CoronaVirus – Which Animals Can Cause This?
We have all heard about coronavirus. It is the recent headlines in almost all the newspapers and news channels. So, in this article, we will discuss on this virus and which animals can cause this.
The coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses. Its symptoms mainly start as a common cold. Nowadays, there is a new strain of this virus that we have never actually seen in humans before they were transmitted from animals. They are transmitted between animals and humans. However, there are several coronaviruses that only infect animals. But, if they do come in contact with humans, then they might infect humans. For example, the novel coronavirus that we are dealing with right now. This is what is called a ‘spillover event’.
History Of Coronavirus
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes an infection in your sinuses, upper respiratory system, throat, and nose. There are many different types of the virus but some are very dangerous. In early January 2020, WHO identified a new type of coronavirus known as novel coronavirus 2019 and CoV in China. By late January, there were more than 800 confirmed cases in China. The death count continues to rise even now. Coronaviruses were identified many years ago, in 1960. Researchers back then could not say anything about its origins. They get their name ‘Corona‘ due to their crown-like structure. Coronavirus can affect both animals and humans. They are highly infectious and spread from one person to another just like the common cold viruses.
Origin Of Coronavirus
The coronavirus originates from Wuhan. 2019-nCoV is the cause of an outbreak that seems to have begun at a marketplace with live animals in Wuhan on December 12, 2019. It has since then spread around the world. It has affected thousands of people. Now, first things first, there are lots of different types of coronaviruses. Some mainly affect humans, whereas others mainly affect other animals like bats and camels. And, these animal species are called ‘viral reservoirs’.
Remember SARS, back in 2002? That was a coronavirus that hopped over from bats to civets (which Is a cat-like mammal). And, then over to humans. And in 2012, there was MERS, which was a coronavirus that hopped over from bats to camels. It then circulated among camels for quite some time before infecting humans. So, that is the likely source of the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Which Animals Cause Coronavirus?
The possible animal sources of the virus are given below:
- The Wild cat meat available in Wuhan market, maybe one of the causes of Coronavirus in the city.
- Snake meat, which is considered a delicacy with both medicinal and nutritional properties.
- Civet Cat often found in rural areas in Guangzhou. The restaurant keeps live animals for the customers’ selection.
- Dog meat, the flesh and other edible parts derived from the dog. Dog eating has been found in many parts of the world, including China.
- A healthy adult black bear, which is often the most hunted.
- Bee, which is consumed as a food in parts of China, including Yunnan. It is considered a Chinese delicacy. It served deep-fried with salt and pepper.
- Raw Cow meat, which can be problematic. It also contains its fair share of dangerous bacteria. It causes listeriosis, salmonellosis, and E coli.
- Bats, which are a food source for humans in some areas. Bats are consumed in China for their deliciousness. However, some experts argue that eating a bat is not the cause of coronavirus.
- Tarsier, which is a unique animal but mostly in the town of China, it becomes a delicacy.
Symptoms Of Coronavirus
Symptoms can include many things. They might be a fever, a runny nose, a dry cough or a sore throat. It can then lead to shortness of breath and breathing problems. And, in some severe cases, patients might need immediate hospitalization.
Severity of Coronavirus
Well, it really depends on the moment. One in five cases can become severe leading to conditions like pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. This might leave some in mechanical ventilation and in some circumstances, even cause death.
This is currently known that the novel coronavirus has a mortality rate of 2%. This means that 2% of people who have had the novel coronavirus have sadly died from it. On the bright side, it also means that 98% of the people who have had the novel coronavirus have recovered from it.
There are currently people in hospitals receiving treatment for the coronavirus. So, the number could change. Unfortunately, there is no treatment currently for the coronavirus. However, the symptoms can be treated.
Each coronavirus patient should be looked after individually. Depending on their symptoms, they will receive appropriate treatments.
Few final precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus are:
- Wash your hands regularly throughout the day using soap or water. Wash it for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face as much as you can because our hands carry so many germs. And, the way they get in is through your eyes, your mouth and through your nose.
- Always cover your mouth and nose when you feel like sneezing or actually sneeze. And, throw the tissue in the waste bin right away.
- Try to avoid close contact with anyone who shows any of the symptoms mentioned above.
- If you are feeling unwell then stay at home. Even if it’s something mild like the common cold. Just stay at home and reduce the risk of spreading a virus.
- When you’re eating meat or when you’re eating eggs, make sure you are cooking them thoroughly. This is because this can be effective prevention from coronavirus.
So, by now you know all about coronavirus and what animals cause it. Follow the given precautions and stay safe and healthy! And, there is absolutely no need to panic as only 2% of the people infected with coronavirus actually passed away.