How to protect yourself and what to expect: answers to important questions about the Chinese coronavirus

Can the virus in the XXI century to kill millions of people as “Spanish flu” in 1919? The new species differs from previously known? Who is at risk and how to protect yourself? The questions of the correspondent of Russian service bi-Bi-si Alina Isachenko said the Professor at the medical faculty of London, Imperial College Robin Shattock.

Как защититься и чего ждать: ответы на важные вопросы о китайском коронавирусе

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Than the virus differs from the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS killed 813 people in 2003?

In the case of the SARS virus in humans first occurred, the symptoms, and then they become infectious. With the current coronavirus, although it requires additional study, people can be infected, but also a few days do not show any symptoms. However, they can already be infectious.

If so, then take control of the spread of the virus will be more difficult because the infected do not show symptoms, it is difficult to identify, for example, by measuring the temperature. They look quite healthy, they do not need to go to the doctors, they freely contact with others, but it can contribute to rapid spread of infection.

Who is at risk?

All the more at risk of Contracting severe the elderly and those who suffer from respiratory diseases. For healthy people the virus is a big problem is not.

Does this mean that if a person, say, 30 years, and he leads a healthy lifestyle, it can still get infected but not die?

Of course, we can’t guarantee anything, but it looks like the vast majority of young people symptoms in a moderate form, not much different from severe flu.

How to protect yourself from this virus if the person is in a city where already spreading the disease?

The best way to protect from virus is the usual means of hygiene. Try to you are not sneezing and not coughing. If you are sick, carefully dispose of used disposable handkerchiefs. Wash your hands often because the virus can be transmitted not only through airborne droplets when someone sneezes or coughs, you can catch it by touching infected surfaces or an infected person. So, again, regularly washing hands protects you from infection.

Help medical mask?

The mask has some protective properties, but it doesn’t really help, since household medical masks are not able to delay the virus. In addition, the virus is on the hands that touch the face, putting on and taking off these masks, so their effectiveness is not necessary.

What can countries do to ensure that the virus they not apply?

A separate country is very difficult to protect yourself from viruses, given the global movement of people. If the epidemic started in different parts of the world will be recorded new cases of infection.

What China is doing, arranging the quarantine of entire cities and limiting the movement should help keep the speed of the spread of the virus. If these measures prove effective, it will slow its spread, but we will witness a global epidemic.

We know that the original carriers of the virus were bats, which may have been the intermediate carrier, rodents or any other species. And poultry market in Wuhan became the place where the virus is passed from animal to human.

I believe that in the future will be very difficult to prevent the transfer of viruses from animals to humans, as it periodically happens, but as soon as there will be more people living in the vicinity of animals, the population density will increase such probability.

One of the deadliest viruses of the twentieth century was the so-called Spanish flu. Then, the epidemic has claimed tens of millions of lives. Whether in the twenty-first century to emerge as a killer virus?

At this stage we do not expect that the virus would be as lethal as the “Spanish flu” because victims of the virus became a lot of young people. In this case, we do not observe.

Can, in principle, to repeat something similar to “Spanish”? Yes, as a global community we are always living under the threat of a pandemic. It is therefore very important to be prepared for such developments.

But today we have a much more developed health care system, we have access to pure oxygen, to antibiotics, we are better prepared for such scenarios. And yet there is no doubt that sooner or later it will happen, a new pandemic influenza.

The Internet discussion, the probability that this virus supposedly could be created artificially. Is it possible?

Absolutely not! Because we were able to find the source virus in bats. That is, it existed before, and then transferred to the person. Detective story, if anything, solved. This virus was created artificially in the laboratory just are we dealing with inter-species transition.

Can work as a vaccine against the virus?

When we introduce a virus, we are talking about the fact that it carries genetic information in the virus particle, the virion. On the surface of the virus located protein leads, by which it attaches itself to body cells and causes infection.

When developing vaccines, we take this chain of RNA and figure out which part is responsible for encoding proteins-leads. We then take that specific part of the chain and do the vaccination in which the virus is expressed only in this protein lead. This part of the virus should respond to the immune mechanism of the person to produce antibodies that bind this protein.

So, if this virus gets to the person who already has developed antibodies, they block it and not allow to penetrate into the target cells. That is, the person is not infected.

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