Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS coronavirus, which is
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and SARs, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
Origin of coronavirus
Studies show that Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
Actually, Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
Thorough investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
How did coronavirus start in China?
Coronavirus is believed to be started in a “wet market” in Wuhan in China, which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds.
Such markets pose a heightened risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans because hygiene standards are difficult to maintain if live animals are being kept and butchered on-site.
The animal source of the latest outbreak has not yet been identified, but the original host is thought to be bats.
However, Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but are believed to might have infected live chickens or other animals sold there.
How is coronavirus spread?
Studies show that the virus is spread via droplets when a person coughs or sneezes just like cold.
The droplets land on surfaces and are picked-up on the hands of others and spread further.
People get the virus when they touch their infected hands to their mouth, nose or eyes just like cold flu or common cold.
It follows that the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to keep your hands clean by washing them frequently with soap and water or a hand sanitising gel.
Signs and symptoms of coronavirus
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
List of coronavirus Symptoms
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing (severe cases)
How can I help protect myself from a coronavirus?
The coronaviruses typically cause respiratory symptoms.
Therefore, you are recommended to follow the basic hand hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap and water and respiratory hygiene, such as when you sneeze, sneezing into your elbow.
Ways to protect yourself against a potential animal source would be to avoid unnecessary unprotected contact with live animals.
Also, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals and ensure your meat is cooked thoroughly before consuming.
The best steps to prevent coronavirus
Step 1: Know How it Spreads
This has been discussed earlier but you can still note the following:
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Especially, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Also, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Step 2: protect yourself by:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- You can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- In fact, put distance between yourself and otherpeople if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Steps 3: protect others By:
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
- When you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Step 4: Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them:Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
Step 5: Options include:
- Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- Alcohol solutions.
Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
- Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
Is there treatment for coronavirus?
There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, but symptoms can be treated.
A crucial difference is that unlike flu, there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, which means it is more difficult for vulnerable members of the population – elderly people or those with existing respiratory or immune problems – to protect themselves.
Hand-washing and avoiding other people if you feel unwell are important.
One sensible step is to get the flu vaccine, which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic.
Should I go to the doctor if I have a cough?
No. The medical advice is now that anyone with a cough or high temperature should stay at home for seven days, keeping away from other people, including those in your home if you can.
This applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have traveled abroad.
However, if you get worse or your symptoms last longer than seven days, you should Call the Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice 131450.
If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450. If you are in Kenya call 719.
Is the virus being transmitted from one person to another?
China’s national health commission confirmed human-to-human transmission in January. There is now extensive human to human transmission across the world. Therefore, follow the steps above to stay safe.
Why is this worse than normal influenza, and how worried are the experts?
Actually, we don’t yet know how dangerous the new coronavirus is, and we won’t know until more data comes in, but estimates have ranged from well below 1% in the young to over 3% among those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.
According to studies, seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below 1% and is thought to cause about 400,000 deaths each year globally, and SARs had a death rate of more than 10% yearly.
The so-called coronavirus is very fatal as it spread rapidly to most countries in the world.
Coronavirus mortality rate
According to China’s National Health Commission (NHC), about 80% of those who died were over the age of 60 and 75% of them had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
According to the WHO Situation Report no. 7 issued on Jan. 27:
- The median age of cases detected outside of China is 45 years, ranging from 2 to 74 years.
- And 71% of cases were male.
Another study of 138 hospitalized patients with NCIP found that the median age was 56 years (interquartile range, 42-68; range, 22-92 years) and 75 (54.3%) were men(5)
The WHO, in its Myth busters FAQs, addresses the question: “Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?” by answering that:
- People of all ages can be infected by the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
- Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
Have there been other coronaviruses?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARs) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERs) are both caused by coronaviruses that came from animals.
In 2002, SARs spread virtually unchecked to 37 countries, causing global panic, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750 cited in studies conducted by WHO.
MERs appears to be less easily passed from human to human, but has greater lethality, killing 35% of about 2,500 people who have been infected.
However, this time round, the so-called corona virus has brought a big panic worldwide.
How many people have been affected?
So far, as of 15 March, more than 168,000 people have been infected in more than 148 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
There have been over 7,128 deaths globally. Just over 3,000 of those deaths have occurred in Mainland China. More than 73,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus (6).
