Unprecedented Speed of Coronavirus Disease Transmission
In early 2020, a new virus began generating headlines all over the world because of the unprecedented speed of Coronavirus Disease transmission. From its origins in a food market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 to countries as far-flung as the U. S. and the Philippines, the virus (officially named SARS-CoV-2) has affected hundreds of thousands, with a rising death.
Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in a growing number of countries, including the U.S. Government of India is taking all necessary steps to ensure that we are prepared well to face the challenge and threat posed by the growing pandemic of COVID -19. As of March 11, 2020, the extent of infection was declared a pandemic by the WHO. In order to deal with this public health situation, the corporate sector would be required to play a key role in implementing the strategic policy decision of social distancing, which is most crucial for reducing the rate and extent of the disease transmission at the community level. WHO declared a global pandemic in March 2020. These groups have also issued recommendations for preventing and treating the illness. With the active support of the people of India, we have been able to contain the spread of the virus in our country.
Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Enzootic Infections, Lethality, Peplomers, Immunocompetent, Zoonotic, Antiviral, Quarantine, Epidemiological, Economic Disruptions.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease is one of the newly discovered infectious disease caused by a virus called “coronavirus”. It was identified in 2019 and the cause of a disease outbreak was originated in China. The disease caused by an infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) is called COVID-19, which stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019. Coronaviruses (CoVs) primarily cause enzootic infections in birds and mammals but, in the last few decades, it is infecting humans also. The epidemic of 2019 the COVID-19 has expanded from Wuhan throughout China and now the cases of COVID-19 have been reported in a growing number of countries. It has affected over 110 countries, including India. The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from Wuhan is currently causing concern in the medical community as the virus is spreading around the world.
Early efforts have focused on describing the clinical course, counting severe cases, and treating the sick. Experience with the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), pandemic influenza, and other outbreaks has shown that an epidemic evolves. Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has demonstrated more recently the lethality of CoVs when they cross the species barrier and infect humans. MERS-CoV is considered to be responsible for a new viral epidemic and an emergent threat to global health security. We face an urgent need to expand public health activities in order to elucidate the epidemiology of the novel virus and characterize its potential impact.
Pathophysiology: A coronavirus gets its name from the way it looks under a microscope. The word corona means “crown,” and when examined closely, the round virus has a “crown” of proteins called “peplomers” jutting out from its center in every direction. These proteins help the virus identify whether it can infect its host. The condition known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was also linked to a highly infectious coronavirus back in the early 2000s. The SARS virus has since been contained.
Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses that are distributed broadly among humans, other mammals, and birds and that cause respiratory, enteric, hepatic, and neurologic diseases. Six coronavirus species are known to cause human disease. Four viruses — 229E, OC43, NL63, and HKU1 — are prevalent and typically cause common cold symptoms in immunocompetent individuals. The two other strains — severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are zoonotic in origin and have been linked to sometimes fatal illness.
Coronavirus is “zoonotic” and first, it developed in animals before developing in humans. According to Research, the Coronavirus may have been passed from bats to another animal either snakes or pangolins and then it has transmitted to humans. A person has to come into close contact with an animal that carries the infection. Once the virus develops in people the appearance of spreading is from person to person among those in close contact. It is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. Technically it is called “wet stuff” that moves through the air when a person cough or sneeze. The viral material hangs out in these droplets and can be breathed into the respiratory tract where the virus can then lead to an infection. It can be spread if a person touches a surface with the virus on it and then touches own mouth, nose or eyes.
Sign and Symptoms: Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2 days up to 2 weeks (14 days) after exposure. Coronavirus has come under the family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. Older Peoples and peoples who are underlying medical problems like Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Disease, and Cancer, etc. are higher risk of serious illness and they are more likely to develop serious illness.
Common and severe symptoms specifically linked to COVID-19 include:
- Fever (a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature)
- Cough (gets more severe over time)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Body aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Excessive drowsiness
- Blue lips or face
Risk factors: According to CDC or WHO, recent travel from other places such as another village, states, country or residences in other areas with ongoing community spread of COVID-19 is a key risk factor of transmission. Close contact with someone who has infected a COVID-19 such as when a family member or health care worker takes care of an infected person. High risk for contracting SARS-CoV-2 if persons come into contact with someone who’s carrying it. If the infected person has been exposed to their saliva or been near them when they have been coughed or sneezed.
Older people and people with certain health conditions have a higher risk of severe complications if they contract the virus. These health conditions include:
- Lung conditions, such as COPD and asthma
- Certain heart conditions
- Immune system conditions, such as HIV
- Cancer that requires treatment
- Severe obesity
- Other health conditions, if not well-controlled, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease
- Pregnant women have also a higher risk of complications
Diagnosis: COVID-19 can be diagnosed similarly to other conditions caused by viral infections. Diagnosis is confirmed by the detection of viral RNA on polymerase chain reaction test of upper or lower respiratory tract specimens or serum specimens. According to the CDC and WHO the diagnosis of COVID-19 is based on the determination of tests on a person’s signs and symptoms.
The test for COVID-19 using a blood, saliva, or tissue sample. The sample of saliva (sputum), a nasal swab and a throat swab, to send to a lab for testing. However, most tests use a cotton swab to retrieve a sample from the inside of nostrils. To decide whether to conduct tests for COVID-19, he or she may also consider whether you have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or traveled to or lived in any areas with ongoing community spread of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Treatment:Based on available current data there is no specific antiviral therapy is recommended to treat and approved for COVID-19, and it has no cure for infection. Although trial protocols for several treatment agents and vaccines are currently underway. Instead of treatment now focuses on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course. Another treatment is largely given for supportive or directed at relieving symptoms, it may include:
- Anti-Malarial - Hydroxychloroquine
- Pain Relievers (Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen)
- Antiviral or Retroviral Medications
- Cough Syrup or Medication
- Supplemental Oxygen and Conservative Fluid Administration
- Breathing Support, such as Mechanical Ventilation
- Steroids to reduce lung swelling
- Blood Plasma Transfusions
Complications:The most common and serious complication of a SARS-CoV-2 infection is a type of pneumonia that has been called 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia (NCIP). NCIP is the major complication specifically linked to the 2019 coronavirus. Recent results showed from a 2020 study of 138 peoples was admitted into hospitals in Wuhan, China, with NCIP found that 26% of those admitted had severe cases and needed to be treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Peoples around 4.3% who were admitted to the ICU died from this type of Pneumonia. It should be noted that people who were admitted to the ICU were on average older and had more underlying health conditions than people who didn’t go to the ICU.
Other complications of COVID-19 noticed, it includes:
- Pneumonia in both lungs
- Myocardial, renal, and multiorgan failure
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Septic Shock
- Irregular Heart Rate (arrhythmia)
- Cardiovascular Shock
- Severe Muscle Pain (myalgia)
- Heart Damage or Heart Attack
How to prevent Coronaviruses:Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection of COVID-19, the best preventive step is to reduce the risk of infection. Prevention depends on standard infection control measures, including isolation of infected patients. Quarantine may be imposed on asymptomatic exposed persons deemed by public health authorities to be at high risk. The most important factor in preventing the spread of the virus locally is to empower the citizens with the right information and take precautions as per the advisories being issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
The WHO and CDC recommend following proper preventive measures will help to avoid the infection of COVID-19:
- The best way to prevent the spread of infection is to avoid or limit contact with people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or any respiratory infection.
- Good hygiene and social distancing are important and the best thing to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading.
- Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw away the used tissue.
- Wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
- Health Care Providers have to put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch on a daily basis it will help to decrease the risk for catching the virus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you are sick.
- Avoid close contact (about 6 feet) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
- Avoid large events and mass gatherings.
- Avoid taking public transportation if you are sick.
- Keep the distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, especially if you have a higher risk of serious illness.
- Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you are sick unless you are going to get medical care.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.
- Always eat healthily, get enough sleep and get regular exercise. Consider deep breathing, stretching, and meditation exercises.
- Avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched if you are visiting live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases.
- Who have a chronic medical condition and may have a higher risk of serious illness, check with a doctor about other ways to protect yourself.
- Use disinfectants on objects like phones, computers, utensils, dishware, and doorknobs.
- If you are planning to travel internationally, first check the CDC and WHO websites for updates or advice and follow it.
- Try to avoid watching or reading news about COVID-19 that makes you feel fearful and anxious or have trouble sleeping.
- Do something you enjoy, such as reading a book, watching a movie or going on a walk.
- Keep connected with family and friends. Share your feelings with them.
- Aim to be positive and optimistic.
- Show appreciation for health care workers who care for those with COVID-19 in your community.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. According to the results of a few studies, MERS-CoV cases at a global level showed that all age groups are somewhat at risk of death from this infection. The chance of mortality in MERS-CoV cases in all age groups is fairly equal. The results of the recent analytical-descriptive epidemiological study revealed and confirmed some potential risk factors for MERS-CoV cases, which were reported as a possible risk factor in previous research studies. In fact, it reminds us that there is a probability of the MERS-CoV epidemic at any time and in any place without prior notice in today’s “Global Village”.