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Corona virus(HCoV)is not an uncommon virus it’s similar to the flu virus (influenza) , in a normal circumstances third of the common cold is caused by CoV and it can also cause ear infection . Some times it can also cause pneumonia in elderly , cancer patients and other vulnerable individuals.
There are 4 subtypes of these viruse Alfa, beta , gamma and delta. Current outbreak is by beta and is called Noval Corona virus (nCoV) , previous the same beta type also caused two infections similar to nCoV called SARS and MERS.
How did it happen?
Then people will be asking why beta is such a bad boy ? He is really a bad one , he can mutate. Mutation means the virus change its physical form ( like the shape shifting villan in terminator movie ) so that human immune defence which protects us will be rendered helpless. These CoV mutate very easily ; they will jump from humans on bats or snakes( Wuhan market has both of these in plenty) and mutate and then infect humans. This happen all the time , small mutations called antigenic drift will lead to small outbreak , while a drastic mutation called antigenic shift leads to worldwide infection ,more severe infection and more deaths .
How do they spread ?
Person to person. Respiratory droplets can carry the virus , when an infected person sneezes and another person comes in contact with this droplets , virus can speed to second person.
How to prevent?
Isolation of those who are infected with the virus
Wear mask and wash your hands ( hand rubs are ineffective)
Avoid crowed public places as far as possible.
Vaccines are difficult due to constant mutation, one has to take yearly shots like flu.
How to treat ?
For most it will pass off without major problem and some may no have significant outward symptoms.
3 out 100 infection is fatal in case of the new nCoV.
No definitive cure , supportive treatment like ventilator, dialysis and iv fluids till the infected person recovers by self
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