In the light if what is happening over the world regarding the Corona virus, I feel compelled to write an article about this.
I will do my best to present you with the facts and will try to sort out what are myths and what are things we can do to protect ourselves and others.
What is a virus?
The briefest explanation is as follows:
A virus is the smallest of all the microbes. They are said to be so small that 500 million rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold) could fit on to the head of a pin.
A virus is made up of a core of genetic material, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protective coat called a capsid which is made up of protein. A virus can latch on to a host cell, and get inside it. Here they are able to multiply and make the host ill. A virus can infect all life forms, including animals and plants.
It is unknown how many viruses there are. And viruses, like bacteria can mutate and create different, new viruses. In short, the possibilities of different viruses is unlimited.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. They are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses that cause respiratory illnesses of varying severity from the common cold to fatal pneumonia.
Numerous coronaviruses, first discovered in domestic poultry in the 1930s, cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver, and neurologic diseases in animals. There are only 7 known coronaviruses that cause disease in humans.
Four of the 7 coronaviruses most frequently cause symptoms of the common cold. Coronaviruses 229E and OC43 cause the common cold; the serotypes NL63 and HUK1 have also been associated with the common cold.
Rarely, severe lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, can occur, primarily in infants, older people, and the immunocompromised.
Three of the 7 coronaviruses cause much more severe, and sometimes fatal, respiratory infections in humans than other coronaviruses and have caused major outbreaks of deadly pneumonia in the 21st century:
- SARS-CoV2 is a novel coronavirus identified as the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that began in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and spread worldwide.
MERS-CoV was identified in 2012 as the cause of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
- SARS-CoV was identified in 2002 as the cause of an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
These coronaviruses that cause severe respiratory infections are zoonotic pathogens. Those infections begin in infected animals and can be transmitted from animals to people.(Information from: Merck Manuals)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. The most recent coronavirus, COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, China and is associated with mild-to-severe respiratory illness with fever and cough .
We already know that it is a new coronavirus from group 2B, of the same family as SARS, which we have called SARSCoV2. The disease is called COVID-19. It is thought to be related to coronavirus from bats.
How is Corona virus spread?
Scientist are still not in complete agreement on how the novel Corona virus is being spread.
Most likely the spread is similar as for the common cold and flu virus. This means that the virus is likely being spread through contact with infected people and their secretions. Namely droplets expelled during coughing and sneezing. Transmission and infection could also occur through contaminated surfaces.
Super-spreaders played an extraordinary role in driving the 2003 SARS outbreak and may also play a significant role in the current COVID-19 outbreak. A super-spreader is an individual who transmits an infection to a significantly greater number of other people than the average infected person.
A big problem is that not everyone has symptoms or becomes seriously ill. Some people only have very mild symptoms, thus enabling the spread of the virus. This creates an added challenge in containing the spread of the virus.
Although not yet confirmed, Chinese health authorities believe the virus can be transmitted before symptoms appear.
Who is most vulnerable?
People who are most vulnerable to get sick from any kind of infection are of course the weak, the elderly and the very young. In relation to this Coronavirus, it is exactly the same case. Elderly people are those over 65 years of age.
The very young are our infants and babies. And anyone with an underlaying (serious) illness, which will weaken their immune system are at greater risk. In the case of this virus, because it attacks the long tissue, anyone with a known long condition, will want to be extra careful.
What can you do to prevent the spread of the virus?
Social distancing refers to actions taken to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. For an individual, it refers to maintaining enough distance (6 feet or more) between yourself and another person to avoid getting infected or infecting someone else. As well as avoiding big crowds and gatherings.
With Covid-19, “many people in the US will at some point, either this year or next, get exposed to this virus,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization czar announced this month.
Kimmelman invokes the idea of “social solidarity,” saying “we have an ethical obligation to curtail activities, practice social distancing, and substitute activities with safer alternatives”
Other practices are common sense hygiene, number one tool in preventing the spread of any kind of disease is always good and frequent hand washing. In addition to this, hand sanitizers, when hand washing is not readily available. Try to avoid toughing your face and eyes.
Cleaning surfaces regularly, especially high traffic areas, may help prevent the virus from spreading rapidly.
To build a healthy immune system, an “ABCDZ program”, consisting of high doses of Vitamin A and B complex, Vitamin C and Vitamin D3, and Zinc. This will help prevent you from getting the flu, coronavirus, or any other viral or bacterial infection.
With these precautions you can help slow down the spread of the virus, thus enabling hospitals and other healthcare systems not to become overwhelmed with large numbers of sick people.