The top countries affected by coronavirus are as listed below:
- China :81077cases
- Italy :24747cases
- Iran (Islamic Republic of) :14991cases
- Republic of Korea :8236cases
- Spain :7753cases
- France :5380cases
- Germany :4838cases
- Switzerland :2200cases
- United States of America :1678cases
- Netherlands :1413cases
- The United Kingdom :1395cases
- Norway :1169cases
- Belgium :1085cases
- Sweden :992cases
- Austria :959cases
- Denmark :898cases
- Japan :814cases
- International conveyance (Diamond Princess) :712cases
- Malaysia :553cases
- Qatar :401cases
- Australia :336cases
- Greece :331cases
- Canada :304cases
- Czechia :298cases
- Finland :272cases
- Israel :250cases
- Portugal :245cases
- Singapore :243cases
- Bahrain :221cases
- Slovenia :219cases
- Estonia :205cases
- Brazil :200cases
- Ireland :169cases
- Romania :158cases
- Poland :150cases
- Thailand :147cases
- Philippines :140cases
- Iceland :138cases
- Indonesia :134cases
- Egypt :126cases
- Iraq :124cases
- India :114cases
- Kuwait :112cases
- Saudi Arabia :103cases
- Lebanon :99cases
- United Arab Emirates :98cases
- San Marino :92cases
- Chile :75cases
- Peru :71cases
- Russian Federation :63cases
- Slovakia :61cases
- Viet Nam :57cases
- Argentina :56cases
- Mexico :53cases
- Pakistan :52cases
- Bulgaria :51cases
- South Africa :51cases
- Brunei Darussalam :50cases
- Algeria :49cases
- Croatia :49cases
- Serbia :46cases
- Panama :43cases
- Albania :42cases
- occupied Palestinian territory :39cases
- Luxembourg :38cases
- Ecuador :37cases
- Belarus :36cases
- Latvia :34cases
- Cyprus :33cases
- Georgia :33cases
- Hungary :32cases
- Morocco :28cases
- Armenia :26cases
- Senegal :26cases
- Colombia :24cases
- Costa Rica :23cases
- Republic of Moldova :23cases
- Oman :22cases
- Malta :21cases
- Azerbaijan :19cases
- Sri Lanka :19cases
- Bosnia and Herzegovina :18cases
- Tunisia :18cases
- Afghanistan :16cases
- Martinique :15cases
- Maldives :13cases
- North Macedonia :13cases
- Cambodia :12cases
- Bolivia (Plurinational State of) :11cases
- Faroe Islands :11cases
- Jamaica :10cases
- Lithuania :9cases
- Monaco :9cases
- Réunion :9cases
- Paraguay :8cases
- French Guiana :7cases
- Liechtenstein :7cases
- Guadeloupe :6cases
- Jordan :6cases
- Kazakhstan :6cases
- New Zealand :6cases
- Bangladesh :5cases
- Cameroon :5cases
- Dominican Republic :5cases
- Rwanda :5cases
- Turkey :5cases
- Cuba :4cases
- Guyana :4cases
- Seychelles :4cases
- Uruguay :4cases
- Uzbekistan :4cases
- Burkina Faso :3cases
- Cote d Ivoire :3cases
- French Polynesia :3cases
- Kenya :3cases
- Puerto Rico :3cases
- Saint Barthelemy :3cases
- Ukraine :3cases
- Andorra :2cases
- Curacao :2cases
- Democratic Republic of the Congo :2cases
- Ghana :2cases
- Honduras :2cases
- Jersey :2cases
- Namibia :2cases
- Nigeria :2cases
- Saint Martin :2cases
- Trinidad and Tobago :2cases
- Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) :2cases
- Antigua and Barbuda :1cases
- Bhutan :1cases
- Cayman Islands :1cases
- Central African Republic :1cases
- Congo :1cases
- Equatorial Guinea :1cases
- Eswatini :1cases
- Ethiopia :1cases
- Gabon :1cases
- Gibraltar :1cases
- Guernsey :1cases
- Guinea :1cases
- Holy See :1cases
- Mauritania :1cases
- Mayotte :1cases
- Mongolia :1cases
- Nepal :1cases
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines :1cases
- Sudan :1cases
- Togo :1cases
What is the action taken for coronavirus
WHO, UN Foundation and partners launch first-of-its-kind COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on 13 March 2020 News release.
