5 things you should know about the Coronavirus

On Jan. 30, The World Health Organization declared the situation of the Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. By now – you would have heard of the Coronavirus!

With all the information going around about the Coronavirus and worry it may be causing our communities, Drinagh Pharmacy would like to share 5 things you should know about The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

1. Where did the Coronavirus come from?

The Coronavirus is thought to have come from bats in China. It is believed that as we continue to decrease the environment landscape where animals live in, we drive them closer to our communities or we move closer to theirs. As a result there is a real danger of continually contracting such viruses such as The Coronavirus.

More than half the viruses that affect humans come from animals. The list includes some strains of the flu, Salmonella infection, West Nile virus, the plague, emerging coronaviruses such as Middle East respiratory syndrome, rabies, brucellosis (a bacterial infection) and Lyme disease, according to the list, released May 6 2019 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[i]

The Wuhan Institute of Virology found that the new coronavirus is more than 96% genetically identical to a bat virus from the Yunnan province in the southern China, according to results published in the journal Nature on Monday.[ii] Making this the most probable origin of the virus.

2. What are the Symptoms of coronavirus[iii]

According the HSE, It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to show.

These symptoms may include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)
  • sore throat and general aches and pains like the flu

You may have already been advised of the above symptoms from media but what you may not be aware is that the Coronavirus can also cause more severe illness including:

  • pneumonia
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • kidney failure

3. What are the chances of the Coronavirus being fatal?

The death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But the number of people who have recovered nationwide has also risen in recent days, suggesting that the new virus’s fatality rate is relatively low.

China’s Health Commission reported on Tuesday 4th of February that there were 632 recoveries and 425 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.[iv]

4. Can I catch the Coronavirus from someone not showing symptoms.

Absolutely is the short answer for this. An unnamed Shanghai woman passed the virus to business colleagues in Germany before she showed signs of the illness, doctors reported January 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The woman had attended a business meeting at the headquarters of the auto supplier and flew back to China on January 22. She developed a fever and chest pain about eight hours after arriving back in Shanghai and was soon after confirmed of having The Coronavirus.[v]

Meanwhile, one of her German colleagues fell ill on January 24 with a fever, sore throat, chills and muscle aches. His illness was brief, and he returned to work on January 27, the same day that the woman informed the company she carried the virus. Nasal swabs and sputum, or phlegm, samples from the man contained high levels of the novel coronavirus even though his symptoms had passed. “

It would appear that people may think they have the flu but could in fact have the Coronavirus. Which is concering and makes this virus harder to manage avoiding.

5. Is there any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland.

As of February 10 there are NO confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ireland, however there is currently some suspected cases in isolation including 3 people at Limerick hospital.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread to 25 more countries alarming public health authorities across the world. A total of 37,599 (including 37,269 in China, Hong Kong and Macau) confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection including 814 deaths (including one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong) have been reported across the world as of 09 February 2020. Out of the 37,269 confirmed cases in China, 6,188 are reported to be severe cases.[vi]

Coronavirus in Numbers (Updated Feb 09, 2020)

Ø Countries with confirmed cases: 26

Ø Confirmed cases globally: 37,599

Ø Global reported deaths: 814

Ø Global reported recoveries: 2,891

Which countries have confirmed cases as of February 9th 2020.

1. The UK: 4

2. Malaysia: 17

3. Taiwan: 18

4. Spain: 2

5. Republic of Korea: 25

6. China: 37,269

7. Vietnam: 14

8. Singapore: 40

9. Germany: 14

10. United Arab Emerites: 7

11. France: 11

12. Japan: 96 - The latest cases are from a group of tourists aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been quarantined off Yokohama. A total of 3,711 passengers are onboard the cruise ship, out of which 273 have tested positive.[vii]

13. Tailand: 32

14. Canada: 7

15. Australia: 15

16. Italy: 3

17. Phillipines: 3

18. Belguim: 1st case confirmed Februay 4th.

19. India: 3

20. Russia: 2

21. Sweden: 1

22. Finland: 1

23. Sri Lanka: 1

24. Cambodia: 1

25. Nepal: 1

26. United States: 12

It should be noted that as of the 9th of February the above cases have been confirmed of having the coronavirus but many more cases are still in quarantine with suspected coronavirus.

With so many countries affected and some of which are our neighbours and others close to the UK, like France and Belguim, one could not be blamed for making a reasonable assumption that its only a matter of time before there are confirmed cases in Ireland?

Most at risk are people that have recently travelled to China or have been in contact with people recently returned/arrived from China.

What to do if you suspect you have coronavirus

Please call your GP or pharmacist and go through your symptoms and your recent travel history. From there your doctor or pharmacists may advise you to attend a hospital ‘after’ calling ahead to prepare for you first.

Please DO NOT go to your local GP or Pharmacist and wait to speak with them – PHONE them OR PHONE the Emergency line of a hospital to make them aware it is possible you have the virus.

Key points to remember:

Ø Have you been to China recently or have had contact with someone recently returned from China.

Ø Do you work in a company where people have recently come from China to attend meetings/work?

Ø You need to have been in contact with someone for longer than 15 minutes, so passing someone on the street will not contract the virus unless they sneeze on you or similar.

Ø Do you have a high temperature?

Ø Do you have flu like symptoms, which may include a sore stomach and chest pain?

Want to ask a few questions about this blog? Please go to our contact form HERE and send our online pharmacist your questions.

Keep well and look after yourself!


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