- Coronavirus is divided into at least three subgroups called alpha, beta and gamma and the viruses that can cause disease in us humans belong to the first two.
- Infection from animal to human is called zoonotic infection.
- An important measure for preventing the spread of infection is good hand hygiene and the early implementation of effective care measures to limit the spread of infection.
Coronavirus is not just one but a large number of viruses of which a few variants of the virus, which SARS, MERS and 2019-nCoV (covid-19) also infect between humans and humans. Symptoms of coronavirus are respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing, sore throat, cough and fever. At the deaths reported, patients usually had another serious underlying disease.
A total of six different coronaviruses are known to infect humans. Does mouth protection and hand spirit help? The infectious doctor answers common questions about the Coronavirus.
Coronavirus is divided into at least three subgroups called alpha, beta and gamma. The majority of coronaviruses are found in various animal species. The viruses that can cause disease in us humans belong to the first two, alpha and beta. Some of the coronaviruses that can infect humans only cause easier colds and are actually common. In contrast, severe lung disease causes the variants SARS and MERS coronavirus.
The different variants can give varying symptoms depending on the type of person you have been affected by.
There is generally quite limited knowledge of how coronavirus is spread, except at SARS. Infection spread is considered to be via contact contamination, ie through direct body contact. It can also be done through the air from coughing and sneezing.
Most people will be infected by coronavirus once or more in their lives, but then they will only cause a common cold.
Every now and then, new variants of coronavirus appear. This happened, among other things, in 2003-2004 when there was an epidemic with one such, new, coronavirus called SARS. The country of origin for the infection was China but with globalization, the infection spread rapidly to several countries via travelers. The theory is that the infection came from bats that, in turn, infected other humans via other animal species.
The spread of infection ceased relatively quickly and today no new cases of so-called social infection have been registered. The reason is believed to be that sanitary measures were quickly implemented in healthcare, got an international infection prevention work started and that the virus itself had a low infectivity.
Symptoms of SARS
- Fever – usually occurs one to two days before the first respiratory symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
In one of the outbreaks, most patients also suffered from diarrhea.
In 2012, another new variant of coronavirus was discovered, known as MERS-coronavirus, or in short. The spread of the virus is still ongoing and all cases have been linked to countries on the Arabian Peninsula. Among those who have had close contact with the infected, isolated cases have also been discovered in South Korea, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Likts sars is also found in this virus in bats and it is therefore believed that this is also an animal-to-human infection, known as zoonotic infection. The infection occurs in camels which, although not clear, is believed to be the source of infection. Infection between people has occurred in connection with the care of the sick, but then to a limited extent and in most cases, the infected person has already had some form of underlying disease that makes them extra sensitive.
MERS coronavirus causes severe pneumonia and complications from other organs, especially renal failure.
Symptoms of MERS
- Symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract such as diarrhea
A serious course of disease occurs most often in people with a reduced immune system, high age or chronic diseases such as diabetes and COPD.
2019-nCoV (covid-19) was discovered in Hubei Province, China. It gives symptoms such as fever and cough and reminds of the flu. The coronavirus incubation period is 2-14 days and averages about 5 days.
Common symptoms of coronavirus 2019-nCoV (covid 19)
- Respiratory symptoms from the lower respiratory tract with cough and shortness of breath.
- Myalgia and arthralgia.
- Sniff and mucus in the airways.
- Diarrhea. (less common)
- Signs of ARDS and organ failure in severe cases.
If you have not been traveling in China for the past 14 days, but have similar symptoms, you are unlikely to have received the new corona virus. However, if you have been in China for the past 14 days and have symptoms such as fever, cough or respiratory distress, call your health care provider for more information and advice. You do not need to contact health care if you are feeling well but have been in an area where people have become ill with the coronavirus. You can read more about the corona virus and get answers to frequently asked questions from our expert here.
SARS, MERS and covid-19 are more serious diseases that can in both cases cause severe lower respiratory tract infection and subsequent complications in most organs. Other coronaviruses, on the other hand, can cause mild cold symptoms such as:
- sore throat
It happens that pneumonia also occurs for these, milder, coronaviruses, but especially in those with cardiac lung disease, reduced immune system or high age.
To find out if you have been infected with coronavirus, you take blood samples that are analyzed in a laboratory, or you can isolate viruses in a so-called cell culture.
There is no specific treatment for the particular coronavirus, but instead active treatment is applied for the symptoms that occur.
Good hand hygiene is one of the most important preventive measures together with avoiding close contact with sick people.
While common coronaviruses are not subject to notification, infection with SARS and MERS coronaviruses is considered as a life-threatening disease and is thus subject to notification and transmission traceability. There are also special recommendations for managing patients with SARS as well as infection with MERS for healthcare professionals to follow.
Facts Therefore it is called coronavirus
Coronavirus has a circular housing with protrusions all around, giving them a corona-like appearance in the electron microscope, hence the name.