Firstly identified in 1960s, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses mostly known to cause upper respiratory illnesses. Initially known as the common cold viruses, few later types of coronaviruses have emerged to be seriously dangerous such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
During SARS outbreak in 2003, 774 deaths were recorded among 8,098 infected people. The new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, is likely to have infected hundreds of thousands of people globally. 2,707 deaths and 80,348 coronavirus cases have been reported so far. This novel coronavirus seems to possess a deadly threat more than others in the family. It is easily transmitted through contact with the infected people and animals. Experts said that the Wuhan coronavirus is more contagious but less deadly than SARS.
With the current geographical movements, it is almost impossible to stop the coronavirus outbreak from spreading globally. The coronavirus outbreak has spread to 39 countries including all regions of China. There have been confirmed infections in South Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Iran, the United States and Great Britain. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, a global health emergency. Covid-19 is the official name for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. According to WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Covid-19 has been chosen to avoid confusion with other diseases caused by the other coronaviruses.
The number of Covid-19 Cases and Deaths by Country/Conveyance as per 25th of February 2020:
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United Arab Emirates
There isn't a vaccination to prevent the new coronavirus infection. Apart from avoiding any contact with the infected people and animals, we have to rely on our body's immune system to survive this kind of threat just in case. The Wuhan coronavirus easily transmitted from human to human through body fluids. Saliva, mucus and other body fluids from the infected people carry the virus. If the infected people sneeze or cough without fully covering their mouth and nose with tissues then properly throw the tissues and wash their hands thoroughly afterward, the virus would have spread to the surroundings.
Just like with the common cold viruses; coronavirus can stay on door handles, tables, chairs and circulate in the air that people breathe. The common cold viruses that belong to the same coronavirus family can survive on indoor surfaces for more than 7 days, although their ability to cause an infection will be rapidly reduced after 24 hours. Outside the body, coronaviruses tend to survive longer on non-porous (water resistant) surfaces like plastics and metals.
As scary as it may sound, we need to be fully aware that the novel coronavirus infection can only be lethal for those with a weak immune system. People with a strong immune system is unlikely to die from coronavirus infection. Elderly people, children, people who suffer from diabetes, lung disease, cancer or other chronic diseases are at a higher risk from a life-threatening condition due to coronavirus infection. How to protect yourself from the deadly coronavirus outbreak?
dr. Agustin Blanch, Spain.
6 Ways to Protect Yourself from The Coronavirus Outbreak
1. Avoid any contact with the infected people
In an ideal situation, avoiding any contact with the novel coronavirus is by far the best way to prevent getting an infection. In most cases, the infected people will get the symptoms within 3 days, however, it may take up to 24 days for the symptoms to appear. With the current state of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, it will be extremely difficult to stop it from spreading globally. The coronavirus infected people can pass the virus to others unawarely within the 24-day incubation period, 10 days longer than previously thought. The big question is what happen to those people who have been quarantined and released after 14 days? Even if only few of them are infected with coronavirus, these people are likely to have transmitted the virus to many others since then.
As a scientist who lives in London, I find people can be very ignorant of their own health and others. Some people don't even bother to cover their mouth and nose properly when they cough or sneeze in public places including on busses, trains and in the libraries. This is worse when they are clearly suffering with cold or flu. If you are not feeling well, it is best to stay at home for your own health. You are more likely to get infected with coronavirus when you are already down with cold or flu.
To reduce the possibility of getting an infection through the contaminated surfaces in public places like toilet doors, door handles, restaurant tables and chairs; carry an antibacterial hand gel or wipes with you at anytime. Coronavirus can survive on non-porous (water resistant) surfaces like metal and plastic for more than 7 days.
2. Stay protected from the weather
The timing of the current coronavirus outbreak couldn't be worse as billions people in China and many other countries are facing cold winter months, making them more prone to cold virus infection. Staying warm during the winter will certainly help maintain a healthy immune system to fight off viral infection.
3. Get enough sleep and rest
Sleep deprivation and tiredness can knock down your immune system and make you more prone to catch infectious diseases. Make sure that you get enough sleep and rest while also manage your stress levels. Both physical and emotional stress can adversely impact your immune system. You are more vulnerable to viral infection when you are physically or emotionally exhausted or both.
4. Cut down on fried, grilled, barbecued and sugary foods and beverages
Fried, grilled and barbecued foods are known to trigger oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. The same with sugary foods and beverages including those artificially sweetened. These type of foods and beverages can cause inflammation in the body and weaken your immune system, so you are more likely to suffer from viral infection. With the novel coronavirus infection, your survival is heavily depending on your immune system, so it is worth to do whatever it takes to strengthen your body's defense mechanism.
5. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs
Fruits, vegetables and herbs contain many vitamins and antioxidants that are beneficial for your health. Although foods don't usually provide instant medicinal benefits, garlic and ginger are known for their antiviral properties that may help prevent or fight viral infection.
A recent study showed that garlic is as effective as cryotherapy in the treatment of male genital warts caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). Another study involving 146 people indicated that garlic helps prevent and shorten the duration of common cold caused by the coronaviruses. Nevertheless, be fully informed that the antiviral properties of garlic has not been clinically tested against the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Ginger on the other hand is very beneficial for those who suffer with respiratory illnesses. A study showed that fresh ginger possesses the antiviral activities against human respiratory syncytial virus. This study interestingly revealed that ginger needs to be taken fresh (raw) as dried ginger doesn't have similar antiviral activities. As the novel coronavirus may severely affect the respiratory system, eating fresh ginger regularly may help ease the symptoms in case you are infected.
How to eat fresh garlic and ginger to fight against viral infection?
Depending on the size, I like to chop 1 to 4 cloves of garlic (fresh/raw) into tiny pieces and mix them with my foods. I tend to eat a lot of ginger as I love the taste of fresh ginger with foods, usually fruit and vegetable salad for breakfast and lunch. I can easily eat more than 25g of fresh ginger everyday. Since I have been eating both fresh garlic and ginger everyday, I haven't been down with cold or flu for few years and running.
If you have any particular medical condition or taking any medication, always discuss with your GP before you eat garlic or ginger or any other herb in quite considerable amount on regular basis. Eating raw garlic or taking garlic supplement may reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs such as HIV drugs. Garlic is known to help protect our body from toxic chemicals, as consequences, it may also treat certain drugs as toxic chemicals that need to be removed from the body.
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6. Get a professional medical help as early as possible
If you show symptoms of cold or flu and you worry that it may be from the new coronavirus, contact your GP as early as possible. Although there is no specific treatment or medication for coronavirus infection, the medical professionals are generally better-equipped than others to advise you on how to deal with this new deadly virus.
Limit going out to public places unless it is necessary. Coronaviruses spread easily so the last thing you want is to pass the virus to other people. Wear a protective mask if necessary. Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, don't be ignorant of your own health and others. Our health is our most precious asset, if we don't have it, none of other assets can compensate for the loss. This is the case with other people too, respect their health!
I hope this article can help millions people all across the world to reduce the risk of being infected by the Wuhan coronavirus. Please share with everyone who is at risk of being affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Many thanks in advance!
Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with US, UK amd Canada at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips.
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