Coronavirus declared as a pandemic by WHO
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
COVID-19 which emerged in Wuhan-China in Dec 2019, is now reached among more than 47 countries which cover around 1/4th of the globe, and almost in every continent except Antarctica (maximum in Europe)
Coronaviruses (CoV) belong to a large family of viruses that can cause illness like the common cold and also more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV or COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
- This may show common signs of infection include fever, shortness of breath, cough, symptoms, respiratory and breathing difficulties.
- In more complicated cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are different levels of disease, based on how widespread it is and how often it occurs within a community.
- Level I – “endemic” (baseline level of a disease) This is the amount of disease usually present in a community; the constant presence or usual occurrence of a disease or infectious agent in a population.
- Level II – “epidemic” is a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above the baseline level for that particular area.
- Level III – “outbreak,” although having the same definition as an epidemic, is typically when the disease occurs in a relatively small area.
- Level IV – “pandemic” is an epidemic that’s spread over several countries or continents. It usually affects a large number of people.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 11 said that according to its assessment, COVID-19 “can be characterised as a pandemic.” But as of now it is “public health emergency of international concern.”
Criteria for a disease to declare as pandemic:
- When it spread among people
- When it starts taking lives
- When it starts spreading worldwide
Pandemic (The worldwide spread of disease) is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Pandemic is an epidemic occurring on a scale that crosses international boundaries, usually affecting a large number of people. It can also occur in important agricultural organisms (livestock, crop plants, fish, tree species) or in other organisms
Worst pandemic situations in history:
- H1N1 Flu Pandemic (2009) (last declared pandemic)
- HIV/AIDS Pandemic ( 2005 at its peak)
- Asian Flu (1956-1958)
- Great Flu Pandemic (1918)
- Sixth Cholera Pandemic (1910-1911)
- Flu Pandemic (1889-1890)
- Third Cholera Pandemic (1852–1860)
- The Black Death (1346-1353) (largest pandemic in history)
The disease name is Coronavirus disease (COVID – 19) and the virus name is Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although to avoid confusion from 2003 SARS-CoV WHO is not addressing COVID – 19 virus from SARS-Co-V-19.
WHO didn’t declared COVID as pandemic yet and the main reason is to avoid fake information and extra cost to the government which they spend on resources to prevent pandemic situations. To declare the disease as pandemic WHO is looking for sustained outbreaks causing larger than expected number of cases on multiple continents.
Precautionary measures one can take to prevent from Corona:
- Avoid close contact with people who are suffering from cough and cold. Maintain at least a meter of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid frequent touching of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are feeling low.
- Cover your mouth while cough or sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of it safely.
- Wearing a mask every time is not necessary. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does recommend that only infected people should wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
STAY SAFE STAY HEALTHY!