The new Coronavirus firstly was noticed in China in December 2019, when multiple signs of lung infection were detected on the same days in China.
By examining the samples taken from the patients, it was understood that the virus causing the disease on January 7, 2020 was a new virus. This virus has been reported to be very similar to the SARS virus. The virus spreads all over the world quickly.
How did this epidemic occur?
Commonly coronaviruses are cause a disease in animals. Circulating among animals, coronaviruses can sometimes change and gain the ability to infect humans and begin to spread among humans. That is when outbreaks occur. This is how the epidemic today began. In the past; The 2002 outbreak of SARS and 2012 MERS started in this way.
There is no epidemic reported in Turkey so far.
Symptoms and course of disease
The disease begins with sudden high fever, cough and respiratory distress after an unspecified incubation period of about 14 days. Rarely, headaches, muscle aches and, very rarely, diarrhea can be seen.
Those who have had severe illness and / or died; It has been observed that they are generally over 65 years old and have underlying diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, and immune deficiency. In other words, it is milder in young and healthy individuals.
Type of infection
It is transmitted by droplets such as cough, sneezing, or saliva scattered during speech, hitting the mouth, nose, or eyes of intact people. In order to be transmitted in this way, it should be close to 1-2 meters.
Another way of transmission is; droplets falling on tables, door handles, etc., and healthy people rubbing their hands into the mouth, nose or eyes without washing their hands after touching them. The virus can survive on these surfaces for several days. It has not been detected to be transmitted orally by foods or beverages.
The most effective method of prevention is to avoid close contact with sick people and frequently wash hands or use hand disinfectants. It is necessary to avoid being in crowded and congested environments during the epidemic. As of yet, there is no vaccine or medicine.
Prof. Dr. Bülent Ahmet Beşirbellioğlu
Lokman Hekim University Ankara Hospital
Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases