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Beyond Local: Things for people in Canada to know about the novel coronavirus – St. Albert Today

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Canada has four confirmed cases of the new coronavirus that has infected almost 10,000 people globally in the last two months. While the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, Canadian public health officials say the risk of contracting the illness in this country remains low.

Nevertheless, experts stress the need to be vigilant and prepared for signs of infection. Here are key things to know:

WHAT IS IT?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that most often cause mild-to-moderate upper respiratory tract illnesses including the common cold, but they can also lead to severe conditions. Some coronaviruses spread between animals, some pass between animals and people, and others are transmitted between humans.

This new virus is different from the coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

RELATED: Flu poses greater threat to Albertans than coronavirus: AHS

SARS AND MERS SEEMED TO BE EASILY TRANSMITTED. IS THAT TRUE OF THIS VIRUS TOO?

Several medical experts say early research indicates the new coronavirus is less deadly or contagious than other airborne illnesses.

Canada’s chief public health officer has repeatedly stressed it is unlikely to be transmitted through casual contact and will most likely only be contracted by people with close, prolonged contact with an infected person.

WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS?

This new virus has non-specific symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Typically, coronavirus infections manifest as the common cold. Symptoms can include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever. Young babies may contract gastrointestinal disease. Severe cases involve pneumonia, kidney failure and even death.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said the risk of spreading the infection only arises once symptoms appear.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SUSPECT INFECTION?

Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if you are worried about symptoms or have travelled to a region where severe coronaviruses are known to occur.

If you have mild cold-like symptoms, health officials encourage you to stay home while sick and avoid close contact to help protect others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and be sure to throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

HOW ABOUT FACE MASKS? WOULD THOSE HELP PROTECT ME?

No. Numerous doctors say wearing face masks can be useful in preventing the spread of coronavirus if worn by someone who’s already infected, but say they offer limited value to those who are healthy. They say washing hands regularly offers better protection, noting that such a step is recommended irrespective of coronavirus since flu season is in full swing.

WHERE DO I LOOK FOR RELIABLE INFORMATION?

Health officials caution people against posting or spreading misinformation about the new coronavirus on social media. They direct those looking for reliable information to Health Canada’s website, https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus.html, or the sites of the provincial health agencies, which are updated daily.

Social media companies including Facebook are working to remove false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by global and local health authorities.

If you are unsure about whether to trust information you find online, the organization News Media Canada suggests asking these four questions: Is it a credible source? Is the perspective biased? Are other sources reporting the same story? Is the story timely?

— Sources: Health Canada, Public Health Ontario, World Health Organization, News Media Canada, various public statements and interviews

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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China: Death Toll From Coronavirus Rises To 2345 – Eurasia Review

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China’s National Health Commission said 2,345 people have died in the country from the new coronavirus, which has infected 76,288 people, CNBC reports.

Thousands of DuPont employees are working around the clock to increase production of protective garments that are in high demand by first responders and medical workers in high-impact regions like Wuhan, China. The protective suits are used by health professionals during the outbreaks to reduce the risk of infection. Reports from China show workers running low on safety supplies including garments and masks.

South Korean health officials confirmed another 87 cases, bringing the country’s total to 433.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 62 of the 87 new cases stem from the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu. It also said three of the 87 new cases stemmed from another large cluster tied to the Cheongdo Daenam Hospital.

As reported earlier, an elderly man in the northern city of Padua has died after being infected with the coronavirus, becoming the first Italian victim of the disease, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday, February 21.

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Coronavirus symptoms: How the COVID-19 disease progresses day by day – Business Insider – Business Insider

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It starts with a fever. That’s the most common symptom among patients who get the new coronavirus that has swept across China.

A recent study of nearly 140 patients at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University identified a typical pattern of symptoms associated with the virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19. Around 99% of the patients developed a high temperature, while more than half experienced fatigue and a dry cough. About a third also experienced muscle pain and difficulty breathing.

Research from the Chinese Center for Disease Control suggests that around 80% of coronavirus cases are mild. Around 15% of patients have gotten severe cases, and 5% have become critically ill.

Here’s how symptoms progress among typical patients:

  • Day 1: Patients run a fever. They may also experience fatigue, muscle pain, and a dry cough. A small minority of them may have had diarrhea or nausea one to two days before.
  • Day 5: Patients may have difficulty breathing – especially if they are older or have a preexisting health condition.
  • Day 7: This is how long it takes, on average, before patients are admitted to a hospital, according to the Wuhan University study.
  • Day 8: At this point, patients with severe cases (15%, according to the Chinese CDC) develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), an illness that occurs when fluid builds up the lungs. ARDS is often fatal.
  • Day 10: If patients have worsening symptoms, this is the time in the disease’s progression when they’re most likely to be admitted to the ICU. These patients probably have more abdominal pain and appetite loss than patients with milder cases. Only a small fraction die: The current fatality rate hovers around 2%.
  • Day 17: On average, people who recover from the virus are discharged from the hospital after two-and-a-half weeks.

However, the first symptoms might not come right after a person has been infected. Lauren Ancel Meyers, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas at Austin, told Business Insider that a typical patient may be infected without showing symptoms for five or more days.

Once symptoms do appear, they can be similar to pneumonia. But Paras Lakhani, a radiologist at Thomas Jefferson University, told Business Insider that the way COVID-19 can worsen over time distinguishes it from pneumonia.

„Pneumonia usually doesn’t rapidly progress,“ Lakhani said. „Typically, most hospitals will treat with antibiotics and patients will stabilize and then start to get better.“

Coronavirus patients, however, can get worse even after they receive treatment such as fluids or steroids. One case study found that three days after a 33-year-old woman started receiving treatment at a hospital in Lanzhou, her case was more pronounced than when she arrived.

In total, the new coronavirus has killed more than 2,200 people and infected more than 76,000. It originated in Wuhan, central China’s most populous city, and has since spread to 29 other countries. The majority of cases are still located on the Chinese mainland.

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Coronavirus, Covid-19, Could Become The Deadliest Virus Ever

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Although a new trend of the virus seems to say that the number of new cases of Covid-19 is going down, it can’t be considered a step closer to the end of it. For the past 14-days, the number of new cases reported has fallen outside the epicenter of the outbreak. The new coronavirus might change its turn and burst again, possibly even more fiercely. One can never know what course it might take, so al the precautions must remain active.

Statistics don’t help to understand the dramatism of the new pandemic. While the mortality rate of Covid-19 is smaller than the two former killing viruses, SARS and MERS, the number of individual deaths is overwhelmingly higher: over 1800 people. Only five of the deaths occurred outside China.

That is higher than the number of victims SARS and MERS together. 774 deaths caused by SARS and at least 828 by MERS. If one looks at the rates, it might believe that Covid-19 is gentler than its relatives: 2.3% mortality rate of Covid-19 as opposed to 9.6% that of SARS or the 35% that of MERS.

The new coronavirus, Covid-19, spreads faster than flu and SARS

Influenza kills 290,000 to 350,000 each year, but its mortality rate is 0.1%, as it infects millions of people. Covid-19 spreads at full speed, more than 72,000 infected people were reported. This makes it the most contagious virus of the three. Confirmation of infection has been also made on asymptomatic patients. One of the most exposed parts of the population is the medical staff: over 3000 cases of infection.

Also, 889 people showing no symptoms caught the virus, and that poses even more threat to the healthy population. Older people, as well as the ones with cardiovascular affections, are the ones highly exposed to the fatality of the illness, studies reveal.

“In 2% of reported cases, the virus is fatal, and the risk of death increases the older you are. We see relatively few cases among children. More research is needed to understand why,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.

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