Did China’s coronavirus come from snakes or bats?
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HEALTH! Coronavirus has spread to many countries since China. (Source – CDC) The purpose of this article is to have a clear picture of (human coronavirus nl63) coronavirus in your mind.
Let’s start with its name. Due to originating from Wuhan city of China, it is also called as Wuhan virus. But in the circle of science, its identity is from 2019-nCoV. The full-form of 2019-nCoV is 2019-novel coronavirus. In order to understand it, one has to understand everything by breaking its name. Turn on breaking from the back.
What is the virus?
Our body is made up of many cells. These cells make their own food. Viruses do not cook their food. As soon as they see the stove of a cell burning, they attack. After an attack, the viruses draw energy from the cells and produce other viruses like themselves. And thus they start spreading.
The speed of their spread is very fast. So fast that it has become a measure of spreading in itself. If something spreads quickly, we say that it
What is a coronavirus?
Coronavirus is not a virus. It is the name of a group of viruses. And the specialty of this group is
The corona comes from the English ‘crown’. Crown means crown. When viewed with an electron microscope, these viruses appear surrounded by fibrous proteins (proteins). Like someone is wearing a crown. Hence the name of this family of viruses – Coronavirus. The outskirts formed due to the release of plasma from the sun are also called corona.
Coronavius is a very big family. Most of its cases ( human coronavirus nl63) have been seen in animals only. Such as cats, bats and camels. The coronavirus family has little access to humans. In most of the cases, they reach humans too, so they give out just a little cold. So far, seven coronaviruses have been reached to humans –
5. Human coronavirus HKU1
(HCoV has a full-form human coronavirus)
Those who are SARS and MERS in red color will see them later. Now let’s talk about 2019-nCoV.
2019-What is Novel Coronavirus?
This 2019-nCoV is the coronavirus that has created a stir. 2019 must have been understood. The first case came up in December 2019. Hence 2019 has been added to identify it initially.
Novel means new. 2019-nCoV is the newest member of the Coronavirus family. Hence the word Novel is associated with it.
How to identify
What happens is that as soon as the virus enters our body, our body (human coronavirus nl63) fights. For example, cough comes out of the mouth and throat. It sneezes to get out of the nose. This virus goes inwards through the respiratory tract. So there is a lot of discomfort in our airways.
The fight that takes place inside our body is the only symptom of the virus entering. And these symptoms are just like any common cold virus. (Tell those who do not know, the cold is caused by the virus invasion.)
Most viruses carry out colds. What we take out, our body throws them out. But some viruses are made of hot skulls. Such as SARS and MERS. (And now also 2019-nCov)
The initial symptoms of coronavirus are similar to those of a common virus,
- Dry cough
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
Patients with coronavirus.
As these viruses spread inside, the body engages pneumonia. Pneumonia means infection reaching one or both of our lungs. At this stage it can be identified by X-ray of lungs. So far, 41 patients of coronavirus who have been studied, all had pneumonia.
Where did this new coronavirus come from?
As mentioned earlier – coronaviruses are known to live among animals. There is a lot of chance that they have reached humans from animals.
The initial victims of this virus were the same people who came through Wuhan’s seafood (animal food) and animal market. So it was initially thought that this coronavirus came from here.
Two earlier coronaviruses originated from SARS and MERS bats. Hence bats were also said to be the source of this coronavirus.
But later researchers studied the genetic sequence of 2019-nCoV. And this was compared to the genetic sequence of more than 200 coronaviruses found in animals. And the results of this study were published in the Journal of Virology. This study shows that 2019-nCoV is derived from snakes. However some experts have also raised questions on this study.
Bats and snakes
Earlier it was understood that these viruses are reaching humans only from animals. Later, cases of its spread from person to person also came to light. And this thing makes it more dangerous.
What to learn from history?
There are two more names in the list of dangerous coronaviruses – SARS and MERS. Know their details.
SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
- The first case of SARS came out in 2002.
- Where did it come from – Guangdong province in China.
- How many people spread – more than 8000
- How many people died – more than 750
- How spread – This coronavirus also passed from animals to humans. I do not know for sure, but the idea is that it arrived from bats to cats and from there to humans. Later it spread mainly from humans to humans.
MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
- The first case of MERS came out in 2012.
- Where did it come from – Saudi Arabia (hence the name above the Middle East)
- How many people spread – more than 2000
- How many people died – more than 666
- How did it spread – The researchers went to Saudi Arabia first and went to the patient’s home. He found the same virus in some bats about seven miles away from this house. And it was thought that this MERS came from bats.
How to avoid this new coronavirus?
Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria. And (human coronavirus nl63) antivirals to kill viruses. So far, we have not been able to make antivirals to kill 2019-nCoV. Therefore, the only way to avoid it is to stay away from it. For distance see WHO guidelines –
- Wash hands with soap and water. Use alcohol based hand cleaner.
- Keep your mouth and nose covered while coughing and sneezing.
- Maintain sufficient distance from a person who exhibits cold-like symptoms.
- Cook meat and eggs and eat them.
- Do not come into direct contact with pets or other animals.