Actually, GENEVA and Washington, D.C. – A new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Solidarity Response Fund will raise money from a wide range of donors to support the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund, the first-of-its-kind, enables private individuals, corporations and institutions anywhere in the world to come together to directly contribute to global response efforts.
This has been created by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, together with WHO.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, gave a press statement said, “We are at a critical point in the global response to COVID-19 – we need everyone to get involved in this massive effort to keep the world safe.”
“We are immensely grateful to the UN Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation for coming forward to help us set up this fund.
A lot of people and institutions have been saying they want to contribute to the fight against the novel coronavirus. Now they can.”
Is there a contribution for fund to combat coronavirus?
The fund launches with major support already lined up, including from Facebook and Google who have instituted a matching scheme for funds raised through their platforms.
Several organizations, private sectors, and individual donors are also supporting the fund through contributing online at www.COVID19ResponseFund.org.
Apart from giving online at www.COVID19ResponseFund.org, the UN Foundation can also receive donations via check or wire from around the world by contacting the team at COVID19Fund@unfoundation.org.
You can visit the site to give your contributions. Your contributions will be highly appreciated.
This new fund will create space for people everywhere, together, to fight this virus.”
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is hosted by two foundations the UN Foundation (registered in the United States) and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (registered in Switzerland).
Both foundations have established relationships with the World Health Organization, allowing for efficient transfer of financial resources to enable COVID-19 response efforts.
Note that all donations made to the United Nations Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by the law, where applicable (U.S. and Switzerland).
How the fund for coronavirus will be used
Actually, funds will go towards actions outlined in the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to enable all countries – particularly those most vulnerable and at-risk to combat the virus.
- It will also go to countries with the weakest health systems to help them prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 crisis including rapidly detecting cases, stopping transmission of the virus, and caring for those affected.
- WHO and its partners are seeking financing for protective equipment for frontline health workers
- To equip diagnostic laboratories
- Improve surveillance and data collection
- Establish and maintain intensive care units
- Strengthen supply chains; accelerate research and development of vaccines and therapeutics
- And take other critical steps to scale up the public health response to the pandemic.
Sources of Informations
- Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation reports – World Health Organization (WHO)
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the U.S. -. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Outbreak Notification – National Health Commission (NHC) of the People’s Republic of China
- Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – Australian Government Department of Health
- Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: early estimation of epidemiological parameters and epidemic prediction – Jonathan M. Read et al, Jan. 23,2020.
- Early Transmissibility Assessment of a Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, China – Maimuna Majumder and Kenneth D. Mandl, Harvard University – Computational Health Informatics Program – Posted: 24 Jan 2020 Last revised: 27 Jan 2020
- Report 3: Transmissibility of 2019-nCoV – 25 January 2020 – Imperial College London
- Case fatality risk of influenza A(H1N1pdm09): a systematic review – Epidemiology. Nov. 24, 2013
- A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern – Chen Want et al. The Lancet. January 24, 2020
- Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – CDC
- China’s National Health Commission news conference on coronavirus – Al Jazeera. January 26, 2020
- Wuhan lockdown ‘unprecedented’, shows commitment to contain virus: WHO representative in China – Reuters. January 23, 2020
- Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – WHO, January 23, 2020
- International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on novel coronavirus in China – WHO, January 30, 2020
- Human-to-human transmission of Wuhan virus outside of China, confirmed in Germany, Japan and Vietnam – The Online Citizen, Jan. 29, 2020
- Who: “Live from Geneva on the new #coronavirus outbreak”
- CDC Confirms Person-to-Person Spread of New Coronavirus in the United States – CDC Press Release, Jan. 30, 2020
- CMO confirms cases of coronavirus in England – CMO, UK, Jan. 31, 2020
- Coronavirus in France: what you need to know – The Local France, Jan. 31, 2020
- First two persons infected with coronavirus identified in Russia – Tass, Jan. 31, 2020
- Updated understanding of the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in Wuhan, China – Journal of Medical Virology, Jan. 29, 2020
- Estimating the effective reproduction number of the 2019-nCoV in China – Zhidong Cao et al., Jan. 29, 2020
- Preliminary estimation of the basic reproduction number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, from 2019 to 2020: A data-driven analysis in the early phase of the outbreak – Jan. 30, 2020
- Coronavirus: Window of opportunity to act, World Health Organization says – BBC, Feb,\. 4, 2020
- Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China – Wang et. al, JAMA, Feb. 7, 2020