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The Sleeping Giant: Coronavirus

By Diamay Klem Balacuit | Feature Writer

Vol. XCI No. 16

Jan. 24, 2020

The sleeping giant is now again waking up, ready to cause havoc to people from different forms of life. It is the Coronavirus. 

The Coronavirus

The Coronaviruses, according to World Health Organization (WHO), is a family of viruses that has an image the same as a solar corona under an electron microscope. These cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These are common in the animals and are transmissible to humans — posing a threat to all. 

The MERS and SARS Coronaviruses posed a great risk to humankind when these were discovered years ago and became a pandemic. World efforts were done before just to end the pandemic. The world’s nightmare came to resurface again when this sleeping giant, is now welcoming its new member — the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCov) or the Wuhan Coronavirus. 

Novel Coronavirus is a new strain of coronaviruses that infected almost 2,000 humans and caused more than 80 deaths where most of these cases come from China. The said virus is believed to originate from wild animals such as bats that are seen at the wet markets of Wuhan City, China — the place where the first case of this infection came out.

How bad it is

Some experts have stated that Wuhan Coronavirus is not as deadly as other types of coronavirus such as SARS and MERS, yet this can still cause harm to the people. When a person is infected with the virus, signs such as respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties will show. In more severe cases, symptoms such as pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and even death will happen to a person infected with this virus. The incubation period of this virus lasts up to 14 days and the symptoms will only show after that period. 

The human-to-human transmission typically happens when an infected person sneezes and coughs. The tiny droplets of this virus then passed on to others through shaking hands, touching a surface that has the virus on it, and then touching one’s hands, mouth, or eyes. Fecal contamination also spreads this virus in which it rarely happens. 

Prevention is better than cure

With the influx of tourists coming in and out of the country, the chances of human-to-human transmission of this virus pose a great risk to all. People with weak immune systems and respiratory illnesses are the most vulnerable in combating this virus. Different actions had already taken place just to ensure that this virus will not spread anymore such as the Chinese authorities’ order of total lockdown to Wuhan City and its nearby places. 

In order for us to get away from this deadly virus, many health agencies issued public advisories. Here are some ways to prevent this virus to contaminate us and others:


  • Maintain proper hygiene


Proper hygiene is always the number one prevention when it comes to contamination of different diseases and infections. In order to have a low risk of contracting the coronavirus, maintain proper hygiene such as washing hands after touching surfaces or animals. Paying attention to cleanliness is a must. 


  • Practice cough etiquette


The best way to isolate the spread of this viral infection is to properly wear a mask such as n95 when coughing and sneezing. In this way, tiny droplets will be contained and will not be passed to others. 


  • Boost up the body’s immune system


Having a weak immune system makes someone vulnerable to any infectious disease. Boosting up the body’s immune system can be done by eating proper meals and taking up supplements. 


  • When having flu or any sickness, have a medical check-up


Seeking medication and getting proper assessment is a must when a person is having a fever, cough, or experiencing any symptoms from this virus. Possible exposure to a patient who traveled from China also poses a high risk. 

The Wuhan Coronavirus is a great risk to humankind. Prevention is always better to end this risk.


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