Coronavirus pandemic is widespread across most of the countries of the world and it is not going to end any soon seeing the quick and rapid rate at which the positive cases are increasing. Many people have the question: How old is Coronavirus? Is it new or it has been for a long time?
To answer this question, we have brought this post today where we will let you know about some brief history of this virus and throw some light on some of the similar viruses that have taken place on Earth a few years back.
Let us check it out in detail.
- Old and New Coronavirus
The category of coronaviruses can be divided into two groups: “Old” and “New” based on the period for how long they are infecting humans. Coronavirus can be divided into four groups: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta but among the four, only alpha and beta are found to infect humans, gamma and delta don’t infect humans.
The old viruses are there for a long time, for centuries but they were first identified only in the mid-1960s. 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1 viruses are there for a long time. The first two 229E, NL63 are alpha coronavirus and the next two: OC43, HKU1 are beta coronavirus. These four viruses cause mild respiratory infection and the last one: HKU1 is said to cause gastrointestinal infection too.
The newer viruses are more dangerous as they are very infectious and transmit quickly from one person to another person. There are three main viruses included in the newer viruses: SARS, MERS, and SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19).
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV. The Coronavirus that is going on currently is related to a similar virus strain of the SARS-CoV. Let us now have a look at the new viruses in detail.
- SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
This is the current pandemic that is spread across the world. Getting widespread, it has infected more than 15 lakh people and has killed more than 95k lives. Starting from China, it has reached most of the countries and forcing governments to lockdown the cities to stop its spread further.
This virus is transmitted to humans by an animal. For example, it is believed that COVID-19 got transmitted to humans from an animal. Bats are the suspect here, either the virus got transmitted from bats to humans directly in the Wuhan market or through an intermediary.
The intermediary is believed to be a Pangolin where bats transmitted the virus to Pangolin and then it infected the humans via Pangolin. This is just a speculation of the experts and currently, it is not confirmed that what is the source of this virus.
Symptoms of this disease are cough, fever, and respiratory problems. The virus gets stick in the lungs and then it gets difficult for humans to take breathe. That’s why a ventilator is in so much need these days. Also, the virus stays on different objects for a long time: 24 hours to 48 hours so people who come in contact with that infected object get infected too.
The death ratio of this virus is not that much but if proper care is not taken then the number of positive cases will keep on increasing and it will be a trouble for all of us. Washing hands with sanitizer frequently, keeping social distancing and wearing masks are the necessary preventive measures that one has to take for staying away from this virus.
MERS spread in the Middle East a few years back. It stands for Middle East respiratory syndrome; it is a part of betacoronavirus. It is transmitted from camels so it is called camel flu too. Its source is bats but camels are the intermediaries that transmit the virus to humans.
Symptoms of this virus are cough, fever, diarrhea, having difficulty in breathing. Like COVID-19, this problem is more severe in the patients that are facing other problems too.
If any person comes in very close contact with the infected person then there are chances of getting affected. So, there are the chances of transmission of this virus in hospitals mostly and it is seen that it is not transmitted in public places. Its risk of spread is very low.
The first case of this virus was identified in Saudi Arabia in the year of 2012. After that, an outbreak of this virus got spread in 2015 in South Korea and then it was reported again in 2018 affecting Saudi Arabia.
Till the year of 2020, no vaccine has been found for it. It is recommended that one should wash his hands properly when one comes in contact with camels. Also, sick camels must not be touched as there are high chances of getting infected. Camel based food products must be properly cooked so that the virus gets killed if there.
The year 2002 was the first time when an outbreak of the SARS virus got widespread. It came from the city of Foshan in China. Nearly 8000 people got infected with this virus and there were more than 750 deaths reported worldwide.
Symptoms of SARS-CoV are fever, lethargy, muscle pain, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and can lead to pneumonia. It got stopped in 2004 and is not seen until now.
So, here was an overview of the Coronavirus and its related diseases. To answer your question at the conclusion: How old is Coronavirus? we can say that it is quite old and the different diseases of related genes to the current SARS-CoV-2 have been faced by mankind before.
Prevent yourself from getting infected with this virus and take the required measures to safeguard yourself and your family. Stay at Home and be Safe!