Corona virus!! The very sound is causing jitters among people. There is a palpable sense of unrest hearing this ominous word. The world is caught watching helplessly the increasing number of deaths being reported due to this virus.
Are pangolins to blame for this outbreak?
The recent outbreak of coronavirus is believed to have occurred in a market for illegal wildlife in the city of Wuhan, central China. Researchers from around the world suggest that pangolins, the long-snouted, ant-eating mammals traditionally used in Chinese medicine are the probable animal source of the coronavirus outbreak.
Though pangolins are an endangered species, illegal trafficking continues. Pangolins are sold, for their meat and scales which are used to treat ailments such as menstrual disorders, skin diseases and arthritis. Though Chinese law states that selling pangolins can result in punishment for more than 10 years, the illegal trade continues surreptitiously.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a case was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Though the outbreak has already taken a toll of more than 4,000 and the problem has not yet been fully contained. Though the virus has actually been identified during the 60s, an effective vaccination for coronavirus treatment continue to dodge the scientists across the world.
The coronavirus is a group of viruses that can cause various illnesses in humans ranging from common cold to more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus gets its name from a crown like circle of light appearing around itself and can cause a variety of illnesses starting from common cold to more severe respiratory problems.
Symptoms caused by COVID-19, the current version of coronavirus
The new virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causing panic across the world is not that same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Patients with COVID-19 will undergo health check-up and be evaluated differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
Symptoms of coronavirus disease christened as (COVID-19) include mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Persons afflicted with this virus usually shows respiratory problems such as cough, fever or shortness of breath. More severe coronavirus symptoms include pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death.
Prevention and Treatment
Coronavirus prevention comprise regular washing of hands and covering both mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing helps in preventing the spread of the infection. Meat and eggs must be cooked thoroughly while close contact with people showing respiratory problems should be avoided.
Reports suggest that more than 1,00,000 people have been infected the world over while more than 4,000 have succumbed to this dreadly virus. More than 80 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei, the neighbouring province to Wuhan.
Even as the virus spreads its tentacles beyond the limits of China where it has originated, the Indian government is taking all the necessary precautions to thwart the spread of this dangerous disease. It has placed three suspects from Kerala in quarantine (place of isolation in which people that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed) and is screening for possible carriers along the border with Nepal.
Role of WHO
A delegation of WHO(World Health Organisation) is due to visit China to take stock of the situation. Amidst fears that the disease will spread across and have a global footprint, WHO is working closely with various governments to increase awareness about this new virus, to monitor and prevent the spread of the disease. It is also making all efforts in providing individuals and countries about the measures to be taken to prevent this outbreak.
Given the magnitude of the problem all countries should work in unison under the global umbrella of W.H.O. In such dreadful times when various governments across continents are deploying all their resources to prevent the spread of this global scourge, petty bickerings and blame games are definitely unavoidable.