How to protect yourself from the coronavirus? 


After it has broken off in China at the end of last year and in the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus has been spreading rapidly throughout the planet. The number of infected in over 90 countries of the world is as high as 125,000 people, of which 3,980 died.
In December 2019, a grouping of pneumonia patients was noticed in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The patients developed symptoms that included high fever and difficult breathing. In the beginning, epidemiologically speaking, they were connected to visiting the city market Huanan which is a wholesale market with sea and many other animals. As the agent for this new disease, the new coronavirus 2019 was identified (COVID-19 or CoronaVirus Disease-19). It is caused by the infection SARS-CoV-2 and  it belongs to the same coronavirus family as SARS-CoV. In January 2020, individual cases of a disease caused by coronavirus were confirmed in other Chinese cities and provinces, as well as other countries (e.g. Singapore, Malesia, Australia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Europe, USA, Canada). 
The disease spread rapidly through Europe and has affected many countries such as Italy, France, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Croatia and Slovenia. Soon after that, the virus spread to almost all European countries (except Ciprus). On January 30, the World Health Organization held a meeting of the Emergency Committee where it has been decided that this disease is to be pronounced as an emergency threat to the public health of international significance (Public Health Emergency of International Concern – PHEIC). Proclaiming this disease to be a PHEIC doesn't significantly change the advice given by the World Health Organization regarding the measures of preventing any further spread of the virus. Actually, those measures enable better international coordination. All countries need to implement these measures within reasonable limits in order to lower the risk of the disease's entry and spread among its population.  

virus Since we are talking about a new, up-to-now-unknown virus, there are still no available vaccines for this disease.  Among the infected countries, the number of patients are the following: China (82,768), South Korea (6,900), Italy ( 9590), Iran (5,958), Japan (492) and Singapore (187 ) . It is very difficult to give precise information because the situation changes on a daily basis.
The exact way that the new virus entered the human population as well as its mode of spreading from man to man are not yet certain. We are still not able to say whether the infected people consumed inadequately thermically processed food of animal source, if the virus is spread via the respiratory system or by a direct contact (by inputting the infected material, secretion or animal blood via the mucosa or skin) or some other way. The assumption is that the first patients were infected by a virus from an animal source, a kind that was illegally sold on the market.
The transmission path from man to man also isn't certain. It is highly likely that the virus is spread in a droplet way (by a direct contact with the patient's secretion) and by air (by breathing in the contagious germs). It is not known to which extent the disease can be spread in a fecal-oral way (if the patient's feces enter the digestive tract via dirty hands, contaminated foods or water), in a sexual way or by blood.
In most cases, the disease starts and ends in the lungs. The virus is further transmitted by coughing or sneezing out the germs. In the beginning, the symptoms are similar to the ones of a cold: the patient feels a fever and is coughing. The illness is characterized by a high body temperature and a cough, and in more difficult cases, pneumonia with difficulty in breathing and shortage of air can be developed.
It is important to note that the older population is at a higher risk and gets sick more often.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared their safety measures which help people protect themselves from the coronavirus, as follows: ·         wearing a mask over the mouth in the event of an infection;
·         avoiding close contact with people who suffer from an acute respiratory infection;
·         avoiding close contact with farm and wild animals in areas that are affected by the virus;
·         washing hands frequently (and disinfect your hands), especially after direct contact with those people who are ill or if one has stayed in their vicinity; ·        
 thermically processing meat and eggs;  ·       
  placing a tissue over one's mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.  

Most countries use a protocol by which they are able to discover the infected at a very early stage, put them into isolation, do the laboratory diagnostics and have a complete medical supervision over the patients in order to detect the secondary cases of the illness at a very early stage.
Some countries (China, South Korea, Iran and Italy) have introduced very restrictive measures such as preventing travel and movement into the infected areas. So, in those and in many other countries, very restrictive measures are already being imposed in order to prevent the spread of the disease. In those areas, schools will remain closed as well as all ski resorts and public events. Apart from that, museums, gyms (sports centres), pools, theaters as well as competitions held in public will be closed and postponed. All health professionals' vacations and annual leaves will be discontinued, weddings will be cancelled as well as funerals and sports events. Work from home will be implemented whenever possible. All persons for whom a doubt of infection exists will be placed into quarantine and its duration will depend on the medical assessment of each patient. We are yet to see how the virus is going to effect the economy.

virus  Photo – patients and doctors practice Tai Chi in a hospital in Wuhan  

In case the symptoms which resemble respiratory illness appear before, during or after a trip, the WHO instructs passengers to seek medical help.
Since there are many unknown ways of how the virus is transferred, passengers in international transport and/or who are travelling to infected areas are advised to do the following: avoid close contact with persons who seem to have an acute respiratory infection;
wash your hands frequently (and disinfect your hands), especially after having a direct contact with sick people or their surroundings. If the contact is unavoidable, use a surgical mask to cover your mouth and nose, do not touch your eyes, mouth and nose after touching the sick person and, by all means, wash or disinfect your hands after contacting the patient; avoid contact with live or dead animals, no matter if they are farm or wild animals; consume properly thermically prepared food, if possible, straight after it has been cooked. Properly wash and peel vegetables and fruit and drink bottled water without any ice;   passengers who have symptoms of an acute respiratory illness should cover their nose and mouth with disposable tissues and regularly wash their hands;  if a passenger who is currently in international transport gets sick, it is advised that he doesn't travel any further during the illness. There are several reasons for this: the fatigue caused by travel can worsen the passenger's health condition; in some countries, he or she will not be allowed to board the vehicle (plane, ship, train, bus) if it is recognized that he or she is ill because there is a chance that he will transfer the virus to other passengers; if a passenger gets sick during international transport, he or she should notify the staff of his or her symptoms so that they could ensure a peaceful and comfortable travel to the patient as well as, if necessary, means of protection (surgical mask), therapy (antipyretic, analgetic) and make sure that the patient is welcomed by a medical staff once he or she reaches his or her destination; if within 14 days since he has left the infected area the passenger develops a fever, a cough and/or has difficulty breathing, he or she should consult with his or her doctor and let him know that he travelled to and has spent some time these areas within the last 14 days.

