Latest Medical News About New Coronavirus In China (COVID-19)

Latest Medical News About New Coronavirus In China (COVID-19)

When you turn on your TV or surf the net, you will be bombarded by medical news about what is currently happening regarding the new type of coronavirus that struck China. COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV, is the topic that most people are very interested in, not only because they want to protect themselves from getting infected, but also because they are worried about some of their family or friends who might get infected with the aggressive virus. News and medical discoveries about this notorious virus make us feel obliged to write something about it, too. Let us discover the latest medical news about the new China coronavirus by detailing common FAQs that we get about COVID-19.

 

What is a coronavirus?

There are different kinds of viruses present in the world today. Some cause common colds, sore throat,  chickenpox, herpes, or HIV. One of these viruses is a coronavirus. Coronavirus has a big family or strains of viruses that commonly cause respiratory illnesses and conditions in both animals and humans. It is not a new type of virus; there have been a few sensationalized coronavirus outbreak that happened in the 21st century. These are the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

 

Why is the new coronavirus called ‘novel’ coronavirus?

When a virus is called a novel, that means that there has been no incidence reported that this certain virus has infected a human before. The COVID-19 virus may or may not be present before the outbreak, but when it was detected in China, there was no previous report that it had affected humans.

 

Is the COVID-19 the same as MERS-COV and SARS?

No. Although COVID-19 and SARS have both originated in China and is in the same strain or family of coronaviruses, they are different.

 

Is COVID-19 as dangerous as the previous outbreaks of coronaviruses?

China coronavirusDo not get us wrong; the spread of COVID-19 is so fast that in just 3 months, more than 80,000 people in more than 20 countries were infected. With that said, the symptoms of this respiratory-attacking virus are on the milder side, compared to the two previous coronavirus outbreaks. The latest medical news has shown that COVID-19 has a fatality rate is less than 3%, compared to MERS-COV that had 34%. This comparison means that one in 3 patients infected by MERS-COV died during its occurrence in 2012. Although these findings continue to change as the disease progresses, the comparison still shows that as of the moment, SARS and MERS-COV are far more dangerous compared to COVID-19.

 

Where did people get COVID-19?

Medical news outlets are very detailed when it comes to finding out how China got infected with this type of coronavirus. The first finding is that coronaviruses are zoonotic in nature. This means that the primary host is an animal, and the transmission to humans caused the epidemic to spread. Because of the previous findings the scientists have for MERS-COV and SARS, they deduced that animals may be the primary culprit for this public health emergency.

MERS-COV, if you can remember, was reported by medical news before as sourced from camels in Saudi Arabia, and the SARS outbreak came from civet cats. Researchers and scientists who continue their search in finding the animal responsible for this new strain of coronavirus point fingers to bats, snakes, pangolins, and civet cats as well. We all know that knowing the source of the disease is of utmost importance, but because the spread of the disease is so aggressive, the primary focus of medical news and research concentrates on finding a solution to isolate the infection, stop the spread, and treat the patients inflicted by the disease.

 

Can COVID-19 be spread from person to person?

Of course! This virus primarily attacks and causes respiratory diseases and can be transmitted from person to person. There are several modes of transmission,  usually after close contact with an infected patient, though the air when a patient coughs or sneezes, or when you get in contact with an infected surface that a patient touched.

 

Should everyone wear masks to prevent the spread of infection?

COVID-19We have seen many news outlets at first encouraging people to wear face masks to avoid getting infected. However, many people began hoarding this protective equipment (PPE), making the resources unnecessary out of stock. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises on the rational use of medical masks, thus avoiding unnecessary wastage of precious resources and potential misuse of masks. Wearing masks may help in preventing the spread of the disease, but it is not a guarantee that it would stop the infection per se.

Yes, you need to wear a mask if:

  • You have a respiratory disease, COVID-19 or not;
  • You are immunocompromised (children, elderly, and sick patients are more at risk)
  • You are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19; or
  • You are caring for a patient with COVID-19.

 

If wearing a mask is not necessary for the non-infected population, what can we do to prevent getting the disease?

 

Isolate or distance yourself

It is common sense that if we want to prevent getting any infection, we should stay away from people who are infected by the virus. Maintaining a safe distance from people who cough and sneeze or are showing respiratory signs and symptoms is one of the main ways to prevent getting any virus, for that matter. Stay at home and avoid public places if you live in a country that is known to have an incidence of COVID-19.

 

Maintain basic hand and respiratory hygiene

handwashingWe mentioned earlier that viruses can be transmitted through direct or indirect contact, airborne, foodborne, or droplet modes, so the best way to limit your chances of getting infected is to clean your hands! Yes! Your hands are the most exposed part of your body to these microorganisms. Use antimicrobial hand wash, hand sanitizers, and wipes that have at least 60% alcohol to kill all microorganisms in your hands.

 

Practice safe food preparation and handling

It is still undetermined how animals transmit the virus to humans, but since most of us eat animal meat and produce that is exposed to animals, it is best to properly handle and prepare your food. Not cooking and cleaning them properly will not kill all the disease-causing microorganisms in the meat or produce, making you ill; if not with COVID-19, then with other diseases.

 

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