As coronavirus cases passed the mark of 500 cases in India and globally crossed 380,000 cases, the movement of almost everyone is restricted with an emotion of fear and hope. Leading to lockdown in many countries and others expanding their lockdown tenure, the global toll has reached to 383,944 cases of novel coronavirus and causing 16,595 deaths globally. These figures were given by Johns Hopkins University and tracked by World Health Organization (WHO). India and several other countries are under serious curfew and restrictions, leaving the situation miserable.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Showing symptoms similar to any other flu, the new virus have made the jump to humans. The new virus is called Covid-19 and scientists in China believe that it has two mutated strains, one is more aggressive than others and requires development of a complicated vaccine.
From where did it start from?
The source of coronavirus is said to be a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan. A wet market is a place where both live and dead animals including fish and birds are kept, butchered on site and sold. The risk of virus getting transmitted from animals to humans is higher due to unhygienic conditions. Also, risk is greater due to the place been densely packed.
According to few sources, the latest outbreak has not yet been identified but the original host is thought to be bats. Though no evidence has proved this but bats were not directly sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected lived chickens or animals sold there.
Earlier also, bats were found to be host of wide range of zoonotic viruses like Ebola, HIV and rabies.
How is the virus spread?
Just like regular flu and cold, the coronavirus is spread through droplets when a person sneezes or coughs and the droplets may land on surfaces which are then picked up on the hands of others and spreads further. People catch the virus when they touch their infected hands to their face, mouth, eyes or nose.
- The current advice would be to avoid close contact with anyone suffering from cold, cough, flu or an infected person. The disease could only spread because of close contact or spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person.
- Wear a mask or simply cover your mouth and nose with any clean piece of cloth while coughing or sneezing or if you are not well. Self-isolation is the best way.
- Regular washing of hands is the most helpful precaution that could reduce the chances of contamination.
- Use an alcohol based sanitizer with having more than 60% of alcohol as one of its constituents.
Over to you
After lakhs of cases first being reported in China, the disease is spread in more than 100 countries around the world, including Europe, America and Asia. Italy has already witnessed huge number of deaths, leading to many countries imposing a complete lockdown. The disease has also spread to Middle East, with Iran majorly affected.