included an initiative to raise public awareness of the virus and ways of prevention.
However, after the spread of a rumor that a COVID-19 case was detected in Egypt, the WHO confirmed on February 16th, 2020, that a case was detected on February 11th, hospitalized, tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently isolated. It also announced that people who were in contact with the identified case were traced and all had tested negative for the virus, and a close follow-up is being conducted on these cases for 14 days following the test.
We pray that Egypt and the whole world pass this crisis very fast with the least possible losses.