FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greenwood, IN, March 9, 2020 – As of early March 2020, Coronavirus has hit more than 80 countries. The death toll has reached 3,190 and the cases have exceeded 93,000, reports the Guardian. (1)
Neil Ferguson, Professor at the Imperial College London, has warned that the attempts to contain Coronavirus are ‘over’. “… The number of countries affected shows the battle is really over and now we’re moving towards trying to slow the spread”, says professor Ferguson. (2)
As we know little about Coronavirus, a lot of misinformation and fear surrounds this topic.
Here is what we know about Coronavirus so far.
The Origin of Coronavirus
Surprisingly, Coronaviruses were not considered deadly till SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) ‘surfaced’ in 2002-03. (3) What’s even more intriguing is the fact that Coronaviruses have been around for more than 10,000 years and we knew little about them until now. (4)
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes a respiratory illness that affects your lungs and airways. It was first identified in Wuhan, China while scientists were investigating a viral outbreak. On the 30th of December 2019, the virus was first isolated from sputum samples of three patients presenting with pneumonia of unknown source. (5)
Scientists believe that the virus initially got transferred to humans when they came into contact with wild animals like bats, snakes, and civet cats. (6)
How Coronavirus Spreads?
As we know little about Corona, this information is based on what we have observed so far.
Infectious disease and public health expert Dr. David Heymann points out, “We know how it transmits, we don’t know how easily it transmits.”
COVID-19 can spread from person to person: (6, 7)
- If a person is in close contact with someone infected.
- If an infected person sneezes and his respiratory droplets land on the nose or mouth of the people nearby.
- In addition to being airborne, the virus can also spread through the items of use like towels, feces, and handling animals. However, the information in this regard is quite limited.
Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVid-19)
Once exposed, most people develop symptoms within 5 to 6 days. Approximately 80 percent of patients develop mild to moderate disease and the main symptoms include pneumonia and other respiratory symptoms. Another 13.8 percent of patients develop severe disease characterized by respiratory distress. Finally, 6.1 percent get critical disease and develop multi-organ failure. (5)
According to the WHO report, typical symptoms of COVID-19 include: (5)
Joint and muscle pain
Shortness of breath
Nausea or vomiting
The severe and critical disease is common in the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. (5)
How Do You Protect Yourself- COVID-19 FAQs
Shall I wear a mask all the time?
CDC and other authorities do not recommend wearing a face mask if you do not have respiratory symptoms as it does not protect against COVID-19. However, people who are laboratory tested Corona cases should use a facemask to help prevent the spreading of the disease. (8)
Is there is any treatment for Coronavirus?
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Although researchers are trying a concoction of anti-viral drugs for treatment, the best treatment is precaution.
What can you do to prevent contracting or spreading Coronavirus?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the following recommendations to avoid the spread of COVID-19: (8, 9)
- Avoid close contact with a confirmed or suspected case. This is, by far, the most effective precautionary measure.
- Avoid traveling to the endemic areas. As of now, 68 countries have confirmed cases of coronavirus infections. Follow the guidelines of travel authorities.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unnecessarily.
- Stay at home when you are sick. Especially, if you have respiratory symptoms.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue and discard it.
- Clean frequently touched areas of your house regularly, including kitchen, refrigerator handles, etc.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after going to the toilet or after coughing or sneezing. If water is not available, use a sanitizer.
- Make sure the meat is properly cooked before eating.
- World Health Organization also recommends washing your hand thoroughly after coming into contact with an animal.
Is COVID-19 Really As Deadly As the Media Portrays?
Not really. Contrary to popular belief, Coronavirus is not that dangerous. Stats show that 48,204 cases of COVID-19 have been closed with a 94 percent recovery rate. (10)
Can Air Filters Save Me From COVID-19 at Home or Workplace?
Your lungs filter a staggering 10,000 liters air every day. (10)
The Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Microbial Threats has endorsed FailSafe Containment Systems as an effective way of preventing the spread of airborne illnesses like SARS and tuberculosis. (11)
The system is a technology containing a pre-filter (usually containing activated charcoal), micro-fiber High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) glass filter, and a source of ultraviolet light.
This system traps any particle that is more than 0.1 micron in size, including respiratory droplets. Since SARS and Coronaviruses spread through respiratory droplets, they get caught into the filters. The entrapped particles are then exposed to a source of ultraviolet light that neutralizes any biological entity including fungi, TB organisms, and viruses including SARS and Coronaviruses. (11)
According to a spokesperson from DiscountFilters.com, a leading air filter manufacturer based in Indiana, “Our understanding of the use of home air filters for Coronavirus is limited. Air filters rated MERV 13, for example, can trap 90% of particles 1-3 microns in size, but this is no guarantee it will filter out COVID-19 from your indoor air.”
- Covid-19, also known as coronavirus disease, is a new virus with limited information available.
- The main symptoms of coronavirus disease include cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
- COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through air droplets.
- Precautionary measures include washing hands properly, avoiding contact with the exposed patients, cleaning hands frequently, avoiding travel to endemic areas, and cooking the meat properly.
- If you are tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, do not panic. The rate of recovery is above 96 percent. Contact health officials immediately, wear a mask, separate yourself from loved ones, and avoid pets also. Continue to monitor your condition, avoid public places, AND stop going to school/office.
- You do not need to wear a mask if you have not been in contact with the exposed individuals or have not traveled to the endemic areas and do not have respiratory symptoms.
Dr. Muhammad Usman
2011 Southtech Dr #100, Greenwood, IN 46143
- The Guardian. Coronavirus 4 March: at a glance. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/04/coronavirus-latest-at-a-glance#maincontent. Retrieved on 4.3.2020
- BBC. BBC Coronavirus warning: Battle to stop COVID-19 is now ‘over’ as elderly told to beware. https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1250598/BBC-Coronavirus-warning-COVID-19-UK-latest-elderly-health-Boris-Johnson-latest-news. Retrieved on 3.3.2020
- Jie Cui, Fang Li, et al. Origin and evolution of pathogenic coronaviruses. Nature Reviews Microbiology volume 17, pages181–192(2019
- Joel O. Wertheim, et al. A Case for the Ancient Origin of Coronaviruses. J Virol. 2013 Jun; 87(12): 7039–7045.
- WHO. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf. Retrieved on 03.04.2020
- Noah C Peeri, et al. The SARS, MERS and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemics, the newest and biggest global health threats: what lessons have we learned? International Journal of Epidemiology. 2020. dyaa033, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa033
- Chan-Yeung M, Xu RH. SARS: epidemiology. Respirology 2003;8(Suppl 1):S9–14.
- CDC. Corovirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html Retrieved on 03.03.2020
- Vannan Kandi Vijayan, et al. Enhancing indoor air quality –The air filter advantage. Lung India. 2015 Sep-Oct; 32(5): 473–479.
- Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Microbial Threats; Knobler S, Mahmoud A, Lemon S, et al., editors. Learning from SARS: Preparing for the Next Disease Outbreak: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.