2020 has begun with a major news of a cluster of pneumonia cases that have been detected in Wuhan, China. These were found to be caused by a novel Betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel Corona virus (2019-nCoV). As per figures quoted by a publication in the Lancet journal on 24th January 2020, there were 835 laboratory confirmed cases and 25 deaths due to the virus. This number has increased to 4,515 confirmed cases and 106 fatalities as reported on 29th January. Named after the morphological appearance of that of a crown (Corona is Crown in Latin) it is similar to the virus causing SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic in the early 2000’s caused due to a variation of coronavirus. We are experiencing a similar epidemic outbreak now in 2020. This virus is known to arise from animals and initially believed to be transmitted to humans via exposure in wet farms and seafood markets. Incubation period (time from infection to symptoms to appear ) is found to be ranging from 3 to 5 days . Droplet infection has been found to be the main mode of human to human transmission.
With positive cases having been detected in several provinces of mainland china, Japan, Thailand, USA and other countries the risk of this epidemic coming to India is a fear that most of us have at this stage.
The following points will help us to allay anxiety & be better prepared.
Please note - Currently the govt. has only authorised a few govt institutes such as:
NIV (National Institute of Virology ),
Pune for testing for nCov-2019.
AIIMS is the nodal referral hospital in New Delhi
for patients suspected of carrying the virus.