COVID-19 Outbreak, How it All Started

Corona viruses are a family of viruses that can cause diseases from common flu to severe respiratory diseases.

Novel Coronavirus (Nov) is a new strain of coronaviruses that have not been identified in human beings before.

Different types of coronaviruses have been transmitted into human beings from animals. Such as MERS-CoV, a virus from the coronaviruses’ family, transmitted into humans from dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Novel Coronavirus causes severe respiratory issues in human beings after it’s transmission. The disease is called Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Where CO stands for Corona, VI stands for virus and, D stands for the disease. Patients with this virus were first reported in 2019, that’s why WHO named it COVID-19. 

How it All Started

The first person who got infected with this virus was reported in China on November 17, 2019. It’s been said that a person got an infection from the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, China. (South Morning China Post)

That 55-year-old patient from China is probably the first patient. But scientists are still hunting for “Patient Zero.”

After that first case, nearly one to five cases were reported every day. By December 20, the total number of known cases reached 20. (SCMP Report)

On December 27, Dr. Zhang Jixian, head of the respiratory department at Hubei Provincial Hospital, reported to the health officials of China about this novel Coronavirus outbreak. By that time the number of known patients was more than 180. 

 Later, the virus spread locally like a forest fire putting the country on complete lockdown. Seeing the rapid transmission of the virus locally as well as globally, the WHO declared this outbreak as a global threat and announced a Global Health Emergency on January 30, 2020. 

Afterward, there was a snowball effect, as one infected person can infect many. 

The pattern that we observed in Wuhan China, Italy, and in the US, where the virus caught its peak within days. These well-developed countries witnessed deaths from hundreds to thousands per day. Their healthcare system collapsed and the world saw the most powerful countries helpless in front of a micro-mini virus.

Transmitted from a Bat

According to Professor Stephen Turner, head of the microbiology department at the Monash University of Melbourne, it is most likely that the virus has transmitted into humans from bats. 

The reason for believing so is that ten of genomes from the blood sample from nine of the COVID-19 positive patients from China were compared to that of a bat. And the results showed a surprisingly 99.98% similar genetic sequence. The report was published on January 29, in the journal The Lancet.

Professor Turner, then, himself puts a question mark to his statement by saying, “I don’t think it’s conclusive by any means.” Professor Turner further explains that it’s because these viruses are traveling in the animal kingdom all the time.

Though scientists say that the virus, most likely, has transmitted into human beings from a bat, they also say that this virus might have passed through an intermediary animal (most likely a pangolin)

The reason for believing or making such hypotheses is genuine as the family of coronaviruses has a history of it. In Sars outbreak 2002, the viruses transferred into human beings from horseshoe bats, but the intermediary animal was cat-like civet. 

Another reason scientists give for an intermediary animal is that the bats miss certain hardware to transmit the virus directly into human beings. So, the presence of an intermediary animal seems real and genuine.

Still, everything is based on hypothesis and research is being conducted on a regular basis. 

No one can conclude anything right away conducting research as we already know that it took years to make scientific results acceptable worldwide. 

Informational Fact: The Ebola research started in 1976 and the world did not see any published results until 2005!

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