Human-To-Human Transfer Of Deadly China Virus Confirmed

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 1871
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Authorities in China have now confirmed that a new virus spreading in the country can be transferred through human contact after a fourth person in China has died 

The victim was an 89-year-old man from the city of Wuhan from where the new strain of coronavirus originated, which is primarily causing a type of deadly pneumonia. There have been 200 cases so far, including a 45-year-old Indian schoolteacher in Shenzhen city. 

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South Korea, Thailand and Japan have also reported their first case, now identified as being  a strain of coronavirus.

According to the WHO, the source of the outbreak is still under investigation in Wuhan. Preliminary investigations have identified environmental samples positive for nCoV in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan City, however some laboratory-confirmed patients did not report visiting this market. 

Additional investigations are needed to determine how the patients were infected, whether human-to-human transmission has been observed, mode(s) of transmission, the clinical spectrum of disease, and the extent of infection, including presence of subclinical cases that are undetected with current surveillance.

WHO advice

Although the source of the novel coronavirus causing this cluster of pneumonia and the mode(s) of transmission are unknown, it would be prudent to remind populations and health workers of the basic principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections:

  • Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
  • Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
  • Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals
  • People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands);
  • Within healthcare facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments;
  • WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers. In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, the travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. 
WHO says health authorities should work with travel, transport and tourism sectors to provide travellers with information to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections via travel health clinics, travel agencies, conveyance operators and at points of entry.

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January.

On 10 January, WHO published a range of interim guidance for all countries on how they can prepare for this virus, including how to monitor for sick people, test samples, treat patients, control infection in health centres, maintain the right supplies, and communicate with the public about this new virus.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.