What are the known characteristics of emerging infectious diseases, and how should we face it correctly? Wu Chao, deputy dean of Nanjing Gulou Hospital, chief physician and professor of the Infectious Diseases Department, brought an authoritative interpretation.
- What kind of virus is the new coronavirus?
Coronavirus can only infect vertebrates and is related to many diseases of humans and animals. It can cause diseases of the respiratory system, digestive system and nervous system. There are 6 types of coronaviruses previously known to infect humans, among which the more well-known are Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-associated Coronavirus (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-associated Coronavirus (SARS). The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is the seventh coronavirus that can infect humans. Compared with the SARS virus, the gene has mutations, which leads to a decrease in its ability to bind to human proteins.
Academician Zhong Nanshan, head of the high-level expert group of the National Health and Medical Commission, also told everyone that “new coronavirus pneumonia is not the same as SARS. It is not as contagious and is not as virulent.”
From the analysis of epidemiological data, 2019-nCoV may be derived from wild animals, but it is not clear which kind of wild animals it is. Cases of human-to-human transmission have been found, and the route of transmission has not been determined, but WHO (World Health Organization) recommends droplet prevention and contact prevention, and air transmission prevention if necessary. Judging from the current patients, the majority are middle-aged patients, and a few are young and elderly patients.
- What are the characteristics of new coronavirus pneumonia?
Judging from the current cases, most of the patients have a history of living or traveling in Wuhan, and a very small number are close contacts of the case, including medical staff. If you have neither been to Wuhan nor contacted with a confirmed case of new coronavirus pneumonia within two weeks, the chance of getting sick is relatively small.
The main manifestations of new coronavirus pneumonia are fever, fatigue, and dry cough, and dyspnea gradually occurs in about a week, and critically ill patients will have respiratory failure and shock. Early blood tests will find that the total number of white blood cells is normal or decreased, and the lymphocyte count is decreased. Full chest radiograph or chest CT will also find some changes in pneumonia. There may also be abnormalities in liver function, myocardial enzyme spectrum, and blood coagulation.
If there is a history of living or traveling in Wuhan within two weeks, a history of contact with fever patients from Wuhan, or a clear cluster of illnesses in the surrounding population, the above symptoms appear, and blood tests and chest imaging conform to the above findings, it is suspected The patient needs to be further confirmed by 2019-nCoV virus nucleic acid test.
- What kind of people need medical treatment?
If you have just returned from Wuhan, you can take your own temperature. If you have fever, cough, etc., you should wear a mask and go to the nearest second-level and above general hospitals that have fever clinics. If you are notified by the CDC that you are a close contact of a confirmed case, you need to stay home or quarantine for medical observation. If you have fever or other discomfort during the period, please contact the medical observation manager at any time.
- Can this type of pneumonia be cured?
Even if the diagnosis is confirmed, don’t be afraid or despair. Although there are no specific antiviral drugs, WHO and the National Health Commission have formulated a complete set of diagnosis and treatment plans for the new coronavirus pneumonia based on SARS and other treatment experience. After treatment, most patients can be cured and the prognosis is good. There are only a few critically ill cases leading to death, all of which are Hubei cases, and most of them are elderly patients and patients with severe underlying diseases.
Professor Wu Chao said that the Spring Festival is approaching and it is undeniable that population migration may increase the risk of infection of the new coronavirus pneumonia, but now the country has a very good foundation for comprehensive prevention and control, so don’t panic too much.
How should individuals prevent
There is no vaccine against this new type of coronavirus, but paying attention to personal protection can effectively reduce the chance of illness:
- Pay attention to hand hygiene, wash hands with running water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after going home. Do not scratch your eyes, nose, etc. after touching public goods;
- Keep indoor air circulation, avoid closed, poorly ventilated public places and crowded places. If you go to the hospital or accompany you to see a doctor, it is recommended to wear a mask that meets the protective standards;
- Maintain adequate sleep, balanced nutrition and reasonable exercise to enhance immunity;
- Do not eat game, do not touch wild animals;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has respiratory symptoms as much as possible.