Corona…no not the popular beverage

On the 31stof December 2019, the World Health Organization received the first to-be cases
of Corona Virus. Symptoms to the likes of pneumonia were being reported,
without positive causation. Through the next 36 hours, a further 44 cases were
reported of a similar description. Following further investigation, by the 12th
of January 2020, the cases had been traced back to common location, a seafood
market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. Chinese authorities by this time had
confirmed the presence of a new strand of the Corona virus, coined ‘Covid-19’,
after the abbreviated ‘Corona’ the Latin term for crown, ‘Virus’, ‘Disease’, which
first presented in 2019, with the word ‘Corona’ coming from the shape of the glycoprotein
protruding from the cell’s surface. Shortly after this, Chinese geneticists had
mapped the genetic sequence and shared it with the global scientific community
in the hope of developing methods with which to combat the virus. By the 20th
of January 2020, the first reported case in a foreign country had occurred, in
the Republic of Korea.

there have been over 51 800 reported cases of Covid-19 infection, with roughly 51
100 of those from China. Affected countries now include Australia, Canada, the
United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Egypt,
and several South Asian countries. The exact source of the virus is not yet
known however there is confidence that the disease was initially passed over to
humans from wildlife, the species of which are not yet known. By increased contact
with live animals or mutations in the virus itself, Covid-19 has recently
managed to bridge the gap to humans. Amongst humans it is thought to spread
through mucous membranes by means of direct contact or aerosol. So, what
are the symptoms? Symptoms range
from mild to severe, from fevers, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath to
pneumonia, kidney failure and death. The exact mortality rate is not yet known.
Diagnosis of affected patients is most accurately done by ‘PCR’, or polymerase
chain reaction. For prevention, WHO currently recommends general hygiene, such
as covering one’s mouth when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with
suspected patients and wearing masks and protective clothing in a healthcare setting,
and lastly washing hands often and thoroughly. Treatment currently includes
supportive care and no vaccine exists; however, vaccines are in development.

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