Coronaviruses are surrounded by a halo of spiky proteins. This pattern gives it a crown like appearance, first identified in the 1960’s.There are seven coronaviruses that can infect people. People around the world commonly get infected with these four human coronaviruses: 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. They usually cause a mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, that people catch every year like common cold & cough.
Coronaviruses are not a single virus, rather they are large family of viruses. COVID-19 is the 7th known coronavirus to infect humans. Outbreak of COVID -19, a respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019. WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a” GLOBAL PANDEMIC” means desease spreading worldwide.
SOURCE & SPREAD OF INFECTION
This large family of viruses that are common in people & many different species of animals,including camels, cattles, cats & bats. Animal coronaviruses can infect people & then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is beta-coronavirus like MERS-CoV & SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origin in bats.
Person to person transmission occurs primarily via a droplet spread by coughing or sneezing or through direct contact. Viral droplets like mucosa, saliva contains viral particles, and new coronavirus can likely remain airborne for some time. Protein present on virus helps to attach itself & gain entry into the host cell .this viruses are known to mutate easily.
Approximately 5.2 days. the period from the onset of COVID-19, death has ranged from 6 to 41 days with a median of 14 days. Most people who are succumbing to this infection are over 50 years of age or have some associated co-morbidity like asthma, COPD, diabetes, etc.
The most common symptoms at onset of COVID-19 illness are fever, cough ,fatigue, sputum production may or may not, weakness, dizziness, rhinorhoea, myalgia, headache, haemoptysis ,diarrhea, dyspnea & lymphopenia. Pneumonia recorded in later stages. However there were abnormal features such as RNAnaemia , acute respiratory distress syndrome & acute cardiac injury, hypoxia, ground- glass opacities. Fever was noted among 98% patients.
- Leucocytosis was detected in 32% pateints & lymphocytosis in 67%.
- Concentration of C-reactive protein & serum amyloid A protein were elevated in most patients.
- Abnormal respiratory findings,& RNA anemia,combined with incidence of ground-glass opacities.
- Patients sputum showed positive real-time polymerase chain reaction results.
- High erythrocyte sedimentation rate & D-dimer were also observed.
- Significantly high blood levels of cytokines were noted in patients with COVID-19 infection.
Be cautious and take precautions but don’t be stressfull because stress is responsible for upto 90 % of illness,including heart desease,cancer and diabetes.when an individual is in stress, the release of stress harmones (eg . cortisol)shuts down the immune system to conserve the body,s energy for running away from the perceived stressor.
“the fear of the coronavirus is more deadly then the virus itself” stated by Dr. Bruce lipton,PHD cellular biology .so avoiding negative thinking (the nocebo effect), following good diet, exercise, meditation n maintaining proper hygiene are possible solutions.
Contributed by: Dr Megha Choudhary, Assistant professor(Surgery),R.V.H.M.C, DABOK.