What Is Coronavirus, How Is It Spread And What Are The Risks To Me
The coronavirus looks like it's going to hanging around for a while yet.
With no vaccine readily available and the virus infecting people all around the globe, we need to understand this new strain of infection and be prepared for what is attacking us...
Background & Source Of the Coronavirus COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring the current outbreak of new respiratory illness.
The illness has been found to be caused by a novel (new), Coronavirus officially named “COVID-19". It was first detected in the Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China and from this epicenter has continued to spread at a rapid rate worldwide.
The Coronaviruse "COVID-19" stands for Coronavirus ID19, with the 19 being the year of detection. It is a member of a large family of viruses commonly found in both humans and variety of different animal species.
These include bat, rats, camels, cattle and cats. Although it is very rare that animal coronaviruses can spread between people.
The current understanding of how COVID-19 spreads is based on information known about early COVID-19 cases and also similar coronaviruses.
Spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19
Viruses are most often spread from person-to-person and happens through close contact exposure to someone who is already infected with COVID-19.
This person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via direct respiratory droplets. Given off when an infected person coughs (without a face mask), this is similar to how the influenza virus and respiratory pathogens spread.
Minute droplets from the infected person can land in the nose, eyes or mouth of an uninfected person.
It would appear that touching an infected surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, may also spread the virus.
As will shaking an infected person and close personal contact.
All world health bodies now recommend that everyone frequently wash their hands.
and use alcohol based sanitiser as a means of reducing the spread of the virus.
Level Of Illness Of the Coronavirus COVID-19
The complete clinical picture of the COVID-19 virus is, as yet, not fully understood. The illnesses has ranged from mild to severe, resulting in death.
As the illness progresses we will learn more. The rapidly evolving situation means that information will be progressively updated as the virus spreads and it becomes available.
Perceived Risk the Coronavirus COVID-19
These types of novel virus infections among people are always considered to be of public health concern.
With the risk varying from these viral outbreaks that depends on characteristics of the virus, taking note of how quickly it spreads from person to person, the level of the resulting viral illness, and the simple fact of "is there a vaccine available".
The simple fact that the coronavirus has caused illness, and in some cases death, and has managed to maintain person-to-person spread is reason for concern.
These two determining factors alone are enough to set the criteria to that of a pandemic. As the viral spread is detected in more and more countries across the world we advance toward the third criteria of a worldwide pandemic.
Currently most people in the UK have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. However, this virus spread rate seams to be stretching worldwide, with these global circumstances in mind, it would suggest CORVID-19 will cause a pandemic.
Although at present this is a 'rapidly evolving situation' and the risk level to the public needs to be monitored and updated constantly.
Whats Likely To Happen
As more and more cases of COVID-19 identified in UK, It is almost certain that person-to-person infection will continue amongst the public.
If we do see a widespread transmission of the coronavirus this would mean large numbers of people needing isolation and medical care at the same time.
Places of mass gatherings, E.G: childcare centres, schools, football matches, large workplaces can expect to see large absenteeism and even total shutdown of the workplace.
In this type of emergency scenario the public healthcare systems may become overloaded and unable to cope.
With these high volumes of hospitalisations, lack of healthcare facilities and health administrators there will inevitably be a high number of deaths.
The knock on effect of an uncontrolled pandemic is our basic infrastructure. Public service workers will be effected. Law enforcement, transport infrastructure, emergency medical responce will also be affected.
Quite obviously our front line health care workers and hospitals could well be inundated with infected people.As we stand at this point: There is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.