Sunday July 05 2020

Posted by BajaInsider on May 19, 2020
  • Information on the COVID-19 Virus
    Information on the COVID-19 Virus

 

One of the concerns amongst health officials has been as the COVID-19 virus moves through an increasing number of people it has the opportunity to evolve. The 1918 Spanish Flu (Kansas Flu) is believed to have originated in the US as a relatively low level of mortality. By the time it traveled to Europe and back again to the US the mortality rate had more than tripled.  

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One of the difficulties the population is having in accepting this as a true pandemic threat is the lack of a serious threat to general health over the last 60 to 70 years. There are few parents still left around that remember the days of summer public pool closures and self-isolation which was brought on by 1950's Polio outbreaks in the US. There are even fewer who have a recollection of the 1918 influenza pandemic. We have grown overly accustomed to a 'safe' world. Science has been warning us of the possibility of pandemics for at least 40 years, due to our increased mobility as a species. 

There are very few persons left that remember the days when a disease of any form had a significant social effect as the COVID virus is inflicting. 

Like the 100-year rainstorm causing flooding, this pandemic can cause an overflow in healthcare facilities. Hospitals equip themselves to handle the normal daily load with a small margin of extra beds on hand for emergencies. 

March 11, 2020 the coronavirus outbreak was officially labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold in two weeks. He said he was "deeply concerned" by "alarming levels of inaction".

A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time. 

What is the Corona Virus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that circulate between humans and animals (cats, camels, Chiroptera, etc.) Coronaviruses evolve and develop the ability to transmit from animals to humans and spread among people, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Therefore to be correct the name of this health concern is COVID-19 and is of the SARS family. Symptoms appear in 3-14 days from exposure. 

Why the concern?

I found the numbers and the news confusing, so I did a little research. The end of the world and conspiracy theory videos aside, I found doctors and researchers worldwide are sharing information via Youtube.

Covid-19 is moving fast.

Pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019. On January 31 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern". By February 29 the virus was reported on every continent except Antarctica. World travel has dramatically hastened the spread of the virus without a doubt, but closing borders at this point is just not practical.

Is COVID-19 worse than Influenza?

The numbers vary from flu season to flu season between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths in the USA. Currently, more than 90,000 people have died from COVID-9 and related complications in the US and there are almost 2 million confirmed cases in the USA.

The virus is more dangerous the older you are and complicated by other health conditions. Mortality increase 3.5X between 40 and 50 and 4.25X between 50 and 60 years of age. Persons over 80 have the greatest risk with more than 15% of the patients succumbing to the disease. While in some persons the symptoms may be so mild as to not even present the need to visit a doctor.

Mortality rates are likely to soar if the virus spreads to underdeveloped nations. At the current time. the United States is the only G20 developed nation without a national healthcare system.

How does it Kill?

The virus is formed to attach itself to the tissues in the lungs. In the lungs, it uses the lung tissue to clone itself in a dramatic evolution. Eventually, the virus covers enough of the oxygen-absorbing capillaries and the patient suffocates in the fluids of his own deteriorating lungs.

Protecting yourself:

A CDC video for healthcare workers indicated that gauze masks provide very limited protection, as they leak around the side. Respirators of an N95 rating are what is recommended. But improper use of masks by laymen results in limited self-protection. However, the current policy is to wear a mask in the prevention of the wearer spreading the virus. In other words, wear a mask to protect others.

Mexican television is running series of Public Service commercials advising citizens to protect themselves from the virus in much the same manner as any other seasonal outbreak with covering your mouth when you sneeze, washing often, and not touching your face are the current remedial remedies. This is likely to have the same limited effectiveness that it does during the flu season, but a step in the right direction.

How Long does the Virus Live Outside the Body?

Neeltje van Doremalen, a virologist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and her colleagues at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, have done some of the first tests of how long SARS-CoV-2 can last for on different surfaces 

Their study, which has yet to be published in a scientific journal, shows that the virus could survive in droplets for up to three hours after being coughed out into the air. Fine droplets between 1-5 micrometers in size – about 30 times small than the width of a human hair – can remain airborne for several hours in still air. It means that the virus circulating in unfiltered air conditioning systems will only persist for a couple of hours at the most, especially as aerosol droplets tend to settle on surfaces faster in disturbed air. 

 

But the NIH study found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus survives for longer on cardboard – up to 24 hours – and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces.


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