One of the most talked about news in recent years has been the spread of viral pneumonia from China. Let’s try to figure out what it is and how to protect ourselves.
In early December 2019, there were reports of the first cases of severe pneumonia without a specified pathogen in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The cause was a virus that has so far been identified – 2019-nCov belongs to the Coronavirus family.
It should be noted that this is not the first coronavirus to cause such an outbreak. These viruses infect people and various animals – cats, horses, swans, camels, dogs, birds, rabbits, bats, snakes and other animals. In some situations, viruses are able to change, mutate.
For example, in 1997 the avian influenza virus appeared, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and severe fever with thrombocytopenia (SFTS) in 2010. The causative agents of these syndromes were coronaviruses, the structure of which has changed – in other words, due to the mutations that have occurred, the virus began to spread and infect not only animals, but also people.
When examining the sick in Wuhan, it was found that they all visited the local fish market, where they could buy poultry, snakes and bats, rabbits, frogs.
At the moment, the structure of the virus genome has been deciphered. The most probable route of transmission is from a snake to a person and spread from person to person by airborne droplets.
Data on the number of cases vary – from 291 to 600 people according to various sources. Known about 25 dead. The first confirmed case in the United States is currently being reported. There are cases in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, North Korea and Japan.
An etiotropic treatment for coronavirus has not been developed, however, there are reports of the successful use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the treatment of a patient with a severe course of coronavirus pneumonia.
As a precautionary measure, it is suggested to avoid traveling to China whenever possible. Wuhan city is closed for quarantine.
It is also necessary to follow all the recommended measures during the period of activity of acute respiratory diseases – wash your hands more often, less often be in crowded places and, if symptoms of an acute respiratory disease appear, consult a doctor.