According to the New York Times, China’s Health Commission reported 361 deaths nationwide due to the 2019-nCoV outbreak as of Feb 2, 2020. The Coronavirus outbreak is very serious. It’s not just China’s problem anymore; it has captured the world’s attention. The Coronavirus is detected in other countries prompting the Chinese government to quarantine, Wuhan, the world’s seventh-largest city.
The virus spreads via aerosol and direct contact. The latest reports also indicate that the ocular route is a key mechanism for infection. This has sparked new interest in copper-infused clothing, which has shown promising results in killing the virus.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus belongs to a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. This virus is known to infect people to cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe ones such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new strain of Coronavirus that causes severe respiratory diseases and was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019.
What are the common symptoms of Coronavirus?
2019-nCoV infection can cause mild symptoms, such as sore throat, runny nose, fever, and cough. It can be severe or even fatal in some people, leading to pneumonia, difficulty in breathing, and death.
Who is at risk for Coronavirus infections?
While there is much to learn about how 2019-nCoV affects people, the following appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus:
- Older people
- People with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
- People living or travelling in an area where the 2019-nCoV virus is circulating (at present, the virus is dominant in China).
- People who have recently travelled from China or who have been in close contact with those travellers.
- Health workers who are responsible for taking care of people who are infected with 2019-nCoV.
How are Coronavirus infections diagnosed?
Doctors analyse the patient’s respiratory specimens and the serum isolated from the blood to test for Coronavirus infections. Although diagnostic tests for the novel Coronavirus are being developed, its accuracy and specificity for the virus are not yet verified. Once that’s confirmed, these diagnostic kits will be available in the healthcare facilities worldwide.
What are the treatments for Coronavirus infections? Can Coronavirus infections be prevented?
There is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the novel Coronavirus. However, people infected with 2019-nCoV should receive optimised supportive care to relieve and treat symptoms.
How to protect yourself from getting infected with the Coronavirus
- Wash your hands with soap and water often, or use an alcohol-based hand rub to eliminate the virus if it is present on your hands.
- Maintain social distancing of at least 3 feet or 1 metre between yourself and other people, especially from the ones with cold symptoms. A person infected with 2019-nCoV can project small droplets of the virus when they sneeze or cough, and if you are too close, you can easily breathe in the virus.
- If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing, seek medical help immediately. Let your healthcare know if you have travelled from China or have been in close contact with someone who is from China or has been to China and is suffering from respiratory symptoms. It’s essential to get prompt medical attention if you have respiratory symptoms, especially you have a travel history, directly or indirectly, to or within China.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Your hands touch many things or surfaces that can be contaminated with the virus. If the contaminated hands touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, the virus can be easily transmitted into your system. In order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, one should wear copper-infused gloves or masks.
Copper has been known for its anti-microbial powers for more than a century. Now, technology allows the metal to be woven into fabrics. Copper-infused clothing like face masks and gloves can combat the transmission of this virus.
Can copper-infused fabric kill Coronavirus? It can, says a study conducted by Dr. Brill and Dr. Steinmann
Copper Clothing Limited, is a company that incorporates anti-microbial copper formulations into fabrics, such as beds, bed sheets, socks, masks, gloves, pyjamas, etc., and sells them to consumers. In 2014, it funded research to test the effectiveness of virucidal activity of the copper fabric on bovine Coronavirus. The test was conducted by an in-house method of Dr. Brill + Partner GmbH Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology. The virucidal activity of the treated material was evaluated by comparing the virucidal activity of the non-treated material. The study found that copper-infused fabric can effectively fight the virus and kill it.