If you follow the news closely, I am sure you will be aware of the recent Coronavirus outbreak in France and Middle East. It is a SARS-like infection, and the first person infected had died last Tuesday from this virus.
Since the school holiday has started, I am sure some of you are currently or will be travelling abroad with the loved ones for holiday. For this reason, I feel the need to share some of the info regarding this virus for awareness. I pray hard that this outbreak will not spread to our region, and may the scientist found the cure soon...ameen.
First thing first,
What are Coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are common viruses that most people get some time in their life. Human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses.
Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are three main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta and gamma, and a fourth provisionally-assigned new group called delta coronaviruses.
Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid 1960s. The five coronaviruses that can infect people are: alpha coronaviruses 229E and NL63 and beta coronaviruses OC43, HKU1, and SARS-CoV, the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Coronaviruses may also infect animals. Most of these coronaviruses usually infect only one animal species or, at most, a small number of closely related species. However, SARS-CoV can infect people and animals, including monkeys, Himalayan palm civets, raccoon dogs, cats, dogs, and rodents.
Here's 5 points you should know about Coronavirus (taken from this article)
1. nCoV can be spread from person to person
The WHO has not yet determined exactly how the virus spreads from person to person, but the organization reports that there have been several clusters of cases in which human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Transmission could be through coughing and sneezing or exposure to a contaminated environment. People with daily, sustained contact with infected persons are at risk, and there have been cases of the infection spreading from patients to health care workers. However, whether or not casual contact puts a person at risk for infection is not confirmed.
2. It’s less transmissible than SARS
The WHO says SARS, a type of coronavirus detected in 2003, is distantly related to nCoV. As part of the same virus family, both infections can cause severe symptoms, but SARS was also characterized by muscle aches and chills. The major difference between the two is that nCoV does not pass from person to person as easily as the SARS virus did.
3. It comes from the Middle East
The virus started in 2012 in Jordan, and has since spread to several other countries in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Travelers to the Middle East have brought the infection to other countries including Tunisia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. There has been very little transmission of the infection between individuals who did not visit the Middle East but interacted with sick travelers when they returned.
4. Symptoms are primarily characterized as respiratory illness
Symptoms of the infection include serious respiratory illness often with additional fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Currently there is no cure nor a vaccine for the infections, so physicians treat patients based on their symptoms. Some patients come down with a bad case of pneumonia or kidney failure. Gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, have also been reported.
People who already have underlying health conditions may be more susceptible to the infection, and their symptoms may be different from the majority of cases — for example, they may not experience respiratory problems.
5. There are no travel restrictions related to the virus
The WHO has not made any travel or trade restrictions for countries with reported infections. When traveling, it’s important to avoid close contact with individuals who show symptoms of the illness. It’s also advisable to avoid consuming uncooked or undercooked meats, unwashed fruits and veggies and drinking beverages with any unsterilized water.
As a Muslim, there's a doa (prayer) that we can recite to prevent such viruses:
May all of us be protected from this outbreak, insyaAllah...