What are the Coronavirus Disease and COVID-19?
The Coronavirus Disease is a type of zoonotic disease, allowing the virus to be transferable from animals to humans. Despite being a zoonotic disease, Coronaviruses can be found between various animal species. The total number of Coronaviruses that can transfer from animals to humans is seven.
Of the seven Coronaviruses that scientists are aware of, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV or MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV or SARS) were of the recent human Coronaviruses. That was until the introduction of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov). Despite its rare occurrence, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus is contagious.
As of February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has named this new disease COVID-19. In COVID-19, “CO” stands for “corona”, “VI” for “virus”, “D” for “disease” and “19” for the year the outbreak was identified in(2019). The name of the virus is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
It was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31st 2019. The source of the outbreak is from a large seafood and live animal market. This suggests the initial point of contact of this disease was from an animal to a person. This eventually led those infected to spread the Coronavirus Disease amongst humans.
How does the Coronavirus Disease compare with other viruses?
SARS & MERS
In comparison with SARS, COVID-2019 is likely less deadly, but more contagious. As of February 28th, there are 47 countries reporting cases of COVID-19. The total amount of those diagnosed with the disease is over 80,000 worldwide.
Based on WHO, data suggests that roughly 82% of confirmed cases have only mild infections. Another 15% require hospital treatment and only 3% need intensive care within China. The fatality rate of the Coronavirus Disease within China is suggested to be between 2% to 4% in the Hubei province. For other areas in China, it is around 0.7%.
This is a much lower fatality rate, as opposed to SARS which was at 10%. However, despite the lowered fatality rate, in China alone, the death toll has risen to 2,747 as of February 28th, 2020. The total worldwide death toll is at least 2,804. This is because of the widespread number of people infected.
In comparison to SARS, the total reported cases during its outbreak were 8,000. There were a total of 774 deaths worldwide, leaving a fatality rate of roughly 10%.
As for MERS, the disease was less likely transmittable between humans. However, the fatality rate was around 35% despite it being so. MERS claimed around 2,500 victims.
Most secondary transmissions of SARS and MERS occur within a hospital setting. While COVID-19 can spread within a hospital setting too, it mostly occurs among close contacts with the infected.
Influenza “The Flu”
COVID-19 and Influenza, commonly known as the flu, can appear very similar to one another. Both viruses are infectious respiratory illnesses that can lead to pneumonia under some circumstances.
As of February 27th, 2020, the flu has a bigger impact in the United States than with the Coronavirus Disease. The death count per year ranges from 291,000 to 646,000 across the globe and 12,000 to 61,000 in the US.
The best form of avoidance for the Coronavirus Disease would be to equip yourself with Coronavirus prevention education. Take the necessary steps to avoid the chances of infection.
You can help curb the disease from spreading further with precaution.
Click on our Coronavirus education page to learn more about COVID-19.