In real life I’m a doctor, internist. I don’t live in China, but in Greece, a small sunny country very far away from China. Many people are ordering various things, mobiles and gadgets from China, so now with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak I had many questions of how safe it is to continue ordering from there. So to be correct, I searched a little bit to see what is really happening. So let see what is really happening at first.
The latest figures, however, speak of 132 deaths worldwide. Details of exactly where the cases are can be found on the page here, which is constantly updated by Johns Hopkins CSSE.
As a primary source today, will use the text written from a colleague, which is a specialist here in Greece in Infectious and Head of Department of Pathology & Chair of Infectious Diseases, at a big hospital here in Greece.
The global medical community has been alarmed by the outbreak of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, and has infected thousands of people in China and the wider geographical area. At the same time, several deaths have been recorded and unfortunately it seems to be spreading to other countries as well.
The new virus belongs to the broader category of coronaviruses that cause the common cold but also and more serious infections in humans.
The most common viruses that infect humans over time are the following four: 229E (alpha coronavirus), NL63 (alpha coronavirus), OC43 (beta coronavirus), HKU1 (beta coronavirus).
In 2002, another coronavirus was added to the family. The SARS-CoV, which had caused the so-called SARS (Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic, spread globally in 2002-2004.
In September 2012, a new coronavirus, named Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus Syndrome (MERS-CoV), was discovered and caused the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), also known as camel flu.
According to preliminary information, the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has a lower mortality rate than previous ones. It has a moderately contagious capacity, but can spread to humans as long as it has been preceded by close contact.
New coronavirus infection usually manifests as pneumonia, with the appearance of acute, severe respiratory disease, with fever, cough, shortness of breath and respiratory distress. In the most serious cases, pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, and renal failure occur, leading some patients to lose their lives.
Laboratory diagnosis of new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is done by molecular methods.
For the protection against the new coronavirus, the precautionary measures recommended are those that apply to other respiratory viral infections.
- We take care of our hygiene: good and regular washing of hands and face.
- We use disposable antiseptic wipes.
- We do not forget to ventilate our home and workplace enough and frequently.
- When coughing, cover our mouth with a scarf or elbow and disinfect the surfaces we use.
Particular emphasis is placed on avoiding close contact with people who present with symptoms (coughing, sneezing) and who have recently traveled to high risk areas.
Particular emphasis is placed on the timely search for medical attention for travelers returning from the above areas and experiencing similar symptoms within 14 days of arrival.
If you read the text above carefully, you will see that the method of transmission refers to “it may, however, spread between people as long as there has been close contact.”
And here’s the million dollar question …. “Okay, I haven’t contacted a suspicious ill person from China or elsewhere, but if he sneezed on my parcel, will I get sick!?”
There is no indication that there is a risk. Some diseases – including coronavirus which cause SARS – can spread through surfaces contaminated by people who cough or sneeze at them.
It has not been shown that this new coronavirus can do this. Even if it could, there would still be questions about whether international shipping should have a major problem or not!
Cold viruses, like coronavirus, tend to survive less than 24 hours outside the human body, although for example, the Norwegian virus found only in the stomach can live months out of the body.
The most reassuring fact so far is that the cases appeared, required close contact with another person – for example, a family member or a healthcare worker – in order to spread.
Also don’t forget that the items received from China, need several days to reach you. For example for Greece, orders need about 20 – 40 days to arrive, so I think based on what we know so far, there is no fear.
Also, new data today shown that I vaccine is not far away from been produced and tested, so it’s a matter a time all this to stop.