The corona virus (SARS-CoV-2 virus) is spreading rapidly around the world. Italy is currently the most severely affected in Europe. The WHO speaks of a possible pandemic and announces the international health emergency, because it has not yet been possible to prevent global spread. The risk to the health of the population in Europe and Switzerland can currently be classified as low to moderate. Currently, over 80,000 people worldwide are infected with the novel corona virus and more than 2,700 people have already died. The fear of the virus in Europe and Switzerland has led to face masks and hand disinfectants being partially sold out.

Formation

Covid-19 is one of several hundred different viruses that belong to the coronavirus family. Most of these viruses only cause mild colds. The cause of the disease is largely unknown. It is believed that the novel virus may have originated from an animal at a market in Wuhan. It was then transferred to a human and the virus adapted to the new host. This made human-to-human transmissions possible.

Transmission

The lung disease from China with the virus SARS-CoV-2 („Covid-19“) is transmitted from person to person. The droplet infection spreads among other things by spreading the virus through coughing or pronouncing. Another spread is smear infection when you touch contaminated objects with viruses on them and then touch them on your mouth, nose or eyes. Experts suspect that the SARS-CoV-2 can also be passed on by people who are themselves symptom-free.

Incubation period

The incubation period (time between infection and onset of symptoms) is, according to experts, two to 14 days. An average incubation period of approximately three days is assumed. In rare cases, a period of up to 24 days can pass between the infection and the appearance of the first symptoms. According to experts, the usual quarantine time for those affected is 14 days.

Course

The pathogen affects the upper and, in contrast to other virus types, the lower respiratory tract and can trigger pneumonia. People of all ages are affected, with men being affected slightly more often than women. The patients who previously died as a result of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus were often older people or already weakened by previous illnesses.

Symptoms

The novel lung disease Covid-19 shows similar, unspecific symptoms like a flu virus: fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, diarrhea and breathing problems. The new SARS-CoV-2 viruses multiply in the throat like flu viruses. The pathogen infects cells of the lower respiratory tract and can cause pneumonia. More than ¾ of all illnesses are mild. Covid-19 becomes life-threatening in almost five percent of those infected with respiratory arrest, septic shock or multi-organ failure, and in just under 10% it causes shortness of breath. Cases with children have been observed very rarely. The confirmed deaths mostly concern older people with some serious previous illnesses.

Therapy

If the disease is diagnosed positively, symptomatic treatment is given. In many cases, bed rest and intravenous fluids are sufficient. In addition, cortisone preparations against inflammation and swelling can be administered. In particularly severe cases, additional ventilation is necessary. To date, there is no antiviral or vaccine protection. A structural similarity to the SARS virus is suspected because it uses similar binding sites in the body for docking.

Protective measures

• Thorough and regular hand washing with / and disinfection
• No hand contact.
• Keep your distance from other people
• Mouth-nose masks only make sense for infected people or their contact persons
• When coughing or sneezing, you should turn away and keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people.
• If possible, use a disposable handkerchief or sneeze in the elbow
• Postpone business trips to China or other corona risk areas

If you have any further questions about the corona virus, please feel free to send us a message. The doctors at SEEKLINIK ZÜRICH will be happy to advise you on this or any other topic from our daily blog.