The purpose of urgently contacting your doctor, if you have been in contact with people in the infected area and have developed a fever with respiratory problems, is because that way the medical professional can make an early diagnosis of the disease and determine its real cause (a cold, flu or perhaps the coronavirus). If the illness is treated early and properly, the transfer among people who are in close contact will be avoided and securing a proper medical supervision over the persons who were in contact with the patient will be possible. The person who is returning from the infected area or a person who thinks that he or she might be infected with the coronavirus can announce his or her arrival to the doctor by phone in order to avoid staying in the waiting room and to determine the mode of arrival (it is not advised that this type of patient travels with public transport). If he or she knows who should be contacted, the person can even call an epidemiologist who is responsible for that area.
According to recent information, 82% of the infected showed mild symptoms, while the rest of the cases are severely ill or in critical condition. The disease starts in a way that the coronavirus quickly attacks lung cells. There are two types of cells present: those who produce mucus and those who have tiny hairs (cilia) thanks to which they clean the airways. The mucus protects the lungs from pathogens and makes impossible for them to dry up, whereas the cells with cilia remove pollen and viruses. Just like SARS, the coronavirus attacks those cells and permits liquids and other particles to enter the lungs.

Since the viral intruder is present, our immune system is activated and an inflammation occurs. It is usually located just in one place. Still, an overly strong reaction of the organism to the viral infection can arise so our immune system starts to destroy everything in its sight, including healthy tissue.
This is where we enter the final phase. The destruction of the lungs carries on and can have a deadly outcome. If the patient survives, permanent damage is possible.
Some patients experience diarrhea and stomachache, however, we still do not have any information if gastrointestinal symptoms are prevalent if the infection occurs. If you are asking yourself what is the connection between an airways disease with the stomach and intestines, the answer is in the nature of every virus which attaches itself to a protein that a person carries into his or her organism. Therefore, the stomach is a safe way to enter the human body. While the immune system is having a very strong reaction to the infection, other systems within the human body can also be affected by the coronavirus. In rare cases, patients have suffered from a heart attack as well as an acute kidney damage. Viruses that are transmitted from an animal to man, which is the case with the coronavirus, frequently damage the liver as well.

Here is some medical advice regarding the coronavirus:

1. The viral cell is of substantial size (400-500 nm) so any kind of surgical mask should be able to filter it (not just a N95 type). However, when an infected person sneezes in front of you, the cell needs to go over as far as 3 meters (10 feet) before it falls on the ground and is no longer in the air.

2. When the virus attacks a metal surface, it will survive at least for another 12 hours. So remember, if you come into contact with any kind of metal surface, properly wash your hands with soap (and disinfect your hands).

3. The virus can remain active in fabric for 6-12 hours. An average detergent should kill the virus. Winter type of clothes which doesn't require everyday washing can be placed outside in the sun in order to kill the virus.  

Furthermore, here are some of the symptoms of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus:

1. First, it will infect the throat so you will have the feeling of a dry throat which will last for 3-4 days. 

2. The virus will enter the nasal fluid as well as the nasal cavity and then go further down to the lungs causing pneumonia. This progression will last from 5 to 6 days.

3. Along with pneumonia, fever and difficulty breathing will also occur. Blowing your nose will not feel as usual. You will feel like you are drowning. It is important to seek emergency medical attention if you feel this way.

As far as prevention goes:

1. One of the most common ways to become infected is by touching objects in public. Because of this, it is paramount to wash one's hands frequently (and disinfect your hands). The virus can live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but a lot of things can happen in that period (you could accidentally rub your eyes or pick your nose).

2. Beside washing your hands, you can take Betadine in order to reduce or remove the chance of developing germs in your throat (before they spread to the lungs).

If you have a cold and have excessive sputum, you can rule out the new type of coronavirus because its pneumonic infection is characterized by a dry cough without a runny nose. This is the simplest way to identify it.
Also, this time, the virus from Wuhan is not immune to heat and will be destroyed at a temperature of 26-27 degrees Celsius. So, try to drink as many hot beverages as you can in order to prevent the illness. Drinking hot liquids (tea, milk, coffee) is beneficial for all viral infections. Go out on the sun as much as you can. Eat soup more often. Avoid drinking beverages with ice. You can also use cinnamon for which we know to be a natural remedy for the flu and cold. Also, panicking and piling up groceries is unnecessary. virus  Photo – Heiyoshin dojo

The area you are staying in, especially sports halls, gyms and sports centers, should be aerated as much as possible, clean them frequently and make sure that all the usable equipment and props are thoroughly cleaned (and disinfect). Using a surgical mask is advisable. Thermal cameras (Dahua technology) are used in order to detect the infected persons more quickly. They are set in many focal points in China, Hong Kong and Korea and help control and prevent the epidemic. So while the public is, on one side, underestimating the danger of the flu, it is at the same time easy to overestimate the danger of the new coronavirus because of its intense media focus on it. We can hope that the virus will have all the characteristics of a seasonal disease and will simply be gone once late Spring arrives.

  All the Best from Croatia Yours sincerely                                                            David “Sensei“ Stainko – Mag. of  k
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Posted By: Sensei David Stainko Prof. of kinesiology - Master 8th MMS
Sensei David Stainko Kiai