The coronavirus keys

The bat, this cute little flying animal that some people hate and others love and that we can contemplate in the sunsets and nights throughout our planet, is a reservoir of potentially dangerous viruses.

Since January we have been able to see, through the media, as in the Wuhan Chinese city A new outbreak of respiratory infections caused by these agents has appeared. The virus, hitherto unknown, seems to be a coronavirus. Receive this name, not for belonging to the monarchy, but for being surrounded by a kind of crown when viewed through the electron microscope.

This virus can be a threat, since it has a great capacity for mutation. These can be dangerous, as they can grant you the ability to attack human beings or be transmitted from person to person. It seems that this is what is happening in this particular case.

The focus of contagion

Wuhan, which is a city in central China with more than 11 million inhabitants, is the epicenter of this new outbreak. For now, let it be known, since the Chinese authorities are very opaque, It has affected about 300 people with more than a dozen deaths. The focus seems to have been a fish and seafood market, since most cases have been related to it. It could be that at some point the virus passed from a bat to a product on the market – fish or shellfish – and from there to humans. After this, due to a mutation, he acquired the ability to spread between people.

Your symptoms

It is not the first time that coronaviruses produce a pandemic. In 2002 there was already one that affected 37 countries, more than 8000 people and produced hundreds of deaths, in Spain there was an affected. It seems that the current virus is less virulent than that of the previous outbreak, but by sequencing their genetic material it has been seen that they are related.

The symptoms it produces are similar to those of a cold, dry cough fever or accompanied by mucus, malaise or difficulty breathing. If it gets complicated it can produce pneumonia, which has been called Wuhan pneumonia. It is usually more severe in people over 65 or weakened by any circumstance, such as a chronic illness or treatment, chemotherapy, etc.

The current outbreak has already spread to several cities within China and also to Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and South Korea. Has also appeared a case in the US, in the state of Washington. This person had returned from a trip near the area of ​​the infectious outbreak. Just in case, in cities like New York, San Francisco and others are examining patients from the area for suspicious symptoms.

This Wednesday a WHO expert committee has met to assess the danger of the situation and try to anticipate and control the potential dangers of a new pandemic. It seems that in Europe we are taking it more calmly than our American neighbors. There are no direct flights between Wuhan and our country, those that exist are with a stopover in Hong Kong or Istanbul. It takes about 20 hours to reach Spain from this city, but with existing globalization, prevention is better than cure. It seems that there are already specific tests to detect the virus in real time, although the usual thing in the airports is to recognize travelers, coming from the zone, with compatible symptoms or fever by means of laser thermometers.

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