For a few days now, the whole world has been watching the news about the new Chinese corona virus. A few days ago, we released special material about the nCoV outbreak in 2019 in Wuhan, but the situation changes daily. New data on the number of infected people is coming almost every hour not only in China but also in other countries around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) held a second emergency meeting at which it was decided not to explain the state of emergency due to an outbreak of the coronavirus. Chinese scientists have now carried out a study that shows that snakes are the source of the coronavirus. However, the work raised questions from a large number of scientists.
1 What is happening in China and the world right now?
2 What exactly is known about the new corona virus?
3 Can snakes be a source of corona viruses?
4 What to do to avoid getting sick?
5 Coronavirus treatment
What is happening in China and the world right now?
As the Director General of WHO, Dr. T. A. Gebreyesus, who writes on Twitter, takes the events in China seriously. On January 22nd and 23rd, urgent meetings of the WHO took place, at which it was decided not to report an emergency, as little is known about 2019-nCoV. An emergency situation can be observed in China, but there is no talk of a global threat. Previously, WHO specialists were sent to China to work with Chinese scientists and to collect additional information.
In the meantime, the Chinese government has quarantined the city of Wuhan, which is considered the epicenter of an outbreak of the coronavirus. At least 11 million people live in Wuhan, all flights to and from abroad are canceled, residents are not allowed to leave, public transport is no longer communicating, and the city is panicking because scared residents have empty shelves. Already on the evening of January 23, it was announced that it was the second closed city of Huanggang with 7.5 million inhabitants. According to Dailymail, stations in the third city of Echzhou are closed and public transportation in the cities of Xiantao and Chibi is restricted. The Chinese authorities have officially canceled the New Year celebration on the lunar calendar. Traditionally, millions of Chinese travel home and abroad during the New Year holidays to meet relatives.
On the morning of January 24, Interfax announced the closure of twelve other cities alongside Wuhan, citing local media. The exact list has not yet been released.
At present, around 25 dead and more than 800 infected are officially known. Infections have been reported by authorities in Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Macau. Suspected coronavirus patients have been hospitalized in some European countries. Professor Neil Ferguson, an expert in mathematical biology at Imperial College London, told The Sun that the death rate from the new coronavirus strain was "about the same as during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918" and the maximum number of infections could be Reach 10,000 people.
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What exactly is known about the new corona virus?
Doctors have confirmed that 2019-nCoV is much more contagious than previously thought and can be transmitted by third parties with a simple cough or sneeze. The transmission of the infection by third parties means that the virus has overcome the protective barrier and is no longer transmitted by animals. However, airborne virus transmission may not be the only one. During the second emergency meeting, WHO experts said that very little is currently known about the virus, including how it is spread. Concerns about the rapid mutation of 2019-nCoV have been voiced by Chinese officials, but there is currently no confirmation of this.
Can snakes be a source of corona viruses?
Scientists are trying to identify animals, which is likely to have led to an epidemic. In a controversial study published in the Journal of Medical Virology on January 22, a team of researchers from China claimed that snakes were the cause of the coronavirus outbreak. The scientists analyzed and compared the genetic sequences of 2019-nCoV and all other known corona viruses. According to researchers, the accumulation of snakes in one place could be the most likely wild animal reservoir for the new corona virus. However, many scientists are skeptical of this statement.
According to nature, there is currently no evidence that such viruses can infect species other than mammals and birds. Science does not know a single case of infection of reptiles and snakes, especially from a subspecies of the coronavirus.
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What to do to avoid getting sick?
Precautions must be taken if you are planning a trip abroad or have recently returned from China. The official Twitter account of the WHO has published recommendation cards. Therefore, during the flight you should not come into contact with people who have symptoms of SARS, wash their hands frequently or use alcoholic gel / antiseptic wipes and try not to touch your face with your hands. If you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, experts recommend seeing a doctor immediately and notifying your doctors about the countries you recently visited.
In the meantime, Chinese doctors have managed to develop an effective method for treating pneumonia, the source of which was a new coronavirus. We speak of extracorporeal oxygenation, in simple words about the saturation of the blood with oxygen. The patient was a 53-year-old resident of Hubei Province. On January 1st, he felt uncomfortable and turned to the doctors. His body temperature was around 39 degrees for several days and the conventional therapy did not produce any positive results. Since the lungs of men were heavily affected by the virus, they were connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenator, after which the patient's well-being improved. If the virus is not detected during repeated tests, the man is released.
Researchers from around the world are carefully monitoring what's happening and trying to learn as much as possible about the new corona virus. The Chinese authorities are doing everything they can to prevent the further spread of 2019-nCoV, so there is currently no need to panic. Remember that there has not been a single case of coronavirus infection in Russia.