The whole world and health authorities are worried about the new virus outbreak in China’s city Wuhan. The virus infected patient first reported on 31st December 2019 when a pneumonia patient suffered by this outbreak. Now the virus has been confirmed in about 600 people who are infected, and it caused a respiratory illness. Till now seventeen deaths have been confirmed in China, moreover, the virus has been identified in several other countries of Asia and one case in the United States. Authorities are extremely anxious as the Chinese festive season is at its peak and people will travel around the country, hence this may cause the spread of this virus at a large area which may convert into a pandemic.

 

 

What is Coronavirus?

 

Coronavirus belongs to the family of Coronaviridae and subfamily Coronavirinae. The genus includes alpha, beta, gamma, and delta coronavirus. The virus usually causes upper respiratory tract diseases in human which usually span for a short period of time, but maybe fatal. The new outbreak is thought to be zoonotic and scientists are still in search of a reservoir of the infection. However, it is thought that the animal market in Wuhan may be associated with the transmission of this outbreak.

 

The most known viruses of this genus include 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. However, the new virus is different and has been named 2019-nCo by World Health Organization. The virus contains spikes around its icosahedral structure like a crown.

 

Symptoms of Disease

 

Novel coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. The symptoms mimic with pneumonia hence it is usually declared pneumonia at the initial stage.

Sequence Analysis

Molecular laboratories in China have completed sequencing the virus and shared it publically. The genomic analysis showed very little diversity according to the experts and has been considered from the same genus with little mutations. However, scientists are still investigating the spread of the virus from animal to human or human to human. The virus might be from human to human spread which needs more evidence by sequences.

WHO response

World health organization later on 23rd January announced that the current outbreak has not any evidence of human to human spread of infection so it would not declare any Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) due to virus. The meeting was held at Geneva by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus 2019 in the People’s Republic of China and other affected countries. The representative of the meeting presented the current situation of the outbreak in their respective country. The WHO Director-General ruled out the possibility of declaring a world emergency situation due to the insufficient evidence of human to human spread of the virus.

Safety Precautions to avoid the outbreak

1- Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol.

2- Do not cough or sneeze openly

3- Avoid close contact with flu patients

4- Cook meat thoroughly

5- Avoid touching animal and birds

6- Wash hands after touching any person or animal

7- Avoid touching sick animals

8-Cook meats and vegetables for a long time.