The COVID-19 outbreak was first begun in China and now it has become a global pandemic. The virus that causes the disease, the coronavirus, has been identified as a human pathogen since the mid 20th century. It is a family of viruses that can infect both animals and humans. In humans, the virus can cause severe respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.
The primary target cells of the coronavirus are the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. They are enveloped positive-stranded RNA viruses. Until today, seven coronavirus strands that infect humans have been identified. Betacoronavirus HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, and Alphacoronavirus HCoV-229E are the most common coronaviruses that infect humans. They cause common colds and severe respiratory tract infections in the older age group.
The coronavirus related to the outbreak in Wuhan, China is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or also known as SARS-CoV-2. This coronavirus genetically clusters within Betacoronavirus.
Transmission Of Coronavirus
The first case of COVID-19 has been traced back to a live animal market in Wuhan. There is a broad range of coronaviruses found in bats. Therefore, scientists suspect that the virus might have transmitted from animals to humans.
It is found that the incubation period of the coronavirus is between two to fourteen days. Between humans, the virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets. This may happen when the respiratory droplets of the infected person come out during coughing and sneezing. If a healthy person comes in contact with these respiratory secretions that contain the virus, that person may also get infected with the coronavirus.
How COVID-19 Is Diagnosed?
The World Health Organization and ECDC have developed interim guidance documents for the laboratory testing of SARS-CoV-2. A prompt case confirmation is very essential to ensure rapid contact tracing and isolating the suspected patients. Other viruses like influenza, metapneumovirus, and Haemophilus bacteria can also lower respiratory disease. Therefore, detecting which pathogen causes the disease is very important.
Active case finding, rapid contact tracing, prompt isolation of the suspected cases, and strict application of the infection control practices were proven to be effective control measures in the past. The government has a major role to play in the successful controlling of the outbreak. They need to educate the public on how to prevent the spreading of the disease and implement strict measures to avoid public gatherings of people.
Every individual can follow some precautionary measures to prevent the infection and spreading of the disease. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wear face masks while going out of your house. Reduce contact with your pets because they can be a carrier of the disease.