Sample Healthcare Paper on Origin of Corona Virus

In order to discuss this disease extensively, knowing its origin is important. Muhammad (2020) gives a clear explanation about this. Coronaviruses belong to the Coronaviridae family in the Nidovirales order. Muhammad (2020) further says that the name coronavirus was derived from the virus’s outer appearance. The coronavirus family also has subgroups. These include alpha, beta, and gamma coronavirus. Initially, and out of preliminary research, scientists thought to inflect only animals until the world witnessed a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak caused by SARS-CoV in 2002 Guangdong, China. No other outbreak was reported globally until a decade later, in 2019, where the same infection was reported in China and Wuhan. In December 2019, Wuhan, a business hub in China, experienced an outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Statistics show that the coronavirus killed more than eighteen hundred and infected over eighty thousand individuals within its first fifty days during its debut outbreak. In comparison with the SRAS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 has a higher transmission rate. With adequate research, scientists have found out reasons for this. Muhammad (2020) reports that the high transmission rate of SARS-Cov-2 may be attributed to its genetic makeup. The recombination event at S protein in the RBD region of SARS-CoV-2 may have enhanced its transmission ability.

            The coronavirus disease is a highly transmittable disease that emerged from Wuhan, China. Experts say that the disease is a highly pathogenic viral infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus). Genomic analysis has also proved that SARS-CoV-2 is related to SARS-like bat viruses; hence bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The source of origination and transmission is important to develop preventive strategies to contain the infection. In research done by scientists, raccoon dogs and palm civets were used as prospective reservoirs of the infection. However, samples obtained from this research showed that the civet palm might be secondary hosts for this disease as they had positive results for RNA detection. Later, Rhinolophus bats were also found to have anti-SARS-CoV antibodies, suggesting that the bats are a viral replication source. Several different studies also found out that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus first emerged in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. MERS-coronavirus also pertains to beta-coronavirus and having camels as a zoonotic source or primary host. In a recent study, MERS-coronavirus was also detected in Pipistrellus and Peri myotis bats, proffering that bats are the key host and transmitting medium of the virus. Snakes were also seen to be possible hosts. A group of researchers suggested snakes as potential hosts. Still, this suggestion was nullified after genomic similarity findings of the novel coronavirus with SARS-like bat viruses supported the statement that not snakes but only bats could be the key reservoirs. Additionally, analysis of homologous recombination revealed that receptor binding spike glycoprotein of novel coronavirus is developed from a SARS-CoV and a Beta-CoV that is unknown. However, more work is required to identify the intermediate zoonotic source that causes the transmission of the virus to humans if this virus is to be eradicated.

Human Human transmission

After knowing the coronavirus’s origin, it would be interesting to discuss how the disease is spread or transmitted from human to human. Scholarly views by Gabriel and Lerner (2020) play a huge role in this. In their work, the two (Gabriel and Lerner, 2020) try to determine the possibilities in which human to human transmission occurs. Gabriel and Lerner (2020) use 147 cases to identify this. Their research profile 147 cases referring to sex, age, residence, and probable country of infection. Also, the two analyzed human-to-human transmission networks and explored their structural features and dynamics. This study was done on Romanian individuals. In Romania, local cycles of transmission were preceded by imported cases, predominantly from Italy. Among the first 147 COVID-19 patients, 88 were imported cases, 54 were domestic cases, while the source of infection for the remaining five was unknown. From the human to human transmission networks illustrated, super-spreaders’ presence and the risk of COVID-19 nosocomial infections were discovered. From this, it would be correct to assume that COVID-19 occurred in Romania through case importation from Italy. Understanding the transmission dynamics in the early stage of Covid-19 outbreaks is crucial for assessing epidemiological situations and setting the effectiveness of outbreak control measures. Descriptive statistics on the first 147 cases reported in Romania indicated that 60% are imported cases from Italy (64 cases), The United Kingdom (5 cases), Israel and Germany (5 cases each), Austria, Belgium, and France (2 cases each), Norway, Poland, Spain, The United Arab Emirates and The United States of America (1 case each). Gabriel and Lerner (2020) add that Romania is the probable infection country, while the infection source was still unknown for five cases.

Analysis of the transmission in Romania based on gender showed that 46% are females with an average of 43 years old, while 53% are men with an average of 41 years old. For all genders, the standard was 41.9 years old. Additionally, 39 out of 42 Romanian counties have imported cases, and in only three situations are there inter-county COVID 19 transmissions. Data about human to human transmission also backs this. The main results indicate that Romanian travelers, predominantly from Italy to Romania, were the country’s main source of virus spread. Their return gave rise to local COVID 19 human-to-human transmission networks of a limited number of chains. Despite the early stage in their development, these networks embedded super-spreaders (few cases accounted for most infections). The most frequent mode of virus transmission in these networks was nosocomial, suggesting rather a local and geographically bounded circulation. COVID-19 spread across Romania occurred not by human-to-human intercity or inter-province transmission networks.

