The coronavirus outbreak is spreading across the world and it’s got a lot of people asking questions how bad is this, is there a vaccine and what can we do to protect ourselves well step one don’t panic we’re gonna break it down.
first of all,
What is coronavirus?
well for starters it’s a whole family of viruses SARS which first hit Hong Kong in 2002 was an outbreak that was caused by a type of coronavirus but the coronavirus family also includes the common cold this coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan China in 2019 and it’s a whole new strain it’s officially known as SARS CoV 2
now the SARS part is confusing it’s not actually the same virus that caused that 2002 outbreak, but it’s related to the disease you get when you catch the virus that’s called covered 19 coronaviruses over 19 sighs. I know it’s all incredibly confusing but for a long time health officials didn’t actually know what they were even looking at they now suspect that it was an animal virus that crossed over into humans potentially at a live animal market
Has something like coronavirus happened before?
We’ve seen that kind of thing before with swine flu and avian influenza. It gives us a whole new mutated strain of a virus that health officials have never seen before we now know that the incubation period the time between when someone gets infected and when they start showing symptoms that could be as long as 14 days and that’s a problem because you could have people that are not showing outward signs of the virus but are walking around and infecting other people without even knowing it and that’s why we’ve seen so many travel lockdowns in early 2020 countries like u.s. enforced a compulsory 14-day quarantine that’s the same time as the incubation period that applied to anyone traveling from known problem areas like China and before we start scaremongering know it doesn’t mean that all the people coming from those places are infected it’s just a really easy way to minimize the spread you keep
The people who may have been exposed away from the people who definitely haven’t been exposed the only problem is now we’re starting to see cases of covert 19 in people who have been to China and haven’t been in contact with people who have and that’s got public health officials worried.
What happens to those people who contract covert 19?
well it’s a respiratory illness so think things like coughing fever shortness of breath it also spreads like other respiratory illnesses so sneezing and coughing on people we don’t know how long it survives on hard surfaces but it’s safe to say you shouldn’t go around licking handrails but it’s also not a sudden death disease
It doesn’t seem to be as severe as we first feared but it does seem to be quite transmissible and some people have very mild symptoms or possibly even no symptoms at all so for some people it might just feel like a really really bad cold but in severe cases, it can lead to things like pneumonia. People have been hospitalized put on respirators and according to data from China, 2.3 percent of patients have died.
Who’s at risk here?
think of coronavirus like regular flu season it’s the immunocompromised elderly people who have lung conditions or chronic illnesses. in fact, elderly people with Cove at 19 they’re particularly at risk but unlike regular flu season it doesn’t seem to be affecting young people
which is good news the other difference with flu season we don’t have a vaccine and we probably won’t have one for a while because we’re dealing with a new strain here scientists need time to develop the vaccine and put it through tests and trials to make sure it’s safe and that it’s actually effective although this is the fastest we have ever gone from a sequence of a virus to a trial it still would not be any application to the epidemic unless we’d really wait about a year. Novel Coronavirus 2019
So, no vaccine anytime soon but it’s not all bad news remember the CDC said that not all cases will be severe and 2% is a low mortality rate especially when you consider it to things like the most recent Ebola outbreak where 50% of people infected died but the problem is just how transmissible it is and therefore how many people could become infected it when we start to get into pandemic territory where large parts of the population are getting infected and the virus is spreading across international borders then that 2 percent mortality figure gets really terrifying not only that but our hospitals will be incredibly stretched they will be dealing with a lot of severe cases and they may not have the resources to cope.
what’s the hope here?
well no you don’t need to go on stockpile six months worth of food nobody wants to be eating sardines that long no the answer is kind of basic and it’s also within our reach and that’s standard public health measures hygiene things like washing your hands do it way more than you think you need to soap and water and for at least 20 seconds and if you can’t wash your hands well use hand sanitizer.
at least 60% alcohol and rub it on and if you start to feel sick don’t be a hero stay at home don’t go to work don’t go out in public don’t catch transport, yes you will get very bored but that’s better than being patient zero in your neighborhood. Isolate yourself at home and make sure you clean high touch surfaces things like door handles, bathroom fixtures, your phone and if you do need to go to the doctor make sure you call ahead so that they can protect themselves and one last thing; I can’t emphasize this enough cover your coughs and sneezes and not with your hand just remember to destroy all bacteria d a.b door handles laptops benches like everything in the bathroom sorry I’m just making a list we got more videos you can watch here the couch is I’m gonna have to wash all the sheets and towels.