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Updated: Aug 21, 2020

CORONA VIRUSES – A group of spherical or pleomorphic (changeable – alter its morphology) medium sized about 100–150 nm, enveloped RNA viruses, containing peplomers (glycoprotein spike or viral envelope) on the surface. Corona (Crown) Family – Coronaviridae Corona viruses are sensitive to heat, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, lipid solvents (ether, benzene, chloroform, acetone), non-ionic detergent and oxidizing agents. These viruses infect mammals and birds causing disease of respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidney, and nervous system. So far only 7 species of the genus Coronavirus Human coronavirus (listed below) are responsible for human respiratory disease. Common human coronaviruses 1. 229E (alpha coronavirus) - Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) is a species of coronavirus which infects humans and bats. A researcher at the University of Chicago, Dorothy Hamre, first identified 229E in 1965. 2. NL63 (alpha coronavirus) - Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) is a species of coronavirus. It was identified in 2004 in a seven-month-old child with bronchiolitis in the Netherlands 3. OC43 (beta coronavirus) - HCoV-OC43 have four genotypes A to D, have been identified with genotype D most likely arising from genetic recombination. Molecular clock analysis using spike and nucleocapsid genes dates the most recent common ancestor of all genotypes to the 1950s. Genotype B and C date to the 1980s. Genotype B to the 1990s, and genotype C to the late 1990s to early 2000s. The recombinant genotype D strains were detected as early as 2004. 4. HKU1 (beta coronavirus) - A new human coronavirus HCoV-HKU1, was identified in Hong Kong in 2005. 5. MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS) - MERS is viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States. Most people infected with MERS-CoV developed severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Many of them have died. 6. SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS) – In November 2002, South China had an outbreak on an unusual respiratory infection with many deaths. In February 2003 a physician from China visited Hong Kong, fell ill and infected about 12 people. It affected more than 30 countries with many thousand cases and about 800 plus deaths. 7. SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19) Timeline of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) · In Wuhan, patients with an unexplained pneumonia in December 2019, the causative agent was identified as coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and the 2019 novel coronavirus disease was named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. · 31 Dec 2019 - Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified. · 1 January 2020 - WHO had set up the IMST (Incident Management Support Team) across the three levels of the organization: headquarters, regional headquarters and country level, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak. · 4 January 2020 - WHO reported on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province. · 5 January 2020 - WHO published our first Disease Outbreak News on the new virus. This is a flagship technical publication to the scientific and public health community as well as global media. It contained a risk assessment and advice, and reported on what China had told the organization about the status of patients and the public health response on the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan. · 10 January 2020 - WHO issued a comprehensive package of technical guidance online with advice to all countries on how to detect, test and manage potential cases, based on what was known about the virus at the time. This guidance was shared with WHO's regional emergency directors to share with WHO representatives in countries. Symptoms of COVID-19 The main symptoms include: • Coughing • Fever • Shortness of breath • Trouble breathing • Fatigue • Chills, sometimes with shaking • Body aches • Headache • Sore throat • Loss of smell or taste • Nausea • Diarrhoea • Blurred vision Mode of Infection of Corona virus – by inhalation of the virus present in respiratory secretions of patients. Facial aerosols, contact (direct or indirect), transmission aerosol in long-range transmission (airborne transmission), Close Contact (6 feet, 1.8 meters) and Respiratory Droplets. Laboratory diagnosis: 1 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) – RT-PCR – Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction has been used early diagnosis and one of reliable diagnosis. 2 Rapid diagnostic tests based on antigen detection - A rapid test has also been started for the COVID-19, which involves taking samples from the nose, throat, and lungs. Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) of a sample of the respiratory tract of a person helps to detect the viral proteins (antigens) related to COVID-19 virus. 3 Rapid diagnostic tests based on host antibody detection - This test detects the presence of antibodies in the blood of COVID-19 infected people. The strength of antibody response depends on several factors like age, medications, infections, and severity of disease etc. 4 Virus culture – Virus in clinical specimens can be cultured on Vero cell lines. How to get tested for Coronavirus? In case you feel your symptoms are specific to the coronavirus, your healthcare provider can get in touch with healthcare departments for testing instructions. There are specific labs set up for conducting coronavirus tests, so you may be directed to one of these labs. There are different types of coronavirus tests that can be done: Swab Test – In this case, a special swab is used to take a sample from your nose or throat Nasal aspirate – In this case, a saline solution will be injected into your nose and, then a sample is taken with a light suction Tracheal aspirate – In this case, a thin tube with a torch, also known as a bronchoscope, is put into your mouth to reach your lungs from where a sample is collected. Sputum Test – Sputum is thick mucus that gets accumulated in the lungs and comes out with a cough. During this test, you’re required to cough up sputum in a special cup or a swab is used to take a sample from your nose. Blood test – In this case, a blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm. Before the test, the concerned health professionals may request you to wear a mask during the test. In case there are any other steps that need to be taken, the healthcare professional can communicate that to you. Treatment and Prophylaxis – No specific treatment or prophylaxis available. Past history shows that the corona virus is highly mutable, hence vaccines may not be a permanent solution in future though scientists and research centers have been working incessantly to find a permanent solution. Strict isolation, quarantine are the only ways to control the disease. However dozens of vaccines are lined up possibly available for common people by end of the year 2020, moreover Remdesivir, Ribavirin and Favipiravir (antiviral drugs), steroids have been shown to be useful. #corona #coronavirus #covid #covid-19 #antibody #antigen #vaccine #vaccination #RDT #fever #RNA #RNAVIRUS #quarantine #drug #antiviral #Coronaviridae #SARS #MERS #NL63 #229E #remdesivir #Favipiravir

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