By - Adedoyin Shittu
Corona viruses Covid-19 make up a large family of viruses that can infect birds and mammals, including humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Corona viruses circulate in a range of animals and can sometimes make the jump from animals to humans, via a process known as a “spillover”, which can occur due to a mutation in the virus, or increased contact between animals and humans.When these happen, it could lead to severe outbreak just like we are seeing.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS which originate from civet cats, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome MERS which originated from infected camels, are from the family of corona virus. While some corona viruses have caused devastating epidemics, others cause mild to moderate respiratory infections, like the common cold.
So far the mortality rate for COVID-19 has proven to be far lower than for SARS and MERS. COVID-19 has about 2% compared to around 10% mortality rate of the 8,437 people infected with SARS and 35% mortality rate of the 2494 people infected with MERS. However, the new virus appears to have spread more rapidly than its earlier cousins.
While the incubation period for COVIA-19 can last up to 24 days, the average incubation period of the virus is 3 days. However, it can take as little as one day and as long as 24 days for a patient to develop symptoms.
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