There has been a sudden spiral in novel coronavirus cases across the world. Many nations have closed their borders with Iran now being hit by the virus. In Italy, football matches have been cancelled and the Milan Fashion Week saw negligible turnout.
Experts are saying that the world is fast approaching a tipping point in the spread of the coronavirus, stating that the disease is outpacing efforts to contain it.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which can cause illnesses in animals and humans that include infections that range from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
COVID-19, which is the most recently discovered coronavirus, was unknown before the outbreak began and was first seen in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
There have been almost 78,000 cases of COVID-19 across the globe and researchers say the situation may soon reach a critical threshold.
Thankfully, though scientists have been making headway when it comes to understanding the disease
Amidst all this, scientists at Greffex, a Texas-based genetic engineering company, are claiming that they have created a coronavirus vaccine.
They claim the vaccine is ready for animal testing and review by US regulators, according to the Houston Business Journal.
Researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, in the meantime, have figured out the molecular structure of a key protein that the coronaviruses use to invade human cells, opening the door to the possibility of a vaccine.
Previous research had already revealed that coronaviruses invade cells through ‘spike’ proteins. The new study highlights that if you can prevent attachment and fusion of the spike protein, it will stop the entry of the virus as well.
Similarly, it seems that a team of researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia has developed a vaccine candidate in the laboratory in just three weeks, reports revealed.
We also have a better understanding of coronavirus symptoms
Fever, tiredness and dry cough are some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. Patients with an infection might also be prone to aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
One of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill and develop breathing difficulty. People with an advanced age and underlying health conditions are more likely to develop serious conditions. That said, most of the reported cases of COVID-19 seem to be moderate and two per cent of people with the disease have died.
But the most threatening part of this coronavirus infection is that the incubation period of the virus can be as long as 27 days–instead of the 14 days it was previously presumed to be. According to the Chinese government, a 70-year-old man infected with coronavirus didn’t show symptoms until 27 days later–which makes for a grim situation.
There’s more news about how coronavirus spreads as well
A study conducted by the Umea University in Sweden found that coronavirus probably has a stronger ability to spread than the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated so far.
According to WHO, people can catch COVID-19 from others and it can spread from person to person when someone with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. This releases small droplets from the nose or mouth which lands on objects and surfaces around the person and passes on when someone touches that surface.
People can also catch coronavirus if they breathe in droplets from an infected person. This is why it is important to stay more than three feet away from a person who is sick.
A research paper in the Journal of Hospital Infection also states coronavirus can survive for up to nine days on surfaces, also increasing the catches of people catching infections from contaminated surfaces.