Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
A cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China on 31 December 2019. On 7 January Chinese authority identified a new type of coronavirus as a cause of pneumonia outbreak, which is different from any other human coronaviruses discovered so far. The new strain is named as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
(SARS-CoV-2) and disease as COVID-19. While communicating with public, World Health Organization (WHO) has begun referring to the virus as “the virus responsible for COVID-19” or “the COVID-19 virus”.
Preliminary investigations have identified environmental samples positive for nCoV in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan City, however some laboratory-confirmed cases have not visited this market. According to WHO, additional investigations are needed to determine how the patients were infected, the extent of human-to-human transmission, the clinical spectrum of disease, and the geographic range of infection.
Globally total 75748 confirmed cases (548 new) were reported by WHO (on 20.02.2020)- from China 74675 confirmed cases (399 new) and 2121 deaths, and outside of China 1073 confirmed cases (149 new) and 8 deaths) from 26 countries.
To date, six known human coronavirus (HCoVs) have been identified. Out of these, four are globally circulated in the human population and contribute to approximately one-third of common cold infections in humans. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS- CoV ) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS Coronavirus) are other two coronaviruses. They cause severe respiratory diseases.
(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS- CoV) was first reported in 2002-2003 in Guangdong, China and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS Coronavirus) was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.)
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that can cause mild illness in the form of common cold to severe respiratory diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, it means they can be transmitted between animals and people. Previous investigations showed that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans.
Common symptoms of infection may be in the form of respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Screening of passengers with travel history from China is being done at 21 airports, international seaports and border crossings of country. Cabinet Secretary and Union Health Ministry is reviewing the preparedness and screening in all the states daily through video conferencing with Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries.
In view of the spurt of cases being reported from China and travel related cases appearing in many countries, the travelers to China are advised the following:
· Indian travelers are hereby advised to REFRAIN FROM TRAVELING TO CHINA.
· Those planning a visit to India from China:
Travelers should follow simple public health measures at all times as under: