The coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which cause a range of illnesses that start from a common cold. Which we have all pretty much had all the way up to more serious ones which has SARS. Now this corona virus is what we call a novel coronavirus. So it’s a new strain that we’ve never actually seen in humans before corona viruses a zoonotic. This means that they’re transmitted between animals and humans.
However, there are several corona viruses that only infect animals, but if they do cross over if they do infect humans for example the novel coronavirus we are dealing with right now. This is what we call a spillover event. Now before we continue, please remember that this is a developing situation and every day.
We are learning more about corona virus but as we learn more as a scientific community to learn more all of this information can potentially change. On 1st of February 2020 all the information and data is from the WHO NHS and public health, England. However, this data can change with time as I have just explained.
what are the symptoms of corona virus? well It can include any of the following a fever, a runny nose, a dry cough, a sore throat and then it can lead onto Shortness of breath and in some severe cases patients will need hospital treatment. So how severe is it? Well, it really depends at the moment we know that one in five cases can become severe leading to things like pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome leaving some mechanical ventilation and in some circumstances it can even cause death now.
We currently know that the novel coronavirus has a mortality rate of 2%This means that 2% of people who have had the novel coronavirus have sadly died from it where it also means that 98% of people who have had the novel coronavirus have got better from it which is much less than that Say for example SARS that has a mortality rate of 10% or even Ebola which has a mortality rate of 70%. Now it is important to remember this is based on the current information that we have.
There are currently people in hospital receiving treatment for the corona virus, so the number could change and it’s not an absolute certainty now in terms of treatments. Unfortunately, there is no treatment currently for the corona virus. However, the symptoms can be treated. So each patient will be looked at individually depending on their symptoms, they will have different treatments for it also another piece of good news is they are currently working on a vaccine for the corona virus which is great news currently.
The risk of getting the illness in the UK is low and the NHS guidance is that any travelers returning from Wuhan China or from the Hubei province in the last 14 days should stay at home? Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people and please contact NHS and make them aware of your recent travel for those individuals.
If you do get any symptoms of corona virus that we spoke about earlier such as the fever sore throat short some breath. Please avoid other people stay indoors and contact NHS or your doctor surgery for advice. Please don’t walk in just call them this also applies to anyone returning from any part of China apart from Hong Kong and Macauso if you get symptoms of coronavirus.
Please stay indoors avoid other people and call NHS or you got to surgery please once again do not walk into your doctor surgery, please just call and get more information and advice. This is all to reduce the spread of the virus and also remember even if your symptoms are mild, please stay indoors and avoid spreading the virus So this means staying at home for at least 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or the Hubei Province or If you have symptoms and you have come from any part of China you need to stay at home for at least 14 days.
And this means you are not going to have to work don’t go to school don’t go to public places and obviously if you need food contact friends or family or delivery drivers to bring it to your house now. This is the current guidance from the NHS. However, it can change tomorrow, It can change this week, It can change next month.
How is coronavirus spread? well we don’t know exactly how it’s spread from person to person but similar virus is spread through cough droplets through close contact. Now close contact is being closed within 2 meters of someone who is infected for at least 15 minutes but like I said, there’s still lots of information that we don’t know So for example, how long does it take for the virus to spread? What is the true incubation period so this is the period that you have got the virus, but you don’t have any symptoms yet. It’s thought to be one to two weeks, but we are not sure of this yet and also can the virus be spread when you are a symptomatic.
Now the WHO recommends standard prevention technique to help reduce the spread So Tip number 1) Is to wash your hands regularly throughout the day using soap or water wash it for at least 20 seconds. Please remember if you don’t have access to water or so you can always use an alcohol hand rub. Tip number 2) Avoid touching your face as much as you can because our hands they carry so many germs and the way they get in is through your mucous membranes so through your eyes through your mouth through your nose That’s the way the infections get in so I know it’s easy to do when you are thinking and you go into Auto drive and you might touch your face but please try and avoid touching your face as much as you can. Tip number 3) Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or when you sneeze and throw it in the bin straight away the viruses can survive for about 15 minutes on the tissue which is why it’s so important you throw it in the bin straight away on other surfaces like door handles for example The viruses are unlikely to survive more than 24 hours. Tip number 4) Try to avoid close contact with anyone who’s showing signs of a respiratory illness so if they are coughing if they’re sneezing try to avoid contact with them and try and maintain a gap of at least two meters from them because this is a distance that’s been shown as sneeze or cough can travel. Tip number 5) If you are feeling unwell stay at home even if it’s something mild like the common cold Just stay at home and reduce the risk of spreading a virus that are the people and keep your community safe. Tip number 6) If you use a public work space, let’s say for example, here. We all use different rooms all the time so give it a quick wipe down the area that you’re going to be using to work it can make a significant difference. Tip number 7) When you’re eating meat when you are eating eggs make sure you’re cooking them thoroughly.
Another question many people have asked me is about a surgical face masks and if they can help well I do know that virologists are skeptical about their effectiveness against airborne viruses but there is some evidence to show that they do help prevent hand-to-mouth transition, which we spoke about earlier with regards to mucous membranes. However, routine surgical masks, but airborne viruses are not really effective.
The reason being that they are quite loose-fitting they have no air filter and also they leave your eyes exposed so remember the mucous membranes we spoke about earlier that’s an exposed area. The infections can get into you so the best advice to everyone is to maintain the hygiene tips that we spoke about earlier.