What is true and not true about the new Coronavirus?

coronaviurs gov

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Florea Danut-George, a second year medical student at “Gr. T. Popa” Iasi, Romania. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


As we know, in all its history, humanity has had different notable fights with different microscopic infectious agents from the Classic Antiquity, with the Antonine Plague, all way though Middle Ages, with the Black Death, and up to the 20th centenary, with the Spanish flu, and even nowadays, with the HIV/SIDA. At this moment people grant their attention to a new global health matter, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov). But what do we actually know about this new virus? Is it that dangerous as we tend to believe?

What we know so far about coronaviruses in general?

By the end of the last year, China alerted the World Heath Organization about several cases of human respiratory infections, produced by 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[1] The 2019-nCov is a member of the family Coronaviridae, that is organized in 4 major groups. Even though only 2  of these groups are known to infect humans, the most of coronaviruses affect exclusive different animal species, for example cats, dogs, rats, cattle, pigs. The epidemiologic researches show that these viruses are the second etiological factor of the common cold, after rhinoviruses, being responsible for 10-30% of colds worldwide. From its discover, in 1937, coronaviruses have rarely produced sever infection, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome[2].

How does it spread?

Typically of the most of respiratory viruses, it spreads in a person-to-person manner via respiratory droplets produced by an infected person who sneezes or coughs. These droplets can land on people’s mouth or nose who are nearby causing the infection. Other ways of spreading are not clearly noticed yet.[3]

What are the symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of USA, after the first exposure, the first symptoms of infection may appear in 2 to 14 days. The signs of a possible contact of the virus are fever, cough, shortness of breath.[4]

 Can it be prevented?

Although we do not have an vaccine for 2019-nCov yet, we can prevent the transmission by following a couple of easy-doing rules:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and other people
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early[5]

What is not true about this virus?

According to the World Health Organization, the most common myths about the 2019-nCov are:

  • There is some specific medicine that prevents the infection – UNTRUE
  • Antibiotics prevent the infection with the new coronavirus – NO, ANTIBIOTICS ARE EFFECTIVE ONLY FOR BACTERIAL INFECTIONS
  • The new coronavirus affects only younger and older people – NO, THE VIRUS CAN AFFECT PEOPLE OF ALL AGES
  • Spraying alcohol and chlorine or using UV lamps will kill the virus – UNTRUE AND POSSIBLY HARMFUL
  • Receiving packages from China can cause infection with the virus –UNTRUE
  • Garlic can prevent the infection – UNPROVED
  • You can contact the virus from your pets – UNPROVED[6]

References:

[1] https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center?dgcid=_FB_P_Connect&fbclid=IwAR1DqHFDKroPtn5GM9IZxJ4x2x-aJWC4Vk90NCsq7VlwRBpxTSQt18gqed0

[2] https://asm.org/Articles/2020/January/2019-Novel-Coronavirus-2019-nCoV-Update-Uncoating

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

[5] https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

[6] https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

About the author

Florea Danut-George is a second year medical student at “Gr. T. Popa” Iasi, Romania. He is spending most of his spear time volunteering for the medical students association from his university. Though his activity as volunteer, he is trying to make a change in his community. He participats at awareness campaigns about public health, sexual and reproductive heath and human rights matters, also he dedicates himself to improving the students’ experiences in his university through organizing different activities with medical education as theme.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘At risk’ Mediterranean forests make ‘vital contributions’ to development

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

Innovation for a smarter world: ITU Telecom World 2018

Will the Greek economy ever come back to growth?

NHS: A great healthcare system but how accessible is it to migrants?

Commission and EIB provide CureVac with a €75 million financing for vaccine development and expansion of manufacturing

UN chief welcomes Taliban’s temporary truce announcement, encourages all parties to embrace ‘Afghan-owned peace’

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

Rich economies not a promise of education equality, new report finds

Women’s empowerment ‘essential to global progress’ says Guterres, marking International Day

Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030

In Venezuela, Bachelet calls on Government to release prisoners, appeals for ‘bold steps towards compromise’

How the United States is falling in love with secondhand clothes

The impacts of working conditions on the quality of the healthcare system

Central American migrants must be protected, urge UN experts

At UN, Yemen Foreign Minister demands end to ‘Iranian-Houthi coup d’etat’

A Sting Exclusive: “Digital and mobile technologies are helping to achieve an economic success in Spain”, the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society Víctor Calvo-Sotelo reveals to the Sting at Mobile World Congress 2015

Greater investment in family-friendly policies critical to support breastfeeding – UNICEF

Health care’s digital times

This AI tool helps healthcare workers look after their mental health

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 9 April

The French army is enlisting sci-fi writers to predict the future

UNICEF chief hopes 2020 will be ‘a year of peace’ for Syria’s children

Conflict and climate change challenge sustainable development effort: UN report

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

This is why many young people have no access to proper education

The 4 biggest challenges to our higher education model – and what to do about them

Celebrating Multilingualism Day at the EP – where 24 languages meet

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns deadly attack near Kabul airport

18th EU Eco-Innovation Forum in Barcelona shows the way for Europe’s new Environmental policy

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

Quality of air in Bucharest-Romania: is it fog or is it smog?

Mexico City is banning single-use plastics

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Niger population’s suffering ‘increasing with each passing month’: UN Refugee Agency

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

EU budget: Reinforcing Europe’s cultural and creative sectors

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of DSME by HHIH

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) on the arrest of Turkish Medical Association leaders

Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

Africa cannot afford to lose doctors to COVID-19

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

Sassoli to EU governments: Rise to the challenge. Find new shared ways to finance our recovery

EU-Japan relations: Foreign Affairs MEPs back Strategic Partnership Agreement

Here’s how blockchain could stop corrupt officials from stealing school lunches

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s