The new coronavirus (Covid-19) has spread to almost every country in the world since its appearance in China earlier this year. More than 2.79 million people are infected and more than 195,000 deaths have been recorded, including 19,506 in the United Kingdom.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the leap in humans, but most simply cause cold symptoms.
Covid-19 is closely linked to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which swept the world from 2002 to 2003. This virus infected approximately 8,000 people and killed approximately 800, but it was largely depleted quickly. because most of those infected were seriously ill. so it was easier to control.
Another coronavirus is Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), the cases of which have occurred sporadically since its onset in 2012 – there have been around 2,500 cases and nearly 900 deaths.
Covid-19 differs from these two other coronaviruses in that the spectrum of the disease is broad, with approximately 80 percent of cases leading to mild infection. Many people can also carry the disease and have no symptoms, which makes it even more difficult to control.
So far, approximately 20% of Covid-19 cases have been classified as “serious” and the current mortality rate varies between 0.7% and 3.4% depending on location and, most importantly, access to good hospital care.