In January, scientists announced that a new virus known as SARS-CoV-2 has erupted, and Wuhan, China is responsible for an outbreak of respiratory disease.
Since then, the novel coronavirus got into the roots, affecting hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
From that day onwards, we are learning something about the coronavirus that has caused the first pandemic – H1N1 swine flu – in the 2009 pandemic.
Let’s see what unexpected facts that doctors are learning about SARS-CoV-2.
- Anosmia (loss of smell) is a symptom of COVID-19.
Apart from some of the most commonly reported symptoms – fever, cough, and shortness of breath – of COVID-19, healthcare providers have also noticed a few unusual symptoms, like the decreased sense of taste (ageusia) and loss of smell (anosmia).
30% of people in South Korea who tested positive for the virus said that they lost their smell; even in Germany, 2 out of 3 confirmed cases were found the loss of smell and taste.
So, if anyone has experienced a sudden loss of smell or taste, get yourself isolated and contact your healthcare provider.
- Coronavirus can make babies ill, but they aren’t significant spreaders.
Compared to adults, children are less likely to get contracted the novel coronavirus; a report from China suggests that the very young are way more vulnerable than older children, but no child died of it.
When it comes to influenza, children pass it along, but this is not the case with coronaviruses, even in a school setting; it means children are playing a marginal role in the epidemic.
- SARS-CoV-2 binds tightly to human cells.
The virus that caused SARS in 2003 is similar to the one that causes COVID-19 – so, why SARS-CoV-2 is so hard to stop?
According to doctors, it binds 10 to 20 times more tightly to human cells than its previous microbes.
- The COVID-19 virus lives for days on surfaces.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus travels from one person to another, directly (which is why it is recommended to maintain at least a 6-foot distance) or via an intermediate surface.
Researchers found that the virus can live up to;
- 2 to 3 days on plastic and steel surfaces,
- 24 hours on cardboard,
- Seventeen days on the surfaces of the Diamond Princess Cruise ship after passengers disembarked.
- People without symptoms can spread the virus.
One-third of the Japanese citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, in February that tested positive for the infection never developed any symptoms; reportedly, more than half of infected children had no symptoms.
That’s good news for those individuals who are being affected, but bad news for public health because having no symptoms means the infected person would never know how deadlier he is – not to himself and for his close family members only, but also for others.
And, that’s the reason why Public health officials are asking people to dramatically limit social distancing to prevent the unintentional spread of disease.
- People with blood group A are more susceptible.
A Chinese study of 2,173 hospitalized individuals found that the proportion of sick people having type A blood was greater than researchers would expect based on the ratio of the general population of blood group A. The study also suggests that there were fewer people with type O blood than expected.
These findings could be coincidental; we need more studies.
Look for them, and act intelligently before it’s too late!