Coronavirus in humans: symptoms and treatment. Coronavirus MERS in humans
Middle Eastern respiratory coronavirus syndrome - this is the official name of this new and not fully studied disease. Doctors still do not know much about the infection, so by common efforts they are looking for new ways of its diagnosis and treatment. Epidemiologists are confident that the miraculous drug that will be able to defeat the coronavirus will be invented soon. No one doubts whether MERS is dangerous for people: the insidious virus leaves very little chance of survival.
Coronavirus: what is it?
MERS comes from the family of microbes Coronaviridai, which, in turn, has two branches. Until the 60s of the 20th century, two subtypes of the dangerous disease were considered exclusively bird infections, which affected the respiratory organs of birds, dogs, cats and other animals. And only then it turned out that the coronavirus could "live" in the human body.In humans, the symptoms were initially confused with the symptoms of a common cold, and only then did the doctors understand the danger that this disease bears.
Starting to investigate the microorganisms causing the infection, they found that they have specific villi on their shell. Their form is exactly the same contour of the solar corona during an eclipse - hence the name of the virus. It is these microbes that cause the majority of respiratory diseases in humans and animals. Epidemiologists shrug their shoulders with great regret: MERS is not yet amenable to effective treatment. Due to the fact that the vaccine against infection has not yet been invented, it quickly spread to Asia, Africa and Europe. Nowadays, the coronavirus has already been found in South Korea, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Tunisia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and other countries.
First cases of infection
For the first time, the MERS coronavirus was found in humans relatively recently: in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, an infected 60-year-old man died, and the doctors could not save him. The following case was registered in the same year, only in Qatar: the symptoms were confirmed in a 49-year-old patient.This time, doctors began to work more responsibly: they used professional modern laboratories. Connected and the World Health Organization, which sounded the alarm. Indeed, after the research, it became clear that scientists were faced with a completely new, unknown to science strain of the virus.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan suggested that the infection could spread and be modified faster than new methods and methods for its treatment would be invented. One of the countries that suffered the most from the coronavirus was South Korea. The epidemic raged here in the summer of 2015. According to the local Ministry of Health, about 3 thousand local residents were in quarantine. By the way, the mortality from infection is as much as 40%. Pensioners and people with weakened immunity are most susceptible to infection.
Ways of infection
The virus is transmitted by airborne droplets, like a common cold or flu. The possibility of infection is quite high, especially if there is a patient near you. Coughing and sneezing, it spreads the bacteria to a considerable distance: theoretically, the stay of one infected individual in the busenough to hurt a third of the passengers. If the contact is very close, then infection occurs in 50% of cases. The incubation period for coronavirus in humans is 7–14 days.
Why some individuals instantly pick up the infection, while others remain persistent even with numerous contacts with patients, remains unclear. Some doctors, despite the scale of the infection, say that its transfer from one person to another is rather limited. Otherwise, the virus could cause more global problems, finding the scale of a pandemic. It was also noted that infection usually occurs in hospitals when a person is treated completely from another disease. This confirms the theory that MERS usually affects a weak and weak body.
Signs of an acute respiratory disease cause a coronavirus in humans: the symptoms are similar to a cold or flu. At first, a sore throat appears: it is difficult for the patient to swallow, he coughs and feels a characteristic "scratching" in the upper respiratory tract. Then he has a fever, a severe headache, weakness, fatigue.In half the cases, a person has a stuffy nose, he suffers from rhinitis and constant sneezing. Symptoms may also develop in the lower respiratory system. In such cases, the patient complains of chest pain, wheezing, burning sensation inside. He may be tormented by a strong cough with prolonged seizures, as with bronchitis or pneumonia.
In children, the disease is more severe. In children, lymph nodes are often enlarged, the larynx greatly inflamed. If the infection has entered the intestine, symptoms of gastroenteritis develop. The MERS virus, like its simpler counterparts, is able to invade healthy cells, causing a strong intoxication of the body. In especially severe forms, when many internal organs are affected, they wear out in the fight against infection and stop working - in these cases, death is inevitable.
Signs of coronavirus in humans have a striking similarity with other infectious respiratory diseases. Therefore, the diagnosis is quite difficult. Usually, doctors use laboratory and differential methods.The first is able to detect the pathogen in biological material taken from the patient’s nasopharynx. During a comprehensive examination, physicians are obliged to exclude the presence of atypical pneumonia, ornithosis or legionellosis in a patient.
