What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is an infection that is member of the Coronavirus family, that has never occurred before. Many of those who were infected initially either worked or shopped from the seafood district Huanan in Wuhan city of China.
Health professionals have associated Coronavirus with pneumonia, bronchitis and the common cold. Since it was first reported on China, Coronavirus has spread to 30 other countries including Pakistan with over 3,000 reported deaths caused by it over the past month.
The World Health Organization (WHO) have declared Coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern.
Coronavirus in Pakistan
As of 27 February, 2 confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been reported.
Pakistan’s public health adviser Dr. Zafar Mirza to Prime Minister Imran Khan has confirmed the report in a tweet last night.
220/ I can confirm first two cases of corona virus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable. No need to panic, things are under control. I will hold press conf tomorrow on return from Taftan.
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) February 26, 2020
The first patient is rumored to be in Karachi, Sindh who has been quarantined with his family. The patient had came into contact with the virus while on a visit on Iran and brought the virus back to Pakistan when he returned from Iran on February 20, 2020. Those passengers who were with him, were all tested – where majority of them have been tested negative so far.
Iran’s health minister reported that the total cases of Coronavirus in Iran has risen to around 43, with 12 deaths. This resulted in Pakistan sealing the border with Iran & launching screening camps in Balochistan. The government also officially announced 2 day holiday for private & public institutions, where as government of Balochistan has announced holiday of 2 weeks.
A helpline for the citizens of Pakistan has been setup to address the questions related to the virus and to report on the helpline if they spot anyone with symptoms of the virus so that they can be detained quickly without further affecting others.
If you feel you’ve been infected with the virus, it is best to consult with a health professional as quick as you can or book online doctor appointment.
How Coronavirus spreads
Coronavirus originated in the city of Wuhan, China and since then who ever came in contact with the host of the virus has become infected – leading to thousands infected throughout the world.
Just like any virus, you can become infected from the person carrying the Coronavirus through air from coughing or sneezing, coming into close contact and touching contaminated surface and not washing hands before touching your face.
The virus is reported to start with a fever with a dry cough. After a while, the patient begins to experience breathing difficulties accompanied by muscle pain – which usually requires the patient having to get admitted to hospital.
However, symptoms don’t begin to show initially until the incubation period is over which is usually between 14-24 days according to experts. Unfortunately, the patient can be infectious even before the symptoms start to show.
Exactly how much deadly is this virus? According to the World Health Organization (WHO),
5% of the patients develop critical symptoms.
14% of the patients develop severe symptoms.
81% of the patients develop mild symptoms.
Although the disease is dangerous and thousands are being treated, the amount of deaths reported so far appear to fall in the percentage of 1% to 2%.
At the moment, health professionals with knowledge about Coronavirus over the world is low as it’s a new disease – especially in third world countries like Pakistan, India etc.
The treatment relies on keeping the patient’s body alive, with the hope their immune system is able to fight off the virus. Doctors are likely to give you instructions targeted at relieving your symptoms such as, taking pain killers, increasing water intake, resting & isolating yourself from others.
It’s advised to get yourself admitted to an isolation ward, rather than trying to fight off this virus in your home.
Vaccines are under-development and hopefully Coronavirus vaccines will be released officially by the end of this year.
According to the World Health Organization, the best way to prevent yourself from getting inflicted with Coronavirus is to practice good hygiene, stay indoors & away from crowded places.
Unfortunately as of this moment is there no vaccine for Coronavirus, and it’s likely to take a lot of time before the vaccine arrives.
However, to reduce chances of you getting Coronavirus – here are the steps you can take.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your body as much as you can – especially hands before eating.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or suspected to have the Coronavirus, as they can unintentionally sneeze/cough onto you passing the virus.