The Family of Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS and COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in humans and animals. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild - such as some cases of the common cold (mainly caused by rhinoviruses); and others that can be deadly- such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS or SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS or MERS-CoV), and Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2). Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhoea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.

The first known coronavirus outbreak was discovered in 2002 - this was named SARS. It claimed the lives of 744 persons out of 8,000 cases within its two years of outbreak. A decade later was the outbreak of MERS which claimed over 400 lives before it was put to check. MERS broke out again in the year 2015 and 2018 claiming 36 and 41 lives respectively, with a total of 2,50o cases. But, SARS and MERS did not attain the status of a pandemic.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the city of Wuhan (China) at the end of year 2019 has become a global pandemic with almost every nation of the world affected. Nigeria has not been spared in the pandemic with over 90 persons confirmed to have contacted the virus so far, according to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Presently, the fatality rate of the virus in Nigeria is less than 2 % whereas Europe has recorded close to 6% fatality.


2002: 1st coronavirus (SARS-CoV)

2012: 2nd coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

2015: 3rd coronavirus outbreak (MERS-CoV)

2018: 4th coronavirus outbreak (MERS-CoV)

2019: 5th coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19)

-> 14th February, 2020: 1st confirmed case of COVID-19 in Africa

BY THE DIGIT (Nigeria/Africa):

(97/4,351): No. of confirmed cases as at 29th March, 2020

(3/254): No. of discharged cases 29th March, 2020

(1/83): No. of death as at 29th March, 2020

COVID-19 is not a death sentence:

In spite of the disparaging fear of COVID-19, many of the affected persons have recovered from it. As at 27th march, 2020, an estimated 137,271 have recovered from the disease out of the 614,052 confirmed cases globally. This shows a 22.4% recovery rate up till date and the rate of recovery continues to increase. We all have a role to play in winning the war against the disease - by simply adhering to the guidelines stipulated by authorities.

#takeresponsibility and #stayhome.

Source: Business Insider


Still craving? Explore: NIH

Article Credit: Yakubu Aminu

Tags: #Coronaviruses #COVID19 #SARS #MERS

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