One of the first to learn how to recognize MERS Chinese scientists. They developed the test “15 minutes” - it is during this short period of time that it allows to detect the presence of infection in the body. It is said that the effectiveness of this method is 100%. The reagent was developed by specialists from Xiamen and Hong Kong universities. It works on the principle of determining antigens to the deadly virus. One medical officer is able to conduct about a thousand tests per day, while working with entire groups of patients.
Not yet invented the drug that could destroy the coronavirus in humans. Symptoms, treatment of the disease and even the ways of its transmission are not fully understood: scientists will have to work for more than one year in order to achieve significant progress in this matter. However, when the disease broke out in North Korea, an advertisement for a miraculous drug called Kymdan-2 was launched in the local media.According to the manufacturers, the main goal of the medicine is not to fight the virus, but to raise and strengthen the immunity, which itself can cope with the pathogen.
Kymdan-2 is a strong immunostimulant based on gold, platinum and ginseng. Many people call it a panacea for all diseases, without exception, including cancer and AIDS. Although most physicians are skeptical about the development of their Korean colleagues, calling them fraudsters, and the drug itself - advertising campaign, a way to cash in on the fake. Indeed, the efficacy of the drug has not been proven, therefore, it is wrong and incompetent to say that this remedy can be used for treatment.
Official treatment methods
As already mentioned, these days there is no tool that can destroy the coronavirus. Treatment of a person often consists in mechanical washing of the nasopharynx in order to clear it of mucus, in which pathogens multiply. Often the body itself resorts to similar self-treatment: the patient develops rhinitis. Some progress was achieved by using antiviral drugs containing alpha interferon or tablets that are used to fight hepatitis in therapy. However, positive dynamics was not always observed in all patients.
Often physicians resort to glucocorticoids, but their effectiveness is also not proven. During the epidemic, Ribavirin and Oseltamivir were also used, which are often prescribed for influenza and acute respiratory infections. Doctors argue that it is appropriate and oxygen therapy, as well as carrying out detoxification of the body. Doctors also prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic: Ceftriaxone or Levofloxacin. Promising are inhalation mixtures that contain surfactants. It spreads over the surface of the pulmonary alveoli and prevents their walls from sticking together.
The peak of the epidemic in Asia fell on May-June 2015. It was then that the human coronavirus showed itself in all its glory: the symptoms of a dangerous disease were found in 1321 patients, of which 466 cases were fatal. South Korea's infection hit hard. About 200 people suffered here, about two dozen residents died, and did not cope with the pathogen. Usually, the infection was “grabbed” by weakened people who did not have strong immunity or had recently suffered another disease. Patients with hepatic and renal insufficiency were also at risk — it was extremely difficult to treat them, since such patients were banned from potent injections.
Now the epidemic has subsided. Cases of infection almost do not register. Despite this, Asians still use the maximum means of protection: they take complexes of vitamins and microelements, as well as immunostimulating preparations. This will at least partially protect them from a possible new outbreak of the disease.
The situation in Russia
As for our country, after the reports circulated in the world media about the confident procession of the virus across the expanses of the planet, Russians began to worry. Questions about whether the infection will reach the Russian Federation sounded at every turn. Journalists, quoting doctors, wrote that this is unlikely. However, later experts from Rospotrebnadzor reported that no one could give a 100% guarantee of the absence of a pathogen in Russia. Therefore, in our state began to take all sorts of precautions to protect citizens from dangerous bacteria.
First, sanitary control was strengthened to the maximum level. Secondly, to exclude the human MERS coronavirus, the symptoms of any cold and flu were checked very carefully. Doctors took patients with acute respiratory infections to a special control, constantly analyzing their condition and the course of the disease.Thirdly, it was recommended to all citizens of the country to refrain from traveling to the East, especially to South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, where the epidemic was raging. Even those countries in which a single case of infection was discovered fell under the harsh taboo.
Doctors advise people who want to avoid infection, carefully follow the rules of hygiene, especially if you are visiting countries of the East. When washing your hands, use anti-bacterial soap or disinfecting wipes. If possible, avoid places where there is a large crowd of people. As the common cold begins coronavirus in humans. Symptoms, as soon as they are discovered, should be exactly described by the therapist. Only a doctor can ascertain the presence or absence of infection in the body.
If you feel even mild ailment, immediately contact the nearest medical facility. In the event that the disease is officially confirmed, agree to hospitalization and complete isolation. Use protective masks and shawls to avoid infecting personnel. Follow all recommendations of doctors and follow their instructions exactly. Remember that the prevention of coronavirus is more effective than any treatment.So take care of yourself and be healthy.