Pandemic Politics

The corona virus outbreak is a pandemic but it looks like the response of some leaders has been rather slow.

By Dr. Mehreen Mujtaba | April 2020

The novel corona virus has killed thousands of people worldwide, the vast majority in mainland China, Italy and Iran.

Corona viruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in December 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

Corona viruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known corona viruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common signs of corona virus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

The standard recommendations to prevent spread of infection include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing, should also be avoided.

The current corona virus infection has joined the ranks of small pox, bubonic plague, HIV Aids and other infectious diseases that resulted in not only causing fear and dread among people but also resulted in high mortality and morbidity rates.

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