Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: 'Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them. Here we're talking about a virus where we don't understand fully the severity spectrum but it's possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent. If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every patients who get it will die.
But that's the current circumstance we're in. How does the virus spread? The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection.
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And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms. It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky.
It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces. Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.
What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms? Once someone has caught the COVID virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms — but they may still be contagious during this time. If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever high temperature. The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all. In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why.
What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause. Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much — changing is known as mutating — much during the early stages of its spread.
However, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people. This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.
More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately. How dangerous is the virus? The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in , went on to kill around 50million people.
Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they're tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.
However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.
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Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported. Can the virus be cured? Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.
No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it's not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology. Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.
People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public. And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people's temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill infection causes a raised temperature. However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport. Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?
The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the 'worldwide spread of a new disease'. Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been 'spillover' from the epicentre, so the disease wasn't actually spreading actively around the world. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Israeli efforts in COVID-19 crisis
Share or comment on this article: Coronavirus Italy: Man, 79, recovers after taking Ebola drug e-mail k. Comments 85 Share what you think. View all. More top stories. Bing Site Web Enter search term: Search. Ad Feature. I'm doing a great job! Bad luck? Today's headlines Most Read 'We salute you': Queen pays tribute to Britain's army of volunteers including , who stepped up to You call that exercise? Britons are still flouting the lockdown with police now using loud hailers to tell Fears for the Queen and Prince Philip as Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus - 13 days after last Deputy British ambassador to Hungary dies of coronavirus aged 37 as parents pay tribute to 'funny and Woman, 21, with no pre-existing conditions dies from coronavirus, family reveal as they pay tribute Chief medical officer Chris Whitty pours cold water on claims tests for coronavirus immunity could be Chaos for the housing market as banks stop mortgage lending and Michael Gove tells home-buyers 'don't Europe's odd man out: Sweden refuses to bring in lockdowns despite 2, infections, keeps bars open and Doctor advises disinfecting packages as soon as you receive them or not touching them for a DAY to ensure Revealed: Floorplan for the Excel Centre 4, bed Nightingale hospital as London prepares for coronavirus Fury as millions of council tax payers face inflation-busting 3.
Public are urged not to visit UK's woods and forests as National Trust shuts car parks amid coronavirus Housing developers Persimmon and Bellway shut all their building sites due to coronavirus because they Malaria drug touted by Trump for treating coronavirus patients was NO better for them than fluid, oxygen and US gun dealers say sales are exploding as Americans arm themselves with 'shotguns, handguns and ARs' amid The most dreaded complication is staphylococcal pneumonia, which develops days after the initial presentation of viral pneumonia.
MRSA is a drug-resistant Staph aureus. We will either win under Trump or lose under Trump. Love it or hate it but it is what it is. Please clarify. It seems to me that those are indeed the possible outcomes. To be fair, I suppose it could be undecided at the time Trump leaves office. In Poland, chloroquine has been officially approved for use in COVID and our generic drug company Adamed has promised to ramp up production.
We knew in that hydroxychloroquine treats lung cells infected with SARS-coronavirus. Was this a case of throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks, or is there some history with antimalarials and viruses that made it an interesting test case? People in here may know better, but chloroquine was known as an antiviral and, I believe, is used as an HIV treatment. I guess it was a drug repurposing strategy using FDA approved drugs that revealed chloroquine and many others. Chloroquine screws up endosomes, and that plasmodium parasite as it cannot stash away excess of iron left after gobbling up all that hemoglobin.
Endosomes also happen to play key role in the virus particles getting into cell — internalizing that receptor-bound virus. Biologists who develop transfection vectors, even nonviral one, often use chloroquine to look at the mechanism of the nucleic acid getting inside the cell and being released from the endosomes.
The immunosuppressive effects of chloroquine are probably of the same origin. Excellent question. When you are a biologist interested in a new screen, new biology etc — you often start screening a collection of existing drugs some companies sell plates with all approved drugs. This way any hit will already have lots of data attached to it PK, safety, pharmacology etc.
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There have been in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials using chlorine for a long time. I read an article, a few weeks ago, about a doctor, in , who was researching the effect of Chloroquine on the Sars virus. He had excellent results, but before they could do larger studies the SARS virus epidemic ended, and his research was put on the back burner, replaced by something more urgent. Corona virus in RNA type and replicates with Trancription 2. Transcription requires Amonoacids and specfic codons triplets nucleotide for example AUG always initiates Transcription and Tremination codons terminate Transcription, 3.
Intitiating codon has affinity to Hydroxyl group and terminating codons have affinity to phosphate group. The phosphate moeity in chloroquin phosphate attaches to terminating codons and increase number of terminating codons, thus incducing termination of transcription, I do not have practial experiment on this and does not have data to prove this , However this is most reasonable explanation. On some of those early anti-malarials that caused permanent staining or not I wondered what the treated patients looked like under ultraviolet light!
One minor quibble — malaria and trypanosomes are quite distinct parasites. Chloroquine target Plasmodium species, the causal agent of malaria. Anti-trypanosomals including ethidium bromide and arsenicals are another interesting set of compounds with non-benign toxicity profiles. Trypanosomes cause African sleeping sickness and Chagas disease.
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