Research Finds New Coronavirus Came From Snakes. Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus
The number of coronavirus cases is steadily increasing daily. The fatality toll as of today is now 82 with over 2700 cases detected worldwide, the majority of it in China. But even as China is struggling to contain the disease by resorting to a complete or partial lockdown of cities affecting more than 60 million people, the global toll has spread to 50 cases in 13 countries including 5 in the United States. However, even though the scare of a new virus is always alarming, the new strain of coronavirus named NCoV is still not in the same league as the SARS epidemic that killed thousands in 2002 and 2003. Instead of resorting to panic and anxiety, one should consider the fact that the flu is fatal for almost 35,000 people a year and affects upto 200,000 people in the US alone.
1The New Coronavirus Has Originated From
In the latest developments, Chinese scientists have researched genes of the novel coronavirus of 2019 being called NCOV and found that the most probable animal of origin was snakes because of a factor called RSCU (relative synonymous codon usage) bias resembling snakes. The study was published in the Journal of Medical Virology.
2The Need of the Hour Is Awareness and Prevention Advice Not Alarm
That being said, the new coronavirus is threatening to be more dangerous than the flu simply because when you take into the account the history of the coronavirus, it has a much higher mortality rate than the common flu and most of all, it leads to global outbreaks resulting in epidemic proportions. However, instead of playing the doomsday scenario, what is most needed is information and awareness to people worldwide about what is the virus and how to protect themselves instead of ringing alarm bells with no solution in sight.
3So What Exactly Is A Coronavirus?
The coronavirus was originally an animal virus that was transmitted between animals and first identified in 1960’s. Sometimes the viral strain in animals goes zoonotic meaning that it gets transmitted from animals to humans. Till date, 7 types of human coronaviruses have been identified ranging from those that infect its victim causing usually flu-like symptoms of coughing and sneezing with fever to the more dangerous forms of the virus-like SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) 2002 and MERS (middle eastern respiratory syndrome) 2012.
The virus is so-called because of its crown-like shape. Most coronaviruses spread in the same way a cold does through sneezing, coughing and contact. In fact, most humans may contract a coronavirus infection at some pint of time in their lives, especially children and the virus is more common in winter and fall.