Stay home if you are sick, and avoid contact with vulnerable people. When sick, you should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare facility. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes. People who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
You do not need to wear a face mask if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.(Source:
Only go to your emergency department if you need medical attention. This is to help prevent emergency rooms from being overrun with people who are sick, but do not need emergency intervention. It also helps to reduce the risk of the virus being spread.
How long is a corona virus viable?
Viruses are tough, they can survive in conditions that bacteria for example cannot. So how long does the coronavirus stay alive?
How does the virus end up there? Either by infected people touching these surfaces, or when some one sneezes or coughs. Tiny droplets will be expelled into the air and can land on another person, or on a surface waiting for someone to tough it and get infected. Droplets can stay in the air for unto 2 meters before they hit a surface like the ground.
Some people advice to drink water regularly as the virus will get destroyed in the stomach by its acids. I have not been able to find supporting information that this might be correct. As with anything, use common sense, if something seems farfetched, it probably is.
Do some research before taking something as a definite trued . This article contains many links that you can follow and see if the information holds true.
Copper has been shown to kill bacteria and viruses and possibly exposure to direct sunlight, or UV light.
COVID-19, flu or allergies?
Flu and COVID-19 Symptoms
- Both cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue; sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases.
- Can result in pneumonia.Transmission
- Both can be spread from person to person through droplets in the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking.
- A possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route (see details below under Differences).
- Flu can be spread by an infected person for several days before their symptoms appear, and COVID-19 is believed to be spread in the same manner, but we don’t yet know for sure.
People with COVID-19 may have few to no symptoms, although some become severely ill and die. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some develop a sore throat, headaches and other symptoms.
Severe coronavirus infections can result in lung lesions and pneumonia, which in turn may need mechanical ventilation assistance.
CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure. To be cautious, many governments are requiring an isolation period of 14 days for people returning from endemic areas.
Flu or influenza
Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Allergies can lead to secondary sinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma with fever and chills. Allergy symptoms are typically isolated to the head. People who are prone to allergies often have the same type of symptoms during a predictable time of the year, e.g. spring.
A few numbers and statistics
Although the total number of deaths has now exceeded those recorded during the 2002-2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the current mortality rate is much lower than that of SARS.
The coronavirus mortality rate stands at 2.4 percent, while SARS killed 9.6 percent of those infected.
No vaccines, antivirals or treatments are available yet for COVID-19,
Influenza has likely been around for more than 2,000 years, and flu vaccine are available.
You can find some interesting reading comparing the current corona virus to past outbreaks HERE
It is going to be hard to predict what the costs are going to be with all the sanctions and mandatory closures everywhere. I find it heart breaking to hear that small business owners, most of them barely making a living, now have to close their businesses and thus unable to make a living.
How many people lost their jobs? The numbers are already running in the thousands, and will get worse as time goes on, because even though governments are promising help, there are limitations to what they can do as well.
I foresee that many small businesses will not be able to recuperate from this blow, and many of their employees will continue to stay un-employed for an extended amount of time.
What about the future?
In my opinion, changes are that this COVID-19 virus will tapper off, which is a good thing. We are heading towards spring, normally a time that the flu and colds are in decline. People will be able to be outdoors and build some natural immunity by being more active.
Luis Ostrosky, a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said humans have a “herd immunity” to flu. “When there are enough people in the community who are immune it protects people who are not immune.
There have been 3 major incidences with coronaviruses outbreaks in the past twenty years. It seems to me that we can expect more of this to happen in the future, hopefully none that are as severe or wide spread as these 3, namely: SARS-CoV2; MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV .
We know these viruses are zoonotic pathogens. The virus will continue to stay alive in animals, and possibly spread again to humans. To me that would mean that we may have to review how we handle consumption from different meat sources. And it probably would not hurt to look at how we handle hygiene in relation to live animals and the meat we consume from them, especially more exotic types of meat.
Prevention to have another outbreak seems the most logical thing to do, and in the end I am sure also the most cost effective in terms of human lives and economics. How do we do this? I have no idea, but think it will have to be on a very large scale in order to be effective.
Don’t be shy, leave a reply!
NSAIDS are often used as painkillers. Some common. Ones are Aspirin and Ibuprofen. Using these drugs when you have a cold or the flu, will not kill the virus. It will however help reduce some of the symptoms related to these illnesses.
Keep in mind that side effects can occur with any drug you take. Always consult with your health professional prior to taking these medications in combination with perscription medications.
NSAIDS do have a slight effect on the immune system as a depressor. It is important to keep our immune system working in top order., because this is a brand new virus for which we do not have any resistance yet.
Paracetamol does not have the depressing effect on the immune system, and therefor might be a better pain killer to take in stead of the NSAIDS. Again, when you are taking prescription medications, and are having an infection, consult with your physician first before you start taking over the counter medications as well.