In December of 2019 a cluster of unusual pneumonia was detected in Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China. In January of 2020 the cause of the infection was discovered and found and has come to be commonly known as the Coronovirus. The truth is, COVID-19 is the official name of the infectious disease and it is caused by this most recently discovered coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which usually cause illness in animals. The virus is transmitted to humans who come into close contact with the infected animal, like contact with bats. The open market of Wuhan, China is thought to be the area where the initial contact occurred. Many speculated that the virus made human contact through cuisine like “bat soup.” But a recent study in the Journal of Medical Virology shows that while the spreading of the virus originated with bats, it much more likely was transferred from bats to snakes (as snakes eat bats) and then to humans. Within this study scientists determined that such knowledge reveals that the notion of the virus being caused by eating “bat soup” is not only misinformed, but potentially xenophobic.
In humans, several coronaviruses have already been known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. All of these symptoms could also be from an infection by the common cold virus. So it is important to ask if the sick person had any recent travel to China.
The risk of becoming infected by COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to “catch” COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying chronic medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to contract the serious illness. But only about 2% of people with the disease have died.
As of this publication, there have been 81,407 confirmed cases world wide. There have been 2,772 deaths and 30,406 patients have recovered. There are 48,229 active cases, with 39,361 (82%) being mild and 8,868 (18%) being severe or critical cases. The cases of infected individuals is however projected to increase worldwide.
A new case of coronavirus was confirmed in the United States on Wednesday, February 27, bringing the total number of cases in this country to 60. As of today, March 4, the virus has caused 11 deaths. For more information, outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post are providing live, full coverage of the global epidemic giving updates as these numbers change.
Protection From COVID-19
You may have noticed on the news that many people are wearing surgical face masks to
protect themselves. This is because the primary way the disease is transmitted, person to person, is through respiratory droplets coughed or expelled by someone who is infected. Simple surgical masks are however not effective against this virus. The only type of masks that protect are the respirators that fit tight to the face and include a filtration system. If you are coughing, the common surgical mask only provides a small degree of protection.
Here are some ways of protecting yourself from not only getting infected by COVID-19 but also from all other kinds of viruses and bacteria:
- You should regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand wash or better, wash hands with soap and water.
- If someone is coughing or sneezing, continue to love them, but from at least 3 feet away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and of course, don’t pick your nose. Wash hands before eating anything, yes, anything.
- If you are coughing or sneezing, do it in your bent elbow or in tissue or wear a mask. Dispose of the tissue immediately. Do not use a handkerchief.
- Ministers, instead of shaking hands use the fist bump or a big smile when greeting members after church.
- Stay home if you feel sick. If you are experiencing a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, don’t be heroic and go to work or school. Call your health care provider for advice.
The Truth About Coronavirus
Antibiotics will not help in treating this viral infection. There is increasing evidence showing that Vitamin D may be helpful in preventing Coronaviruses from attaching to cells. It appears that the virus attaches to the cells via an enzyme called ACE2. Vitamin D reduces this enzyme therefore preventing a viral attachment.
Information from the WHO (World Health Organization) also stresses that eating a balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables will help the body resist infection.
All of this should not be a surprise to us as Children of a God. Jesus himself, in speaking about the last days before He returns for His people, says in Luke 21:11, “there will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilence in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
This possible pandemic of COVID-19 may be the beginning of the end. We’re going home soon.