The past few days were marked by a frantic search for news from China. There was an epidemic of a new coronavirus, which appeared out of the blue (although there are already versions), waited for a long time and, as a result, spread around the country and from the country with such speed that the authorities had to quarantine several big cities.
Now, official figures about sick and dead come from China, as well as a large number of rather creepy photos and videos. The virus itself, despite unprecedented precautions, managed to "get out" of the country and reached several other states. And we, in turn, are trying to assess how serious everything is.
However, to begin with, let’s answer to a fairly common question.
What is coronavirus in general?
Coronaviruses is a family that in January 2020 includes 39 types of viruses, combined into 2 subfamilies that infect humans, cats, birds, dogs, cattle, pigs and hares.
The virus was first isolated in 1965 in a patient with acute rhinitis.
Coronavirus is able to provoke damage to:
- respiratory system;
- gastrointestinal tract;
- nervous system.
One type of coronavirus has become the causative agent of SARS.
It happened before
Actually, the current epidemic is most often compared with SARS. The first case of SARS coronavirus was reported in November 2002 in the Chinese province of Guangdong, the last in June 2003.
Then the virus spread to neighboring Hong Kong and Vietnam, and then to other countries and continents.
A total of 8437 cases of the disease were recorded during the epidemic, of which 813 cases were fatal.
As already known, the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The World Health Organization has mentioned this virus as 2019-nCoV.
They are similar to symptoms of pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome:
- loss of consciousness (as a result of progressive destruction of the lung tissue);
- dry cough;
- fever (38 ° C or higher);
- difficult breathing;
- pain in the chest;
- general malaise.
The incubation period lasts for 6-12 days. In case of infection from person to person – for no more than 5 days.
How to protect yourself?
WHO has already issued recommendations. And here's what they recommend:
- wash hands with soap or wipe hands with alcohol-based products;
- cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a handkerchief;
- avoid close contact with any person with symptoms of the common cold or flu;
- thermally process meat and eggs before eating;
- avoid unprotected contact with wild animals and livestock.
Where did it come from?
In China, they believe that the fish market in Wuhan, where wild creatures were illegally sold, became the source of infection.
It is assumed that the carrier of the virus was an animal, then it passed on to humans. Among the main "suspects" are snakes. At least that's what say Chinese scientists from four cities where the infection started to spread from.
The closest genetic code to the virus turned out to be two species of snakes: the South Chinese many-banded krait and Chinese cobra.
There is another hypothesis. Its essence: the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus appeared as a result of a genetic combination of bat coronavirus and coronavirus of unknown origin.
Thirteen cities were closed. Among them: Wuhan, Ezhou, Huangang, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhejiang, Jingmen, and Xiantao.
The coverage of the block is about 25 million people.
And yet the virus went beyond China.
According to the latest data (we will still be updating them), one case of the disease has been confirmed in South Korea, Taiwan, the USA, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, two each in Japan, Vietnam, Macau and Hong Kong. Three cases have been reported in Thailand.
The reaction of Chinese authorities
The Chinese government will spend $ 144 million to fight the coronavirus. Hubei has already received these funds.
Along the way, it became known that the first clinical trials of a vaccine against a new coronavirus can be carried out after 16 weeks.
It also became known that China is planning to build a hospital with a thousand beds at the epicenter of the epidemic (that is, in Wuhan) in record time. In record - it means 10 days.
The reaction of the Ukrainian authorities
Against the background of WHO statements that coronavirus is not a world-class threat, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine assessed the risk of introducing the virus into our country as average. According to Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, an operational headquarters has been created in Ukraine at the level of the Ministry of Health to control the spread of coronavirus from China.
Honcharuk emphasized that today there are no grounds for worries in Ukraine.