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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Update

Coronaviruses disease 2019 (COVID-19) Epidemic

Coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses that are common camels, cattle, cats, bats and other species of animals. Human coronaviruses were first recognized about six decades ago. They are species-specific making it rare for interspecies distribution to occur. However, within the animal kingdom, animal coronaviruses have the capacity to infect people and then spread between people. Coronaviruses get their names because of the crown-like spikes on their surface. Before the emergence of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), not named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there were and may still be 4 major types of Coronavirus disease namely alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.

Coronaviruses types

Alpha strains have 2 serotypes (alpha (229E), Alpha (NL63) while beta strains have 4 main serotype – beta (OC43), beta (HKU1), MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS; SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. The remaining two strains are gamma and delta. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus was first identified as 2019-nCoV but On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

Coronaviruses Epidemic

Special Journal of Public Health is glad to note that Epidemics of new virus infections among the general public are always of public health concern, especially if happens in resource-poor settings. In estimating the risk or magnitude of the problem, attention is paid to existing or new knowledge on how well the virus spreads between the target population and the virulence of the infecting pathogens, disease outcomes, and available prevention and control strategies such as vaccine or treatment medications.

The potential public health threat posed by the COVID-19 virus is not well understood. Going by the speed of distribution, globally and the fact that this virus has caused disease, resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread in China and now all over the world including Egypt should be a real reason to keep us sleepless.  It’s unclear how the situation will unfold, but now, some people will have an increased risk of infection. The at-risk population includes healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and other close contacts of patients with COVID-19. For the general public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low at this time.

Coronaviruses in China

Chinese health authorities were the first to post the full genome of the SARS-COV2 virus in GenBankexternal icon, the NIH genetic sequence database, and in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAIDexternal icon) portal, an action which has facilitated detection of this virus. CDC is posting the full genome of the SARS-COV2 viruses detected in U.S. patients to GenBank as sequencing is completed.

Early on, many of the patients in the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China had some link to large seafood and live animal markets, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Person-to-person spread has been reported outside China, including in the United States and other countries. Learn what is known about the

The strain likely to have a global dimension in distribution is expected to be human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. If human coronaviruses that infect animals undergo microevolution or natural genetic re-engineering, they can cause strange human disease and is classified as new human coronavirus until a whole-genome study is completed to understand how it can be classified. The viral strains that can undergo these changes are 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.

China on Friday, February 14, 2020, confirmed another 5,090 coronavirus infections, and 121 more deaths, bringing the death toll near 1,400, according to The Associated Press. The country has seen a surge in new cases for the last two days since health authorities in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, changed the way they identify infections, with most of the new cases based on a physician’s diagnosis before lab results come back.

Coronaviruses intervention

The state-owned banking industry has provided more than 537 billion yuan (£59 billion) in credit to industries such as retail, catering, and tourism that have been hurt most, according to Liang Tao, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Further reading

  1. Center for disease control: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary

  • Webmed: Coronavirus

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