Most Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus
Q: Where did coronavirus originate from?
Coronaviruses have been in existence for millions of years. What happened in December 2019 is that a novel or new strain of coronaviruses entered the human body system. This strain is referred to as SARS Cov-2 (COVID-2019). The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all coronaviruses is estimated to have been in existence as recently as 8000 BCE (approximately 10,000 years ago). However, some models have dated MRCA back to 55 million years or more, which implies that the coronavirus has been undergoing coevolution with bats for millions of years. Bats are the ideal hosts for the coronavirus gene source, and they play a significant role in fueling coronavirus evolution and dissemination. Wuhan reported a pneumonia outbreak in December 2019, which was traced to a novel strain of coronavirus on 31 December 2019. The epicenter of the pandemic was in in a sea food market in Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market although some researchers have objected that the market is the original source of viral transmission to humans. Coronavirus has a 96% similarity to a bat coronavirus, thus, it has been widely suspected that it originated from bats as well.
Q: Is COVID-19 real or some kind of global scandal?
A: No, COVID-19 is real happening, and it is not a deceptive activity. Based on the concept of materialism, the virus is existing and is measurable (about 400-500 nm). This large size means that it can be trapped in a mask, hence, the reason why people are asked to wear face masks as a protective measure. Coronavirus virions are spherical with diameters of about 125 nm based on the measurements by cryo-electron tomography. The genome size of COVID-19 ranges between 27 and 34 kilobases, which is the largest among RNA viruses.
Q: I am just 32 years old, am I susceptible to coronavirus?
A: Although coronavirus has the most fatal effect on the elderly population and people with deteriorated health conditions and weakened immune systems, there is evidence of even younger people can be severely affected if they have weak immune systems. For example, out of the 10 new cases reported in Vietnam, among them included a 29 years old doctor, a 44 years old woman living in the Czech Republic, a 30 years old man and a 23 years old woman from Cambodia, a 29 years old man who travelled to Indonesia and Thailand, and a 27 years old man is a foreign language teacher.
Q: Which countries are hit most?
A: The most hit countries are China, Italy and the United States of America as shown in the table below.
China is the original source of the virus. Italy had sold most of its fabric companies in the north to Chinese companies, who in turn came in in large numbers and spread the virus to a country that has majority of its population being the elderly. Additionally, in addition to be an outgoing nation, Italy neglected preventive measures initially with the belief that the virus couldn’t hit them. The US has an exploratory population with several business interests across the world, hence, too many movements to and from the country.
Q: How is the spread so far in African and other less developed countries?
A: The spread is slow in Africa. It is like this is the time it is coming in. With a confirmed deaths in Nigeria and other countries amounting to around 30, it is now time for governments to take even more stringent measures to protect their people from possible perils associated with COVID-19.
Q: How does coronavirus affect your health?
A: The primary effect of coronavirus is the upper respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds. Once it enters into the human body, it destroys the lungs, thus causing pneumonia that eventually causes breathing problems.
Q: Is there anything that could be done to prevent its spread to other parts of the world?
A: Yes, there is something that could be done. When the outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei in December 2019, a bold step could have been taken, which could involve locking down Wuhan for a certain period for medical institutions to make sense of what was actually happening. This is real a tough step to take especially considering the level of our globalized economies. Regardless of this, a more proactive approach would have helped curb the current global anxiety. Furthermore, coronavirus has been traced to the bats as agents of evolution and dissemination for many years through scientific research. The Chinese could have stopped eating bats as part of their meal or find ways of minimizing interactions of bats with seafood and domestic animals.
Q: Is it possible to do a self-check for Coronavirus?
A: Yes, you can do self-check every day. You can know if you are infected long before the symptoms develop. Remember by the time you visit a healthcare facility after having developed fever and cough, the lung is usually 50% fibrosis, which may be too late. A simple self-check that can be done every morning is taking a deep breath and holding it for more than ten seconds. Breathing successfully without coughing, discomfort or stiffness or tightness may imply that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, hence, no infection. Remember to self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.
Q: How is coronavirus transmitted?
A: Human to human transmission of coronaviruses occurs when an infected person comes into close contact with the one who is not infected. Transmission occurs through respiratory drops generates when a person sneezes or coughs. The virus can suspend in the air before it drops onto the ground. It can also stay on fabric (6-12 hours) and metal/platic (9 days) during which a person who comes into contact with these materials can contract it.
Q: Which precautions can I take to avoid contracting coronavirus?
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (for about 20 seconds) with an alcohol-based hand rub or was then using soap and water.
- Maintain social distancing (1 meter/3 feet) from anyone (regardless of whether he/she is coughing or not).
- Avoid touching MEN (Mouth, Ears and Nose). Hands may pick viruses from the many services that they touch and transfer them to MEN through which they may find their way into your respiratory system.
- Practice respiratory hygiene to protect the people around you from catching COVID-19.
- Seek medical attention early if you have fever cough, and difficulty breathing.
- Stay informed and follow advice that your health provider gives you.
- Drink a lot of hot liquids such as warm water with lemon.
- Avoid touching services unnecessarily, and every time you do, was your hands thoroughly before touching anything else in your house.
In summary, do the following five:
- HANDS Wash them regularly
- ELBOW Cough into it
- FACE Don’t Touch it
- SPACE Keep safe distance
- HOME Stay if you can
Q: What treatment options are available for far for coronaviruses?
This is applicable for mild symptoms. It requires staying at home until full recovery. Relieving symptoms can be achieved by:
- Resting and sleeping
- Keeping warm
- Drinking plenty of liquids
- Using a room humidifier or take hot shower to ease sore throat and cough.
(ii) Medical treatments
Recommended for people who develop fever, cough, and experience difficulty in breathing. There are regional and local numbers that can be used to seek help.
The above Q&A session has focused on various aspects of COVID-19. The bottom line is, “Stay safe, protect your loved ones.”
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