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How Common is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

Coronavirus Infection is the root cause of mild cough, sore throat, and flu like symptoms and has been known since the 1960s. There have been some cases of complications of this virus where the respiratory organs get affected causing conditions like SARS and MERS which had been known to be the only two serious complications. However, in December of 2019, a new strain of the coronavirus was identified in the Wuhan province of China. This is perhaps the deadliest of all the strains of the coronavirus. This virus has been named as Covid-19 (2019-nCoV).[1]

How Common is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

The reason why this virus has created panic not only across China but across the world is due to the speed at which this spreads from one human to another. It may take at maximum a week for the symptoms to worsen and another few weeks for fatality to occur if an individual gets infected with the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) coronavirus. This virus is presumed to have spread from cattle like cows, pigs, and birds. This is the reason why people working in the farms and meat handlers are most vulnerable to this viral infection.[1]

How Common is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

As of March 17, 2020, there have been 182,870 cases of people infected with coronavirus. Deaths have been 7174. Number of people who have recovered is 79,886. The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 162 countries and territories around the world. In USA, Total cases of coronavirus has been 4731, 93 deaths, and total recovered have been 74.(3)

According to the reports published by various health bodies, the good news is that even though Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) spreads extremely rapidly but the mortality rate of it has been quite low in the range of 3-4%. The risk of complications increases with age and having immune compromised conditions. The studies also reflect that an infected individual may pass the infection on to others without even realizing it. The incubation period for the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) on average is about 4-5 days with symptom onset close to a week [1]. This article mainly focuses on the commonality of the corona virus infection, especially the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) strain.

As stated, Coronavirus has been prevalent since the 1960s. These are the most common forms of the virus and include 229E, NL63, OC43, and KHU1. These cause common cough and cold that everyone has once in a while. A more rare form of the coronavirus which is actually a respiratory complication of it is the SARS and the MERS which are less common but have a greater mortality rate if not treated on time.[2]

The most recent one in the family of the coronavirus which is the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) is still being studied in terms of commonality. This virus was first identified in the Wuhan province of China in December of 2019 and since has spread in many different parts of the world. This virus typically spreads from one human to another by way of respiratory droplets like when an infected person coughs or sneezes or coming in direct contact with an infected individual such when taking care of the patient.[2]

The virus can also spread by touching the surfaces or an object with the virus such as an object or clothing used by an infected person. The Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) is also believed to spread from animals to humans, especially those that are raised in farms like cows, pigs, and various birds.[2]

As of now, there is no cure or vaccine available to treat or prevent the spread of the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) coronavirus. However, there are various ways which one can follow to prevent getting infected by this deadly condition. It is best to wash the hands several times a day, especially after going out in the open or meeting someone in the hospital environment. This prevents the individual from getting infected with Covid-19 (2019-nCoV). In case if soap and water are unavailable then it is best to use a hand sanitizer.[2]

It is also essential to cover the face when coughing and sneezing and wash the hands after the episode is over to prevent transmitting the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) infection to others. Another way to prevent getting infected with coronavirus is to avoid rubbing the eyes, cleaning the nose, or putting fingers in the mouth with dirty fingers or unwashed hands. Avoid any physical contact with a sick person in the form of hugging, kissing, or sharing utensils or objects.[2]

Clean commonly used objects like doorknobs and other surfaces around the house thoroughly if you have a visitor so as to prevent any virus from settling on that surface.

In case if an individual is sick, it is better to stay indoors and not venture outside unless medical help is required. It is also important to wash the hands thoroughly with soap and water after petting an animal or visiting animal markets or fairs to prevent contracting the Covid-19 (2019-nCoV) coronavirus.[2]


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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 18, 2020

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