Signs and Symptoms

Like any other disease, infection, or virus, Covid-19 is also presented through signs and symptoms. However, these symptoms may vary in intensity from normal to mild symptoms according to various factors, including the patient’s age, immune system, and presence or absence of any pre-existing condition. Since its spread in December in Wuhan, China, scientists have managed to discover common symptoms through several interactions with coronavirus positive patients that presented those symptoms. These symptoms are termed as common as they were observed in most of the world’s positive population at the virus contraction’s initial stages. These symptoms include fever, fatigue, body aches, secretion of mucus, loss of appetite, and a dry cough. These symptoms are mostly manifested between 2 to 14 days of contracting the virus for the typical cases. Apart from these, other characteristic symptoms may vary from: having a sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and nasal congestions that led to the loss of smell or taste.

However, the most common symptoms are difficulty breathing or shortness of breath since the virus affects the respiratory area. The troubles in breathing arise when the virus comes into contact with the mucous membrane that lines the nose, mouth, and eyes. The virus then travels down the airways causing the lining to be irritated and inflamed. This inflammation leads to a reduction in the amount of air that leaves and enters the lungs through inspiration and expiration, respectively. However, patients with pre-existing conditions may display different symptoms from these. In emergency cases, a patient may have trouble breathing, sudden confusion, constant pain or pressure on the chest, and bluish lips or face. These are classified as some of the mild symptoms. Other mild symptoms of Covid-19 may also include: pinkeye, coughing up blood, heart problems, seizures, kidney damage, liver problems, fainting, swollen eyes, blood clots, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Some doctors also reported rashes tied to covid-19, including purple or blue lesions on children’s toes and feet.

Furthermore, researchers said that these symptoms varied from children to adults. In children, the symptoms tend to milder than in adults. Common symptoms are also more manifested in children than in adults. Scientific reports have shown that the children population with Covid-19 had a fever (56%), cough (54%), and shortness of breath (13%). In extremely mild cases, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), H5N1 influenza A, H1N1 2009, and MERS-CoV cause acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which lead to pulmonary failure, and in turn results to fatality. Identification of symptoms might help identify the disease, but further diagnosis and differential diagnosis would be needed to differentiate the disease form other illnesses as they share some common symptoms.

Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis

Correct diagnosis of disease helps identify and the dispensation of proper medical care to the right patient. One way of being sure of this is through laboratory diagnosis or laboratory testing. The gold standard for diagnosis identifies viral genome targets by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the respiratory tract materials during the first week of symptoms. Serological tests should, however, be indicated from the second week of symptoms onwards. To facilitate this, a wide range of laboratory tests are available. These tests, however, vary from sensitivity and specificity. The laboratory tests include complete blood count, C-reactive protein (CPR) test, D-dimer, clotting tests, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), and ferritin. These tests identify the risk of disease with greater severity, thromboembolic complications, myocardial damage, or worse prognosis. Among these methods, the CPR test is the most commonly used and recommended by the World Health Organization as it is the most effective in identifying the coronavirus.

Furthermore, imagery tests may also be used to identify coronavirus, especially when a compatible clinical picture and other tests presented negative results or were unavailable. The imagery tests show that new diagnostic methods with higher sensitivity and specificity with faster results are necessary. Although the RT-PCR is the standard gold test for identifying the virus’s genetic material, its sensitivity is not satisfactory. This demerit has led to the misdiagnosis of coronavirus patients across the world, thus providing inaccurate data. With inaccurate data to rely on, scientists have repetitively found it difficult to manage the disease by giving a vaccine for the virus or stopping its spread. Therefore, this assertion implies that the diagnosis of COVID 19 should be based on clinical data, epidemiological history, tests for etiological diagnosis, and tests to support the disease’s diagnosis. Therefore, RT-PCR cannot be relied upon to correct the coronavirus’s correct identification despite it being the best among the rest of the testing methods.

Differentiating Covid-19 from other diseases is another way of correcting identifying the virus, thus stopping the spread. CT scans and MRI scans can be used in the differentiation process. For Covid-19, the chest CT scan findings include vascular enlargement of the lesion, bilateral ground-glass opacities, air space consolidation, and crazy paving signs. These findings differ from those of other diseases such as; Influenza, pulmonary embolism, pericarditis, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia, which share some of the common symptoms and mild symptoms with Covid-19. For Influenza, findings of the chest CT scan indicated unilaterally or bilateral ground-glass opacities. Results of pulmonary embolism also differ from those of Covid-19. On CT angiography, an intra-luminal filling defect was detected. A subsequent MRI scan also revealed narrowing of involved vessel, absence of any contrast in distal to the obstruction, and a polo-mint sign. A Pericarditis CT scan revealed the pericardium’s enhancement due to inflammation, pericardial calcification, and pericardial effusion. A CT scan conducted for congestive heart failure showed hazy mediastinal fat and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. On MRI, patients with congestive heart failure showed an abnormality of cardiac chambers, late enhancement of contrast in conditions such as myocarditis, sarcoidosis, and amyloidosis. CT scans for patients with pneumonia also varied from those of patients with Covid-19. On CT scan, abscess, pleural effusion, ground-glass opacity, and Peribranchial nodules are observed. Although they may share certain physical common and mild symptoms, differential diagnoses of these diseases show that they vary. On top of laboratory diagnosis, differential diagnosis can determine whether a patient is infected with the coronavirus. The production of accurate data about the virus assists in further analysis and research on how the virus can be stopped from spreading or making a vaccine.

