All About Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic
All About Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic – Coronaviruses are a group of RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, they cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some cases of the common cold (which is also caused by other viruses, predominantly rhinoviruses), while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. In cows and pigs they cause diarrhea, while in mice they cause hepatitis and encephalomyelitis. There are as yet no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 26 to 32 kilobases, one of the largest among RNA viruses. They have characteristic club-shaped spikes that project from their surface, which in electron micrographs create an image reminiscent of the solar corona, from which their name derives.
The history of coronaviruses is a reflection of the discovery of the diseases caused by coronaviruses and identification of the viruses. It starts with the first report of a new type of upper-respiratory tract disease among chickens in North Dakota, US, in 1931. The causative agent was identified as a virus in 1933. By 1936, the disease and the virus were recognised as unique from other viral disease. The became known as infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), but later officially renamed as Avian coronavirus.
A new brain disease of mice (murine encephalomyelitis) was discovered in 1947 at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The virus causing the disease was called JHM (after Harvard pathologist John Howard Mueller). Three years later a new mouse hepatitis was reported from the National Institute for Medical Research in London. The causative virus was identified as mouse hepatitis virus (MHV).
In 1961, a virus was obtained from a school boy in Epsom, England, who was suffering from common cold. The sample designated B814 was confirmed as novel virus in 1965. New common cold viruses (assigned 229E) collected from medical students at the University of Chicago were also reported in 1966. Structural analyses of IBV, MHV, B18 and 229E using transmission electron microscopy revealed that they all belong to the same group of viruses. Making a crucial comparison in 1967, June Almeida and David Tyrrell invented the collective name coronavirus, as all those viruses were characterised by solar corona-like projections (called spikes) on their surfaces.
Other coronaviruses have been discovered from pigs, dogs, cats, rodents, cows, horses, camels, Beluga whales, birds and bats. As of 2020, 39 species are described. Bats are found to be the richest source of different species of coronaviruses. All coronaviruses originated from a common ancestor about 293 million years ago. Zoonotic species such as Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-C0V), Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged during the past two decades and caused the first pandemics of the 21st century.
What is Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020. As of 29 October 2020, more than 44.6 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 1.17 million deaths attributed to COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly 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. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Some infections can be spread by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.
This kind of spread is referred to as airborne transmission and is an important way that infections like tuberculosis, measles, and chicken pox are spread.
COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Faq.coronavirus.gov. 2020. Spread And Transmission | Coronavirus FAQ. [online] Available at: <https://faq.coronavirus.gov/spread-transmission/#how-does-the-virus-spread> [Accessed 29 October 2020].
Most common symptoms:
- Dry Cough
Less common symptoms:
- aches and pains
- sore throat
- loss of taste or smell
- a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- chest pain or pressure
- loss of speech or movement
How to Protect Yourself?
- wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
- consider wearing a face covering when in shared spaces
- keep windows open in the room you’re staying in and shared spaces as much as possible
It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- leaving a public place
- blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- handling your mask
- changing a diaper
- caring for someone who’s sick
- After touching animals or pets
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands with the sanitizer and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Visit WHO website for more information about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
Can I take any vitamins or supplements to prevent coronavirus?
There are no vitamins or supplements known to help prevent coronavirus, including COVID-19. Certain nutrients may help your immune system strong and help its ability to fight the virus These include vitamin D, high-dose vitamin C, zinc and potassium if you’re deficient. Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and lean protein. Probiotics may also help. You can get these in yogurt and fermented foods, like kimchi and sauerkraut. Regular exercise and stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, also help prime your immune system to fight off infections.
Boosting Immunity to Prevent COVID
In addition to the above listed lifestyle and behavior practices, he recommends using the following supplements in moderation to keep the immune system functioning at its best:
- Vitamin C may help prevent viral, bacterial and other infections by shortening the duration of colds and acting as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
- Vitamin D is one of the most important immune system-strengthening nutrients that can reduce the risk of colds and flu; this should be taken on a regular basis.
- Vitamin A, when used on a short-term basis, can help support the body’s ability to fight infections, especially with respiratory infections.
- Zinc can help reduce the number of infections and the duration of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset.
- Selenium is a key nutrient for immune function and is easily obtained from foods like the Brazil nut. Selenium is also an antioxidant, which strengthens the body’s defenses against bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.
- Raw honey is good at relieving minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes, like nose and mouth, and has antioxidant properties and some microbial effects; it is helpful for coughs and sore throats and can be added to tea or hot water with lemon. (Note that children under 1 should not be given honey.)
- Garlic, fresh, aged extract and garlic supplements, may reduce the severity of upper viral respiratory infections and function in preventing viral infections of the common cold.
- Probiotics contain “good bacteria” that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. They also can decrease the number of respiratory infections, especially in children.
It is very important to understand that these supplements are suggestions and more research needs to be done. If you want to try these, be sure to communicate with your health care provider and take them in moderation or as your doctor recommends. Boost the Immune System – University of Maryland