Covid-19 : Everything You Need To Know About Coronavirus Risks And Definition

Countries around the world are stepping up efforts to tackle the new coronavirus that has killed tens of thousands.

Over 200 people are currently infected with the virus in Nigeria while Lagos remain the epicenter in Nigeria.

As of April 7, more than 82,000 people worldwide have died of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has exceeded 1.4 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

What is a coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

These viruses were originally transmitted from animals to people. SARS, for instance, was transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS moved to humans from a type of camel.

The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, the looks like it is surrounded by a solar corona.

The novel coronavirus, identified by Chinese authorities on January 7 and since named SARS-CoV-2, is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans. Little is known about it, although human-to-human transmission has been confirmed.

What are the symptoms?

According to the WHO, signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Current estimates of the incubation period – the time between infection and the onset of symptoms – range from one to 14 days. Most infected people show symptoms within five to six days.

However, in some cases the infected patients can also be asymptomatic, meaning that they do not display any symptoms despite having the virus in their systems.

How deadly is it?

The number of fatalities from the new coronavirus has overwhelmingly surpassed the toll of the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which also originated in China.

SARS killed about 9 percent of those it infected – nearly 800 people worldwide and more than 300 in China alone. MERS, which did not spread as widely, was more deadly, killing one-third of those infected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 which may result in increased stress during a crisis.

People who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes also seem to be at high risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

What is being done to stop it from spreading?

Scientists around the globe are racing to develop a vaccine but have warned it is not likely one will be available for mass distribution before 2021.

Meanwhile, a growing number of countries have introduced a series of sweeping measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including nationwide lockdowns, bans on gatherings, closure of schools, restaurants, bars and sports clubs, as well as issuing mandatory work-from-home decrees.  

Some countries have banned non-citizens from entering their territories, and several more have evacuated their citizens from abroad.

Where did the virus originate?

Chinese health authorities are still trying to determine the origin of the virus, which they say likely came from a seafood market in Wuhan, China where wildlife was also traded.

Scientists have pointed to either bats or snakes as possible sources of the virus.

About Azeez Segun

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