Le Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

This virus from China, Wuhan city, is causing panic. Millions of people are in quarantine. Review of this Coronavirus 2019-nCoV, what are the symptoms, the means of transmission, the treatments and advice. Our experts take up the subject.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Coronaviruses a family of 7 members including 3 fatal
The Chinese coronavirus, what origin?
What are the symptoms of this coronavirus?
Treatments and advice
Our environment can impact health over the course of life, this is called the exposome (impact of air, food, noise, water, etc.) and we must not forget that viruses and bacteria are risks for health which are fully encompassed in this concept of exposome. Today, a virus from China in the city of Wuhan is mutating into a veritable epidemic with several cases of death reported.

Coronaviruses a family of 7 members including 3 fatal

This virus belongs to the family of coronaviruses, composed of 7 different large viruses. The current coronavirus strain 2019-nCoV was previously unknown. This family of viruses can affect both humans and animals.

Coronavirus infections do not necessarily lead to death (3 out of 7 strains have caused death) and symptoms may also be mild. Symptoms in humans linked to a coronavirus infection are similar to a respiratory infection which can be more or less serious, including a runny nose, headache, cough, etc. Symptoms of gastroenteritis are also sometimes possible. Coronaviruses are transmitted by air (spraying saliva, mucus, etc.) or by contamination of objects (an infected person touches a handful with unwashed hands, etc.). Animals are sometimes even asymptomatic vectors of this type of virus, particularly bats. Dogs and cats can also be affected by coronaviruses.

The Chinese coronavirus, what origin?

It should first be noted that this is not the first time that a coronavirus has caused death. In 2002-2003 SARS had caused many deaths and in 2015 the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus transmitted from camel to man then from man to man had spread widely and had caused 640 deaths or 36% of dead on the number of infected.

The Coronavirus from a Wuhan food market may have originated, although it remains to be confirmed, from wild meat from a snake. This animal would be a reservoir for coronaviruses like the bat. Wuhan City and the affected market have been placed in isolation to prevent the spread of the virus. However, other countries such as Japan and Korea have confirmed cases of infected individuals. Since the beginning of the epidemic, several cities in China have been quarantined and the Chinese New Year festivities have been canceled in the cities most affected because the virus is transmitted from man to man, the wearing of a mask is therefore recommended.

The virus is considered an emergency in China, but it is premature, according to the WHO, to speak of a global public health emergency epidemic. France has planned to set up a rapid diagnostic test in hospitals to identify cases if there are any in France. This test, performed on samples of respiratory origin, is developed by the National Reference Center for respiratory infection viruses (including influenza) at the Institut Pasteur.

What are the symptoms of this coronavirus?

The symptoms of the disease are fever and a persistent cough which can then cause respiratory failure and cardiac complications, especially in sensitive people. People with these symptoms who have stayed in Wuhan or been in contact with animals in China should consult a doctor.

Treatments and advice:

The coronavirus can mutate easily which complicates the solutions to find an effective treatment for all and over time and this can also increase its spread. Currently there is no specific treatment or vaccine for diseases caused by the coronavirus.

The world health organization advises to limit contamination:

  • Avoid close contact with people with acute respiratory infections;
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after direct contact with a sick person or their environment;
  • Avoid unprotected contact with farm animals or wild animals;

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV is a new strain, but it is not the 1st coronavirus causing death and spreading rapidly. It is important to respect the hygiene measures recommended by the authorities. In France there are no confirmed cases at this time.

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