What Is Coronavirus? Symptoms, Transmission and Treatment

Have you heard of Mers? How about SARS? I know you've heard of the mystery Wuhan pneumonia. Well, what do all of these respiratory illnesses have in common? They are all caused by the coronavirus. What is coronavirus?


What Is Coronavirus?

The coronavirus gets its name because it has spiky points on its surface which make it look like a crown or a corona. Coronaviruses are in many different animal species, but we'll focus on the human coronavirus. There is the common human coronavirus, which can give you symptoms anywhere from mild to moderate with fever, cough, shortness of breath, kind of like the common cold. It is usually upper respiratory. People who get the common human coronavirus will typically have short-lived illnesses, maybe five to seven days, and they'll heal on their own and do fine. But then we have the other coronaviruses, the scarier coronaviruses.


Types Of Coronavirus

Mers is one, or Middle East Respiratory syndrome, and it can cause fever, shortness of breath, but then it can also cause a lower respiratory infection, or pneumonia.  Mers is mostly found in the Arabian Peninsula. And then there is the infamous SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Now we first got SARS in 2002, and from 2002 to 2004, even though SARS started off as pneumonia or respiratory syndrome in Asia, it actually spread worldwide and became a pandemic affecting 37 countries, infecting 8,000 people, and causing 774 deaths.

SARS was caused by a coronavirus, but fortunately, there have been no reported cases of SARS since 2004, at least as of January 2020. And now, there is what was referred to as the mystery Wuhan pneumonia, which we now know is also caused by a coronavirus. As of January 2020, we've been referring to this as the 2019 Novel, or New Coronavirus.


what is coronavirus


Novel Coronavirus

So some background is that this new coronavirus first had its outbreak in Wuhan, China, and we've traced it back to a live animal and seafood market which not only sold seafood, but also sold live snakes, live birds, and live rabbits. Initially, 59 people in China were infected at the same time, and it was believed that it was an animal to human transmission. Even as of the second week in January, we had no confirmed deaths from that pneumonia. We just had the 59 people, and the Chinese government did an excellent job, so it seemed, at really containing people.

As of January 1st, 2020, they even shut down that live animal and seafood market altogether, they decontaminated it, started doing screenings for people who were traveling to and from China, and they were really being vigilant to try to prevent an outbreak. Well things changed, and they changed pretty quickly because there have been cases reported in Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. On January 21st, 2020, the United States of America had its first confirmed case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

New Cases Of Novel Coronavirus Reported

We have now grown from those 59 cases. As of January 28th, 2020, there were over 4,500 confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in mainland China and at least 106 deaths. The average age of the people who have died is 73, and most of these people have had some underlying health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or some kind of immunocompromised state.

Also, as of January 23rd, 2020, the average age of a person who gets severe symptoms with the infection was 40, and mostly men, and we're not really sure why. So now we have somewhat of a frightening correlation between this Novel Coronavirus, and the coronavirus that caused SARS with the big pandemic. SARS started off in Asia and then spread worldwide, and now the Novel Coronavirus started off in Asia and already, we're seeing it in different countries.

I have a question, do you feel very confident with the CDC the World Health Organization, that we are going to contain and confine this virus? Do you feel confident? Are you scared that we could have another huge, worldwide pandemic? Please comment down below and let me know your thoughts.


What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of Coronavirus?

With the common human coronaviruses, the signs and symptoms can be mild to moderate, like fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, pretty much signs, and symptoms similar to the common cold. But with these other coronaviruses, like the Mers, the SARS, and now the Novel Coronavirus, you can get mild to moderate signs and symptoms, but then they can also be more severe like with outright pneumonia, and inflammation. You get respiratory distress, or even respiratory failure requiring hospitalization, and supplemental oxygen.

Some of the other signs can include chest x-ray findings of these invasive lesions on the lungs.  You may get signs of inflammation, infection, and all kinds of fluid in the air sacks, or the alveoli of the lungs.


How Is Coronavirus Transmitted?

That is the golden question. Well with some of these common human coronaviruses, we know that there is human to human transmission via respiratory droplets.

So how do you get respiratory droplets? If a person who's infected with the coronavirus sneezes or coughs, and they get these fine respiratory droplets or particles, and you inhale them, or you breathe them in, then you have been exposed, and you can be infected with the coronavirus.

Now, specifically with this Novel Coronavirus, back when we were calling it the mystery pneumonia, or the Wuhan pneumonia, we thought that is was just from animal to human, because we had no confirmed cases of human to human transmission, and I'm talking again, as late as the second week in January of 2020.


Human To Human Coronavirus Transmission

We now know that there has been some human to human transmission via respiratory droplets of the Novel Coronavirus, just like the Mers and the SARS. So again, transmission can be from human to human via respiratory droplets. Someone sneezes or coughs, and another person inhales, and now they've been infected with the coronavirus.

We still have more to learn about the transmission of the Coronavirus specifically of this Novel, or New Coronavirus, because if it is very easily transmitted, and if it causes severe symptoms in a lot of people, then that can worsen the chances of it being a very serious epidemic, or even a pandemic. For example, we know that some viruses are easily transmitted, such as the measles, and if you haven't done so already, please watch my YouTube video on the measles.


How Is Coronavirus Transmitted


What Is The Treatment For Coronavirus?

Well, there is no specific treatment. There's no specific antiviral or antibiotic that will cure the Coronavirus, but what we do, is we treat the symptoms. If there's a fever, we treat that, shortness of breath, we treat that. If there is severe respiratory failure, we get supplement oxygen, and we even intubate.


What Is The Incubation Period For Coronavirus?

The incubation period is believed to be between 2 and 14 days, and right now, we're getting this data based off of the Mers, or the Middle East Respiratory-Syndrome. So once you've been exposed to the coronavirus, it may give you symptoms in 2 days, or it may give you symptoms in 2 weeks.


How To Prevent Coronavirus?

We can prevent it with good hand hygiene, washing the hands with soap and water, and cleaning the hands with the alcohol sanitizers. Also, covering your mouth to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets. You can cover your mouth with your elbow, or if you use a tissue to cover your mouth, throw that tissue away. You also want to be really smart about exposure. Don't go around people who are sick, don't go to places that you know have been contaminated, and make sure that if you're sick, if you're having fever, cough, or something that could be coronavirus, please, don't go to work, don't go to school, and don't expose other people.


Coronavirus Vaccine

Speaking specifically about the Wuhan pneumonia, or the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, as of January 2020, we're actually trying to develop a vaccination. We are getting the genetics of this Novel Coronavirus and trying to come up with a vaccine to help to prevent the spread. Now, this is a tricky thing because the vaccine has to number one, be proven to be effective, and then it has to be proven to be safe. So it's really a race against time because we also know that these coronaviruses can mutate, they can change, and so it's hard to keep up, but again, the vaccination is another potential way to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Let me ask you this question. If you were told that there was a vaccination developed for the coronavirus, would you take it? Comment down below.



I hope you find this information on the coronavirus to be helpful and informative. And if you have not done so already, please download this free PDF on 10 healthy habits for a better you, and a better life. It's a checklist that I use personally to live my healthiest and happiest life. Make sure you stay informed on the coronavirus because this is one of those things that is continuously evolving. Makes sure you use good hand hygiene, that you cover your mouth.  I hope that you do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life. If you haven't done so already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, and I'll see you next time.

Dr. Frita
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