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In December twenty nineteen, there was a cluster of pneumonia cases in China. Investigations found that it was caused by a previously unknown virus. Now named the twenty nineteen novel Corona virus. In this video, we'll take a quick look at what's currently known about the virus. Keep in mind that this is a new virus and what's known about the virus now might change in the future. Corona virus is are a large group of viruses. They consist of a core of genetic material surrounded by an envelope with protein spikes.
This gives it the appearance of a crown crown in Latin is called Corona. And that's how these viruses get their name.
There are different types of Corona virus that cause respiratory and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms. Respiratory disease can range from the common cold to pneumonia. And in most people, the symptoms tend to be mild. However, there are some types of coronaviruses that can cause severe disease. These include the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus first identified in China in 2003 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The twenty nineteen novel Corona virus was first identified in China.
It initially occurred in a group of people with pneumonia who'd been associated with a seafood and live animal market in the city of Suhan. The disease has since spread from those who were sick to others, including family members and health care staff. There are many cases at present and the disease has spread within China and also to a number of other countries. So where did the virus come from? It's known that Corona virus is circulate in a range of animals.
Sometimes these viruses can make the jump from animals to humans. This is called a spillover and could be due to a range of factors such as mutations in the virus or increased contact between humans and animals. For example, Murse Covey is known to be transmitted from camels and serves coffee from civet cats. The animal reservoir of the twenty nineteen novel Corona virus is not known yet. How is it transmitted? The exact dynamics of how the virus is transmitted is yet to be determined.
In general, respiratory viruses are usually transmitted through droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes or through something that has been contaminated with the virus. People most at risk of infection from the novel Corona virus are those in close contact with animals such as live animal market workers and those who are caring for people infected with the virus, such as family members or health care workers. So how does the disease present? Well, from what is known so far, there can be a number of symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
There can be fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath in more severe cases. There's been pneumonia, kidney failure and death. The mortality rate is not known yet. How can we tell whether someone is infected? The infection can be diagnosed by a test called PCR or polymerase chain reaction. This test identifies the virus based on its genetic fingerprint. There's currently no specific medication for the virus and treatment is supportive care. There's currently no vaccine to protect against the virus.
Treatment and vaccines are in development. How do we prevent transmission of the virus? This new virus currently has a limited geographic spread. However, there are a number of standard hygiene practices that have been recommended to protect against infection and further spread. These include covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a medical mask, tissue or flexed elbow, avoiding close contact with those who are unwell. The appropriate use of masks and personal protective equipment, especially in a health care setting.
Washing hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol based hand rub. Actions that can be taken to prevent infection from an animal source include avoiding unnecessary unprotected contact with animals, washing hands after contact with animals or animal products, and ensuring that animal products are cooked thoroughly before they're consumed. It's important to stay home if you're feeling unwell, but if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Seek medical care early and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
That's a quick look at this emerging infectious disease, given that this outbreak is evolving rapidly. What's known about this virus can change. Please check the Web sites below for the most up to date information.