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Current Affairs

Coronavirus

Date: 11 January 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A new virus identified by Chinese researchers is said to be responsible for a new pneumonia-like illness that has swept Wuhan since last month, leaving 59 ill and created panic.

 

Background

The researchers described the infectious agent as a “coronavirus”, identified in a hospitalised person with pneumonia in Wuhan.

 

Details

  • Coronaviruses are a specific family of viruses, with some of them causing less-severe damage, such as the common cold, and others causing respiratory and intestinal diseases.

  • A coronavirus has many “regularly arranged” protrusions on its surface, because of which the entire virus particle looks like an emperor’s crown, hence the name “coronavirus”.

  • Apart from human beings, coronaviruses can affect mammals including pigs, cattle, cats, dogs, martens, camels, hedgehogs and some birds.

  • So far, there are four known disease-causing coronaviruses, among which the best known are the SARS corona virus and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, both of which can cause severe respiratory diseases.

  • As per studies, the new coronavirus is different from human coronaviruses already known.

  • there are four known disease-causing coronaviruses, among which the best known are the SARS corona virus and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, both of which can cause severe respiratory diseases.

SARS

  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

  •  Initial symptoms are flu-like and may include fever, muscle pain, lethargy symptoms, cough, sore throat, and other nonspecific symptoms. The only symptom common to all patients appears to be a fever above 38 °C (100 °F).

  • SARS may eventually lead to shortness of breath and pneumonia; either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia.