“Wuhan virus” The new China Coronavirus: All You Need To Know About.

Abderaouf Boubekka
Jan 24 · 4 min read

It has been seven weeks since the mysterious pneumonia like virus was first discovered in china’s central city of Wuhan and the investigations continued at the market deemed the source of the outbreak. The disease is spreading faster than before and people could pass it on before they can show any symptoms, there have been more than 31440 confirmed cases, with 638 confirmed deaths; the vast majority are in Wuhan but the disease has spread beyond the mainland of China to japan, Thailand, south Korea, Taiwan,the united states and France. There is no specific vaccine, antiviral drug, or other medicine yet to combat this Coronavirus; so depending on the symptoms and stage of case a treatment is given to fight those symptoms.

The origins of this virus were traced to the live animal market or so-called wet market in the city of Wuhan, the market labeled as the source of the virus was closed on the 1st of January this year. The new discovered virus belongs to the Corona viruses group which is a group of viruses that are common among animals, but in some cases these viruses spread to humans.

The disease caused by this new virus is a kind of “zoonotic” disease (According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention; The expression “zoonotic” means that viruses can pass from animal to human). From structural point of view Coronavirus is called that because under an electron microscope the appearance of the virus looks like the corona of the sun. Chinese scientists photographed the new Coronavirus, called by the World Health Organization (WHO) the “2019-nCoV”, using an electron microscope.

the “2019-nCoV” under an electron microscope.
the “2019-nCoV” under an electron microscope.

This is the third Coronavirus that can cause a pneumonia in humans; the first two were “SARS” and “MERS”. Firstly “SARS” or Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, also discovered in china in 2002–2003 in civet cats for sale in a similar kind of market in Guangdong province, is zoonotic virus that came from bats which infected other animals and from those animals to humans. This disease spread in over 30 countries, infected over 8000 people causing around 774 deaths before it was stopped in July 2003.

The second Coronavirus causing pneumonia in humans is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome “MERS” Coronavirus, that was found in 2012 initially in a hospital in Jordan then in Saudi Arabia then in other places in the middle east. MERS Coronavirus probably also came from bats which infected camels, those infected camels transmitted the virus to human. like SARS there is transmission of MERS coronavirus from person to person .

This new coronavirus was discovered in 16 patient in a hospital in Wuhan province, most of the patients had fever , shorten of breath or difficulties breathing , some have structural abnormalities in the right or left lung corresponding to an atypical pneumonia not the usual bacterial pneumonia which suggest a new type of virus causing the expressed symptoms.

The new type of coronavirus, also called “Wuhan virus” because of its origin or “ The 2019-nCoV” , is transmitted by air in respiratory, sneezing and coughing situations. While the first symptoms of 2019-nCoV appear as high fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and diarrhea, it causes pneumonia and kidney failure in the later stages and may eventually result in death.

Chinese government shared the 2019-nCoV genome sequence, to allow the international community to develop rapid diagnostic tests to identify the cases caused by the virus. On the other hand, China’s Ministry of Industry and Technology announced that a research team of 14 experts has been set up to help prevent and control the new type of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that has occurred in Wuhan city. The ministry’s research team, formed by the National Health Commission, will investigate the virus’s infectiousness, transmission, detection methods, genetic evolution and will support the development of vaccines.

Shanghai and Beijing officials warned citizens living in risky areas not to leave the house for 14 days. Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Jingmen and Xiantao and 5 more cities were quarantined, and entrances and exits were closed.In addition to that, some parts of the China’s largest tourist attraction “the Great Wall of China” were closed to visitors.

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