Just 3 weeks after China announced the strange pneumonia epidemic caused by a new virus in Wuhan city, the number of patients increased to 440 with 9 deaths. Concerns continued to grow as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the United States reported cases of this virus, respectively.
Given the risk of the Wuhan virus being spread during the Chinese New Year, here are eight important things we need to know about it, including the onset of the outbreak, the routes of transmission of the virus, and symptoms of infection. must and ways to prevent it.
1. How did the epidemic start?
An outbreak of strange pneumonia began to be reported in Wuhan City, China from mid-December 2019. The earliest onset patient is believed to have had symptoms since December 12 including coughing, fever , shortness of breath. X-ray film shows invasive lesions on both sides of the lung.
However, it was not until December 31 that China officially acknowledged the situation in Wuhan, after an investigation revealed that the virus seemed to have been spread from Huan Nam Seafood Market. Local health officials reported that the virus may have spread from animals to small traders and market shoppers.
Huan Nam Seafood Market is described as a “filthy and messy“With more than 1,000 stalls. In addition to seafood, the market also sells chickens, squirrels, rabbits, bats and other wildlife. Huan Nam Seafood Market has extremely poor sanitary conditions, cramming thousands of people. with live animals and animals that have been slaughtered.
It is a golden opportunity to help viruses in animals, called zoonoses, jump, evolve and infect humans.
2. The culprit virus is a completely new, unknown virus
After screening and eliminating respiratory pathogens such as influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, infectious atypical pneumonia (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Chinese scientists said Knowing the virus strain causing the mysterious lung disease is a completely new strain.
However, they identified them as coronaviruses, a group of viruses that emit halos under a microscope similar to SARS and MERS. Many coronavirus family viruses have been known to cause respiratory infections, from mild to moderate and severe.
According to the official statement, the coronavirus strain found in the Wuhan outbreak was similar to the SARS precursor virus found in bats. Arnaud Fontanet, head of the epidemiology department at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said the two viruses shared 80% of the genome sequence.
Currently, Chinese scientists have made public all results of new virus strain research with the international scientific community. Because there is no official name, the virus is currently denoted as 2019-nCoV or Wuhan virus for short.
3. Wuhan virus has been spread from person to person
Yesterday, the official Xinhua News Agency issued a warning from Dr. Chung Nam Son, director of the Respiratory Key Laboratory in China, that the 2019-nCoV virus could be transmitted from person to person. .
At least one case in Wuhan at the time had been transmitted from another patient, not an animal. Along with that, there are 2 families in Guangdong province and 15 health workers working together to take care of a single patient.
Dr. Chung said the most important thing to do now is to prevent the spread of the virus. Hyper-spread is defined as when a host becomes a host at a greater risk of spreading germs than other hosts.
In some cases, the spread of infection follows the 20/80 rule, meaning that only 20% of the super-spread hosts are responsible for 80% of new cases. Given the situation in China now, any patient with a pathogen can become a super-contagious host.
4. How is the virus spread, do people easily get sick?
It must be said that we do not know for sure the routes of spread of 2019-nCoV. But by identifying it as a respiratory tract coronavirus, here are some scenarios where 2019-nCoV can be transmitted from person to person:
– Through air breathing, when patients cough, sneeze
– Through personal contact, such as shaking hands
– Through an intermediary, when both people touch
– Through stool (rare)
With up to 15 health workers sharing the infection from one patient, Tom Inglesby, director of the Health Security Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said 2019-nCoV seems to be very infectious. infused. Because it is rare for health workers to get infected from the patients they care for, with adequate protective equipment. This is often a sign of a strong spread of pathogens.
5. How many people were infected, how many died?
With data updated on the morning of January 22, China said it had recorded 440 cases in its country, nine of whom died in Wuhan, Hubei province. South Korea recorded a case of 2019-nCoV infection, a woman who had traveled to Wuhan. Japan also noted an infected Chinese man working in the country.
Taiwan yesterday also confirmed a 50-year-old woman returning from Wuhan was positive for the virus. Meanwhile, the US confirmed the first case this morning, a 30-year-old man returned from Wuhan. Thailand is the country outside of China with the most cases of Wuhan virus infection with 3 cases.
Currently outside of China, no country has reported patients dying.
6. This virus is not as dangerous as SARS
Despite becoming a major health concern, Wuhan virus is thought to be less dangerous, or less dangerous than SARS virus. Based on data from China, the current mortality rate due to 2019-nCoV is currently only about 2%, compared to 10% of the 2003 SARS epidemic.
Compared with SARS, the symptoms of Wuhan virus infection are also milder. “There may be many people infected with the virus out there who have very mild or no symptoms“Said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a global health research charity.If so, then we could have thousands of people carrying 2019-nCoV while only a few people die, this disease is milder. [so với SARS]“.
Agreeing to this, Dr. Chung said: “It is difficult to compare this disease to SARS. It’s light. Status [tổn thương nó gây ra ở] The lungs are not the same as SARS“.
However, the lighter pathogenic nature of 2019-nCoV implies the risk that it will spread more widely. Professor Antoine Flahault, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Geneva, said that because the virus does not cause severe and early symptoms, it will allow patients to carry the pathogen further and spread the virus more widely.
“Wuhan is a big center and during the Chinese New Year, everyone in China moves a lot, we must always maintain a high level of concern. “, Jeremy Farrar said. In fact, estimates suggest that about 3 billion trips will be made in China in about 40 days. “Spring“from January 10 to February 18.
7. WHO is considering declaring an International Public Health Emergency
The possibility of the Wuhan virus spreading even further is so great that the World Health Organization is gathering a panel of experts to meet on Wednesday, to decide whether the arrival of 2019-nCoV will create affection. international emergency on public health or not.
An international public health emergency will be triggered when a medical crisis crosses many countries’ borders, to turn it into a global public health crisis.
According to WHO, PHEIC must be declared when there is an “abnormal” situation, “there is a public health risk to other countries from the spread of the disease”, “requires a synchronized national response.” “in preventing disease.
Regulations on PHEIC were developed after the outbreak of the SARS outbreak in 2003 and adopted by 194 countries in 2005. Since then, only 5 times WHO has declared PHEIC for pandemics: H1N1 swine flu in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014, Zika in 2015 and an outbreak of Ebola in 2019.
8. What do you need to do to prevent disease?
In order to proactively prevent acute pneumonia caused by Wuhan virus strains, the Ministry of Health recommends that people and communities perform well the following measures:
– Limit direct contact with people with acute respiratory infections; When necessary contact with sick people must wear a proper medical mask and keep a distance when exposed.
– Keep your body warm, keep personal hygiene, wash your hands often with soap, gargle with antiseptic water to prevent pneumonia.
– Need to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, preferably with a cloth or handkerchief to reduce the spread of respiratory secretions.
– Limit close contact with animal or wildlife farms.
– Those who return from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China or have close contact with a person with pneumonia in Wuhan City within 14 days if signs of fever, cough, difficulty breathing, need to immediately the nearest health facility for timely consultation, examination and treatment.