Preventive Measures

Scientists have come up with preventive measures to reduce its spread through severe analysis of the infectious disease. The scientists suggested these methods are backed by behavioral characteristics of the virus and the virus’s biological composition.  These measures include wearing a protective surgical mask. As the disease’s spread has become more prevalent, different masks have continued to be manufactured to cover the entire nasal area and prevent the nasal droplets from a positive person from reaching the nasal cavity. However, scientists have discovered the best standard mask that allows zero leakages into the nasal area; this is the N-95 mask. The mask is highly recommended since it is almost round in shape and perfectly covers the nasal area from the nose bridge to the chin. The mask also allows comfortable breathing hence no suffocation. Other effective preventive measures include social distancing (1.5 m apart at minimum), washing hands with running clean water and soap or using a sanitizer. Another preventative measure is avoiding all sorts of physical body contacts, including handshakes, hugging, and kissing. For the infected persons, a 14-day quarantine period would prevent them from spreading the virus to the rest of the population, thus reducing the spread. Strict adherence to these measures provided and approved by the World Health Organization will help curb the virus’s spread.

Financial and Social Effects of the Virus

The coronavirus has not only devastated the health sector but has also affected the financial and social statuses of both individuals and countries. On the economic level, countries have been forced to operate on a strained economy because of allocating most of its budget in fighting the virus. Countries such as Italy, China, Spain, and America have been the worst hit, struggling to revive their economies once more. These financial losses come from measures such as lockdowns and curfews to curb the spread of the disease. The steps led to the closure of business premises and transport activities that contributed hugely to countries’ tax and revenue. On an individual level, many have remained jobless and redundant. For instance, countries like America reported one million unemployment cases after measures to curb the virus were put in place. Businesses have had to lay off some or all of their employees to remain barely afloat.

The virus has also affected daily societal and social activities. The spread of the virus led to racially-based criticism against the Chinese, where the virus originated. Although scientists have done their part in explaining the virus’s real origin, some still believe that it is the Chinese fault that the world is shut down. Cases of stigma have also been reported by individuals who once suffered from the virus. Individuals from countries heavily affected by the virus were shunned or avoided by their peers in fear of contracting the virus. The discrimination saw the development of condescending epithets towards them. From this, it is evident that more work still needs to be done on our society to defeat this virus.

In conclusion, this discussion has explained, and discussed findings carried out on research about coronavirus. Throughout the discussion, facts, figures, and percentages have been used to describe certain metrics about Covid-19, such as the extensity of its spread and the intensity of its infection shown through symptoms. The paper also puts in perspective the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a recent occurrence of coronaviruses’ family. In the initial stage, it explains the primary source of human transmission. Further development of the paper saw it indulge in more information about the virus, such as human-to-human transmission, signs and symptoms of the virus, diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the virus, preventive measures, and the virus’s effect economically and socially. It also, however, true that traditional and superstitious beliefs have hindered the fight against this virus. Out of ignorance, some still believe that the virus is a result of the devil’s work and that only prayers and rituals can send it away. The ignorance has seen the utter violation of the World Health Organization guidelines, a situation that has propelled the spread and fatality rate of the virus. As we continue to follow the measures put in place, sensitization is needed to be done in some parts of the world to create enough awareness about this virus’s gravity.

References

Muhammad, A. (2020). COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. ScienceDirect. Journal of Advanced Research 24, 91-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2020.03.005

Zhang, T. (2020). Probable Pangolin Origin of SARS-CoV-2 Associated with the COVID-19 Outbreak. ScienceDirect. Current Biology 30 (7), 1346-1351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.03.022

David, M, and Charles, C. (2020). The origin of COVID-19 and why it matters. The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103 (3), 955-959. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0849

Ayan, R. (2020). Strategies to trace back the origin of COVID-19. Journal of Infection 80 (6), e39-e40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2020.03.032

Andrew, R, and Edward, H. (2020). The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nature Medicine. Nature Medicine 26, 450-452.

Gabriel, H, and Lerner, J. (2020). Early Spread of COVID-19 in Romania: imported cases from Italy and human-to-human transmission networks. The Royal Society Publishing. Royal Society Open Science. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200780.