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The Novel Coronavirus Epidemic - Information By Student Sarah Abdel Sater

A new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, was initially discovered in China within the Wuhan City of the Hubei Province and has continued to spread. Known as a beta coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, this virus belongs to the coronavirus family. These viruses are found in many types of animals, such as bats, cattle, and camels.

A new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, was initially discovered in China within the Wuhan City of the Hubei Province and has continued to spread. Known as a beta coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, this virus belongs to the coronavirus family. These viruses are found in many types of animals, such as bats, cattle, and camels. Like Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), coronaviruses can contaminate people. The spread from person-to-person usually happens when an infected individual coughs/sneezes and gives off respiratory droplets (Center for Disease Control ‘CDC’, 2020c). Initially, many of the Chinese Wuhan citizens infected by the 2019-nCoV had some association with animal/seafood markets, indicating a spread from animal to human. Soon after, an increasing number of infected individuals allegedly did not have contact with the animal market, showing a spread from person to person. The 2019-nCoV symptoms vary among the infected people, from no symptoms to individuals being extremely sick and dying. According to the CDC, these symptoms can be seen from as little as two days to as long as fourteen days when exposed. The most common symptoms are sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, fever, and headache (CDC, 2020b). The majority of deaths have occurred in the Hubei province; victims were the elderly or those with pre-existing respiratory problems (BBC, 2020).

As the number of Chinese nationals found dead or infected with the coronavirus increased, the government scrambled to control the spread of the virus. It was reported by the Center of Global Finance that buses, ferry services, and flights have been significantly reduced in an attempt to stop the spread. Hong Kong has closed its cross-border with mainland China and the Hubei Province is in lockdown with severe travel restrictions for those entering and leaving the area.

In the UAE, a report by the Ministry of Health and Community Protection on 29 January confirmed four cases of the virus. The family of four visiting the UAE from China is currently under medical investigation. To limit the spread of the virus inside the UAE, early detection of new cases is highly important, and the Ministry’s investigation centers are working around-the-clock to ensure the health and safety of the entire UAE population (Nandkeolyar, 2020). As of now, there is neither a vaccine nor an antiviral treatment for the 2019-nCoV virus. Infected individuals should be given supportive treatment to alleviate symptoms, while severe cases should receive treatment that supports the function of the vital organs (CDC, 2020a). The simplest prevention method is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC has recommended the following everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of such respiratory viruses:

  • Avoid immediate contact with those who are sick
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use at least 60% alcohol-based sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Refrain from touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands
  • Stay at home when sick
  • When coughing/sneezing, use a tissue and then throw it in an appropriate disposable bin
  • Regularly disinfect and clean commonly touched surfaces/objects

Written by Sarah Abdel Sater

Abu Dhabi University – Public Health Student

 

For medical support and other enquiries, contact:

8001717 – “Estijaba”, Department of Health

80011111 – Ministry of Health and Prevention

800342 – Dubai Health Authority

Webliography:

BBC. (2020). Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to 106 as China tightens measures. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51275896

CDC. (2020). Novel Coronavirus 2019 Situation Summary, Wuhan, China | CDC. Retrieved 30 January 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

CDC. (2020a). Prevention, Treatment of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) | CDC. Retrieved 30 January 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

CDC. (2020b). Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) | CDC. Retrieved 30 January 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

CDC. (2020c). Transmission of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) | CDC. Retrieved 30 January 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

Nandkeolyar, K. (2020). Coronavirus in UAE: Four of a family infected. GULF NEWS. Retrieved from https://gulfnews.com/uae/health/coronavirus-in-uae-four-of-a-family-infected-1.1580273983681#

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