Accept warm greetings once again most respectful ladies and gentlemen from Your Healthy Life and today we are going to address the world’s latest and greatest threat as far as health is concerned, the Novel Coronavirus (2019 – nCoV). This article will enlighten you as far as coronavirus and its infections are concerned, help you protect yourself and your loved ones when faced with this epidemic and expose most of the works of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning this tragic virus.

Coronaviruses are a group of single-stranded RNA viruses that cause many illnesses in mammals and animals. These illnesses could include mild cases like the common cold and pneumonia, and the severe cases consist of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ( SARS – CoV, first identified in China in 2003) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome ( MERS – CoV, first identified in Saudi Arabia since 2012). Another form of the coronavirus called the 2019 or Novel coronavirus ( 2019 – nCoV) was spotted in China from some group of people with pneumonia who were known to mingle with seafood and live animals in a market found in the city of Wuhan.

Zoonotic.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to man.

SARS – CoV were confirmed to be able to spread from civet cats to humans while the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome could be passed on from camels to man. However, the animal reservoir for the Novel Coronavirus is still questionable.

Novel Coronavirus ( 2019 – nCoV ). WHO video on Coronavirus

WHO_nCoV_Introductory Video from openWHO on Vimeo.

The WHO reported a pneumonia outbreak on the 31st of December 2019 in Wuhan and this outbreak was identified as a novel strand of coronavirus. The WHO decided to call this virus for the meantime 2019 – nCoV. This virus is however informally known as the Wuhan Coronavirus and some community calls it the “new coronavirus”. Despite these names, the International community on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) concluded that they shall come up with an official name for this virus by the mid of February 2020 and that the International Classification of diseases (ICD) shall come up with the final name of the disease.

The WHO defines 2019 – nCoV as “ patients with severe Acute Respiratory Infections – API ( like fever, cough and requiring admission to hospital), And with no other aetiology that fully explains the clinical presentation And at least one of the following

  • A history of travel to or residence in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in the 14 days prior to symptom onset, Or
  • The patient is a health care worker (HCW) who has been working in an environment where severe Acute Respiratory Infections (API) of unknown aetiology are being cared for.

Transmission of 2019 – nCoA.

Many cases of pneumonia were reported in Wuhan on 31st of December 2019, the first symptomatic case was on 8th December 2019 as the WHO rightly revealed.

Initially, cases associated within a market in Wuhan, have spread widely within that city, other neighboring provinces and other countries.

Research conducted by many scientists affirms that 2019 – nCoA can be spread from man to man through close contacts and respiratory droplets like coughs and sneezes about 6 feet (or 1.8m) apart.

Another possibility of infection is the nosocomial transmission (or hospital-acquired infection) to health care workers (HCWs).

Epidemiology of 2019 – nCoA based on WHO.

  • Age 59 years ( 15 – 89)
  • Males 56%, Females 44%
  • Market exposure:
  1. Before January 1 = 64%
  2. January 1 – 11 = 16%
  3. January 12 – 22 = 6%
  • Incubation period ( time from exposure to onset of symptoms) 5.2 days
  • Ro value = 2.2. This value, also known as the reproduction number or how contagious infection is, portrays that each existing infection causes more two new infections. This disease will spread severely between people leading to an outbreak or epidemic.

Treatment.

  • No medication nor vaccine have been discovered.
  • Supportive care is the main preventive measure.
  • Treatment and vaccines are currently in development.
  • Severe cases may be treated with antibiotics as recommended by the WHO.

Precautions.

The WHO highly recommends that the following standard precautions should be applied at all times especially by HCWs while dealing with patients.

  • Hand hygiene.

-Properly wash your hands with soap and clean water for 40 – 60s.

-You may also wash your hands with alcohol-based hand rub products for 20 – 30s.

-Hand washing is advisable to be done before and after contact with patients.

-Your hands must be thoroughly washed before any clean procedure and after being exposed to body fluids.

-After contact with patients surrounding or contaminated items.

  • Respiratory hygiene.

This should be applied by health workers, visitors, and families. Respiratory hygiene entails:

-Covering of nose and mouth with a piece of cloth, tissue or surgical mask during sneezing and coughing.

-These used items should be immediately and properly disposed of after usage.

-Cases with respiratory symptoms are advised to put on a medical mask.

-Sick patients are warned to stay away from others.

-No shaking of hands, kissing or hugging when ill.

-Avoid close contact with folks exhibiting symptoms.

  • Making use of PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment).

PPE are equipment used to protect users against health or safety risks at work. These include safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, safety footwear, gown, safety harness, etc.

If a health worker is in direct contact with patients’ blood, body fluids, secretions, he or she is advisable to put on gloves.

This worker is required to wear a gown and gloves if there is a risk of splashes of patients’ secretions onto his or her body.

Hand hygiene, gloves, gown, medical mask, and eyewear are necessary by a health worker if he or she is exposed to risk of splashes onto his/her face and body.

Protection of patients.

The World Health Organization outlines the following advice on victims with 2019 – nCoA.

  • Patients should be placed in a single room.
  • Patients should be separated from others by at least 1metres.
  • Victims should be given limited mobility out of the hospital room.
  • Sick people should be given a medical-surgical mask if they want to go outside.

Updates.

Data generated by the WHO reported the following updates:

  • Confirmed cases of novel coronavirus increased by 694 cases from 25th – 26th
    of January 2020. A total of 2014 confirmed cases have been diagnosed worldwide. Moreover, 29 confirmed cases were reported out of china of which 26 were confirmed to have traveled from Wuhan. Nonetheless, 56 deaths were recorded by the 26th of January 2020.
  • On the 6th of February 2020, China recorded 28060 confirmed cases as the world met a total of 28281 confirmed cases while registering 564 deaths.
  • A call from China from some health personnel gave me 31211 confirmed cases and 637 deaths this early morning on the 7th of February. However, we await a confirmed statistics from great organizations as far as this infection is concerned.
  • Apart from China, leading countries with some moderate confirmed cases on 6th February include Singapore (28), Japan (25), Republic of Korea (23) and Thailand (25). Other infected countries involve Australia (14), Malaysia (12) Viet Nam (10), USA (12), Germany (12), France (6), UAE (5), etc.
  • No confirmed cases have been reported from Africa yet.

         Akon,

              WHO Observant!