With a total of 110,100 confirmed victims and 4000 deaths, coronavirus statistics may appear intimidating to most of us.
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed by the People’s Republic of China of cases of pneumonia of unknown microbial aetiology associated with Hubei Province, central China.
On 9 January 2020, WHO announced that a novel coronavirus had been detected in patient samples in Wuhan.
On 30 January 2020, the WHO Emergency Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
However, given that it has a mortality rate of only 2%, the probability of anyone dying from the virus at this moment would be 1 in 5 million. An aspect that is extremely crucial for both prevention and recovery from any viral infection (including coronavirus) is the strength of the immune system. There could be a long list of factors that weaken or strengthen the immune system. Negative factors include: smoking, alcohol, medications, unhealthy food, sedentary lifestyle, psychology, exposure to pollutants or radiation and existing health conditions such as a recent flu. Significant natural methods of strengthening the immune system is multiple day dry fasting, or physical exercise. Fasting should be first on the list for both prevention but also especially for recovery from the virus, since it gives the body the best chance it has to fight the virus (without having to digest food). Wrong strategies of dealing with a disease can be considered to be a leading cause of death.
Many issues are often discussed related with coronavirus, such as how pandemic it can really become, the origins of the virus (Is the virus really a biological weapon?), the cost for the economy, the significance of the protection with washing the hands and wearing masks, abortion of flights, and finally exploiting the virus for economical benefits. Many retailers have been warned to apply reasonable prices to products such as antiviral hand cleaners and face masks, while the media is often spreading panic and misinformation in an attempt to gain popularity. The abortion of many flights should be considered a cause of major distress for the general public, but the virus could tenfold more spread if safety measures were not taken.
Italy’s lockdown plan emerged on Saturday night as the country continues to grapple with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, which has killed 366 people and infected at least 7,375.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, said: “Since the very start of the coronavirus outbreak, the Foreign Office have been consistently behind the curve in terms of issuing up to date travel and evacuation advice to keep British nationals safe in the highest-risk countries, and we are now in the alarming position where – for unexplained reasons – they appear to be taking a more relaxed attitude than the countries concerned. Dominic Raab needs to get a grip of this crisis, and pull out all the stops to keep our people safe.”
Alistair Carmichael mentioned: “People are increasingly worried about the spread of coronavirus and the government must be providing informed and accurate guidance, especially up-to-date travel advice to all those who could be affected.”
Initial clinical findings from patients to date have been shared by China and WHO. Fever, cough or chest tightness, and dyspnea are the main symptoms reported. While most patients have a mild illness, severe cases are also being reported, some of whom require intensive care. A variety of abnormalities may be expected on chest radiographs, but bilateral lung infiltrates appear to be common (similar to what is seen with other types of viral pneumonia). As regards the transmission of the virus, science is uncertain, but we all know the possible pathways: droplets, contact with a person who has the virus and/or with other infected material. We do not know the routes of transmission of COVID-19; however, other coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. In addition to respiratory secretions, other coronaviruses have been detected in blood, faeces and urine.