spreading throughout China and spreading around the globe, is on high alert by health authorities. This is not only because the virus infected more than 1300 people, killed 41 and forced millions of people to quarantine. This is also because this particular virus has never been seen before.Every time a “new” virus appears on the scene, everything becomes much more complicated. That’s why:
It takes years to develop vaccines, and since this virus is new, researchers will have to start from scratch. People did not have the opportunity to develop the natural immunity that they need to protect themselves if they become infected. This means that washing hands and masks are their best options.
At first, doctors could not say with certainty whether someone was infected with the virus known as 2019-nKoV, or if they had a more common flu. In the early days of the outbreak, doctors simply reported cases of a disease like pneumonia to local health authorities.
As a result, the World Health Organization took several weeks to learn about common cases in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.After the virus genome was streamlined and released, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies around the world were able to develop real-time diagnostic tests. Now that these tests have become more affordable, the number of new infections seems to be growing rapidly. This may seem scary, but it does not necessarily mean that the virus spreads faster or makes people hurt.
An accurate diagnosis helps doctors choose the best treatment for their patients. But in the case of a new virus, it also helps epidemiologists monitor the spread of the pathogen so that they can take measures to contain it.In addition, until officials count the number of infected people, they will not be able to calculate the mortality rate from coronavirus.
Public health officials rely on past knowledge of the virus to make decisions about how to respond to the virus. For example, experts who studied severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS — both coronaviruses — have an idea of their characteristics: how easily do they jump from person to person? Do they weaken over time or gain momentum? Since 2019-nCoV is new, there are no reliable answers to such questions.Like all viruses, this coronavirus can mutate quickly. This means that most of the information collected by scientists can only be temporarily accurate.