Coronavirus is a type of virus which is known to have strains which can cause deadly diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, this virus spreads through the airborne droplets of fluid produced by infected individuals. This virus is that dangerous that it can cause death in humans. The coronavirus derives its name from a distinctive corona which means the ‘crown’ of sugary-proteins. It is actually an envelope surrounding the particle.
Four known genuses of Coronavirus
The first two infect mammals only, which includes the bats, pigs, cats, and humans. While Gammacoronavirus mostly infects birds such as poultry, and the last one that Deltacoronavirus can infect both birds and mammals.
Symptoms of a coronavirus
Different animals show different symptoms. It may cause diarrhoea in pigs and in turkeys, while in most of the cases infections can be compared to a bad cold. The virus may cause even mild to moderate upper respiratory problems such as a runny nose and sore throat. Though there are lethal exceptions, which have had a devastating impact on livestock and human health around the globe. Here are few more symptoms of coronavirus:
- In case of humans, it may cause a respiratory infection with mild to severe flu-like symptoms, but the exact symptoms vary depending on the type of coronavirus.
- Any of the four common human coronaviruses can cause people to develop a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever.
- While in few individuals, which includes those with cardiopulmonary disease or a weakened immune system, the viral infection can progress to a more severe lower-respiratory infection and can further lead to diseases like pneumonia or bronchitis.
Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Wuhan coronavirus was first recognized in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019. The number of infected people is still on the rise, with a number of deaths having been reported continuously. Initially, snakes were originally suspected as a potential source for the outbreak, though other experts have proposed bats instead. It can make up a large family of viruses that can infect birds and mammals, including humans. These viruses have been responsible for several outbreaks across the world. While some coronaviruses have caused devastating epidemics, some of them caused mild to moderate respiratory infections, like the common cold.
Inside a coronavirus’s pronged exterior lies a round core shrouded in proteins and a “greasy” membrane. The core contains genetic material that the virus can inject into vulnerable cells to infect them easily. Then these spike proteins extend from within the core to the viral surface and allow the virus to engages its receptor. This result in the merger of the virus with the cell. This sort of merger enables the virus to release its genetic material in the host and hijack the cell’s internal machinery. Once this process take place the virus sheds its coat and turns the cell into a factory that starts churning out new viruses. Here are some of the possible ways by which coronavirus spreads:
- In most of the cases, coronaviruses make use of utilize animals as their primary hosts and have evolved to infect humans. Number of evidences suggests that the novel coronavirus also jumped from bats to humans after passing through an intermediate carrier between them.
- These human-borne coronaviruses are the ones who have evolved to spread amongst the population as much as they can rather than pathogenicity. Thus, the coronaviruses that are transmitted from animals seem to cause more-severe diseases in humans.
- Usually, it gets transmitted in human through respiratory droplets that infected people expel when they breathe, cough or sneeze. A typical surgical mask may not prevent the viruses present in these droplets, but simple measures like washing your hands, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects, and avoiding touching your face, eyes and mouth will lower your risk of infection.
- The most essential fact about these viruses is that it can’t for more than a few hours on surfaces outside a human host, but people can pick up a coronavirus from a contaminated surface. Face Masks Fight
Diagnosis and treatment
In order to diagnose and treat coronavirus infections doctors take respiratory specimens and serum isolated from their blood, according to the CDC. It has brought in light an equivalent diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus, but the accuracy and specificity for the virus are still under verification. Once when it is confirmed, diagnostic kits will be distributed to health care facilities. Currently, there are no available treatments for any human coronavirus.
In most of the cases, after it is found there are symptoms of coronaviruses and the diagnosis prove it then for those who catch a common coronavirus usually recover on their own. They can ease the process by taking simple pain and fever medications. They may make use of humidifier, take hot showers, drink plenty of fluids and staying home to rest. But in some of the severe cases, people are used to relieve the symptoms of more severe coronavirus infections.
There are number of existing antiviral medications, originally intended to treat Ebola and malaria. When these medications are provided then they may show some efficacy against the novel coronavirus. Usually, these medications disable viruses by interfering with their attempts to replicate in host cells in the human body. Another type of medication which are called “protease inhibitors,” also known to work against coronaviruses and helps to alert the immune system to viral invaders. But till date, there are no approved vaccines to prevent coronavirus infections.
Scientists developed a vaccine for SARS during the pandemic of that virus, but it has not hit the market. Some of the research groups across the world are now trying to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus so that huge mass of people can be prevented from the attacks of the virus. Only when a vaccine is developed, however, health officials will be able to control the spread of the virus to huge number of people across the world.