The Known Facts About the Coronavirus
The coronavirus is not new to man. It was isolated in 1937 for the first time from an infectious bronchitis virus found in birds.
The coronavirus is a general term that is used to encapsulate several different viruses that attack the respiratory system of mammals, as well as man. They are known to cause the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pneumonia, and sometimes affect the digestive system.
Coronaviruses cause almost 30% of the common colds.
Scientists have discovered that, in the last few decades, the coronaviruses can infect birds, dogs, rats, pigs, horses, and cattle. Currently, there is an outbreak in China. If you were in China, especially the Wuhan Province, recently, you need to look for a primary care physician near you to get checked.
Back in 1960, HCoV (human coronaviruses) were first found in people who were suffering from the common cold. On the same note, there are two known coronaviruses 229E and OC43 that cause the majority of the common colds.
The coronaviruses can be transmitted between man and animals. The zoonotic nature of the virus was discovered when the SARS-CoV infected humans transmitted from cats. MERS-CoV was transmitted from dromedary camels to human beings.
The virus has a crown or halo-like projections that are on their surfaces, hence the name corona. The name means crown or halo in Latin.
A coronavirus infection that causes common colds is not uncommon during winter. Then the antibodies that you produce do not last long or might be ineffective against other strains. This causes you to catch a cold again after a short time.
Types of Coronaviruses
The known types of coronaviruses differ in how far they spread and their severity. At the moment, there are only seven known types of coronavirus. These are:
- NL63 (Alpha)
- HKU1 (Beta)
- 229E (Alpha)
- OC43 (Beta)
Then there are the rare but very severe types of the coronavirus. The severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV) that causes SARS and the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus (MERS-CoV) that is responsible for MERS.
A dangerous strain then emerged in 2019. It was first referred to as the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV). Now it is named as SARS-CoV-2, and the disease that it causes is known as COVID-19.
How Does the Coronavirus Spread?
The virus can be transmitted through fluids secreted from your respiratory tract. Here are some of the possible ways that the virus can be spread:
- Shaking the hands of someone who has the virus.
- When an infected person sneezes or coughs without covering his or her mouth. The droplets dispersed into the air spreads the coronavirus.
- When you touch your mouth or nose after making contact with an object or surface that has the virus, you can be infected.
- The coronavirus can also spread via feces, but this rarely happens.
If you live in the U.S., you will be more likely to get infected during the winter. However, it is essential to note that the virus is still active during other times of the year. The virus infects most people at least once in their lifetime.
The contagious nature of the virus is due to its mutating nature.
You must know how to prevent further spreading of the coronavirus when you suspect that you are infected. Here are some of the steps that you can follow:
- Stay at home when you are not feeling well. It would be best if you only left when you are going to look for a primary care physician near you.
- Quarantine yourself in your home. Limit your contact with human beings and pets in your home.
- Always wear a mask when you are meeting people.
- Always cover your mouth when sneezing and coughing.
- Clean all surfaces daily.
- Don’t share household items like drinking glasses, towels, beddings, etc.
- Clean your hands very often.
You will experience cold-like symptoms two days after a coronavirus infection. The symptoms are usually mild. But some forms can be deadly.
Some of the symptoms are:
- A runny nose
- Sore throat
Treatment and Management
At the moment, there is no cure for coronavirus diseases. Currently, the approach that we use is to treat the coronavirus symptoms like fever, followed by supportive care like using antivirals and oxygen therapy.
In case you have started exhibiting some of the symptoms, it is wise to take the necessary precautions and contact Lau Medical to get checked.