Delivering explanations on behalf of the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Section of Near East University Hospital, Professor Doctor H. Kaya Süer shared information about the outbreak of the respiratory disease (pneumonia) caused by a new coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan-China and had become the agenda of the world lately. Indicating that the new coronavirus was named as 2019- nCoV and resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in the world, Prof. Dr. H. Kaya Süer stated that the respiratory disease is transmitted through the inhalation of the viruses spreading throughout the air.
What are Coronaviruses?
Expressing that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats, Professor Doctor H. Kaya Süer states that animal coronaviruses can infect people and spread between people. He stated that human cases were reported as some animal coronaviruses evolved over time and had become capable to infect humans. He notes that some coronaviruses cause respiratory diseases in humans and demonstrate a clinical disease table.
Stating that some of the human coronaviruses that are common all over the world were identified years ago, while some of them had been identified recently, Professor Doctor Süer delivered further information: “Seven different coronaviruses have been identified so far. Human coronaviruses are usually a cause of mild or moderate disease. However, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, which were detected in the last seventeen years, are known to cause severe respiratory diseases. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which was first reported in Asia in February 2003, is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to more than 25 countries, including the United States, is viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. Today, there are thousands of confirmed cases associated with the coronavirus 2019-nCoV that newly added to the coronavirus family” said he.
New coronavirus was identified as “2019 - nCoV”
Stating that the first cases came into agenda upon detecting findings of pneumonia in 4 persons working in a large seafood and animal market and in many people visiting the same market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China on 29 November 2019, Professor
Doctor H. Kaya Süer stated that on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new coronavirus, which belongs to the family of viruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, as a result of examining the samples taken from patients. Prof. Dr. Süer noted that the new coronavirus was identified as 2019 - nCoV as it doesn't match with any known coronaviruses. Stating that Chinese authorities had reported the novel coronavirus, which resulted in thousands of confirmed pneumonia cases in China including cases outside Wuhan city, Professor Doctor Süer pointed out that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had been closely monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus that first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Prof. Dr. H. Kaya Süer noted that additional cases had been identified in a growing number of other international locations adding that all patients diagnosed outside China had a history of travel to Wuhan city.
Symptoms of 2019-nCoV
Professor Doctor H. Kaya Süer delivered information about the symptoms of the disease. "“The disease progresses with high fever at about 39 degrees, cough and shortness of breath, which start suddenly after an incubation period of 2-14 days. Sore throat and runny nose have been reported in some patients. Most of the patients, who suffer from severe pneumonia caused by 2019-nCoV or died due to the disease are elderly people (> 65 years old) or people with other underlying diseases such as lung diseases, organ failure, cancer, diabetes, and immunosuppressive diseases. The disease, which generally has a moderate to severe clinical course, has a relatively milder course in young healthy adults”.
How is 2019-nCoV transmitted?
Prof. Dr. H. Kaya Süer also delivered information about how the 2019-nCoV is transmitted from human to human: "When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the viruses spread as droplets throughout the air, when a healthy person inhales these droplets, the disease is transmitted. So, close contact is a risk factor. According to the standard isolation precautions, gowns, masks, gloves and glasses should be worn as preventive measures in case of close contact, defined as 1 meter, with the infected patient.
There is currently no vaccine for 2019-nCoV
Drawing attention that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus as there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection, Prof. Dr. Süer underlined that hygiene is one of the most important measures to prevent and control spread of the disease. "Although there is no reported case in Turkey and TRNC, special focus should be attached on hand hygiene. In order to prevent from other viruses in circulation, hands should be washed frequently and thoroughly. Touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands should be avoided as well" noted he.