What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start - shaheenitclub

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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start

What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start

What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start



 The new coronavirus Covid-19 has spread to nearly every country in the world since it first emerged in China at the beginning of the year. More than 467000 people are known to be infected and more than 21000 deaths have been recorded - including 465 in the UK.

What the UK lockdown means for you What is a coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms.

Covid-19 is closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) which swept around the world from 2002 to 2003. That virus infected around 8,000 people and killed about 800 but it soon ran itself out, largely because most of those infected were seriously ill so it was easier to control.

Another coronavirus is Middle East respiratory syndrome Mers cases of which have been occurring sporadically since it first emerged in 2012 - there have been around 2,500 cases and nearly 900 deaths. 

Covid-19 is different from these two other coronaviruses in that the spectrum of disease is broad, with around 80 percent of cases leading to a mild infection. There may also be many people carrying the disease and displaying no symptoms, making it even harder to control. 

So far, around 20 percent of Covid-19 cases have been classed as "severe" and the current death rate varies between 0.7 percent and 3.4 percent depending on the location and, crucially, access to good hospital care.

What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start


How did the outbreak start? The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a wet market in Wuhan which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds. 

Such markets pose a heightened risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans because hygiene standards are difficult to maintain if live animals are being kept and butchered on-site. Typically they are also densely packed allowing the disease to spread from species to species.

The animal source of Covid-19 has not yet been identified, but the original host is thought to be bats. Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected live chickens or other animals sold there. 

Is the coronavirus airborne? There is some debate about whether the disease is airborne – there is no evidence for it yet, but that could change. Airborne viruses linger for a longer period of time than those spread by droplets and can also be spread in air conditioning and ventilation systems. 

The current advice is that the disease can only be spread between close contacts – defined as spending more than 15 minutes within two meters of an infected person.

Who started the coronavirus? Various crazy conspiracy theories have been circulating that the virus somehow escaped from a Chinese lab, either by accident or design. However, this is categorically untrue and scientists studying its genetic code have linked it to bats. It probably then jumped to another animal, which passed it on to humans. 

What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start

How serious is the disease? According to data on the first 44,000 cases released by the Chinese authorities, 80 percent of cases are mild. 

In roughly 14 percent of cases, the virus causes severe disease, including pneumonia, and shortness of breath. In about five percent of patients it is critical, leading to respiratory failure, septic shock, and multiple organ failure.

According to the WHO, the death rate in Wuhan is two to four percent, whereas in the rest of China it is around 0.7 percent. 

The death rate around the world varies greatly. For example, Spain has had far fewer cases than China - 47,000 compared to China's 81,000 - but has had far more deaths, 3,400 compared to 3,200 in China. While Germany has had 37,000 cases and 205 deaths.

What is coronavirus, how did the coronavirus start

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