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What test is done for coronavirus?
The first test that samples of all suspected patients are sent for is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. If that is positive, the sample is sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune, which is the only government laboratory currently doing genome sequencing, for final confirmation. This final confirmatory test specific for the novel coronavirus was developed virtually overnight after the emergence of the disease.

Can masks contain the coronavirus infection?

Masks are effective in containing the spread of infection. Any person with a history of travel to affected areas or of contact with infected persons, and showing symptoms of the disease, should use a mask. It is also important for medical staff to use masks.

For the general population, it is not essential to use masks at the current moment. In fact, masks come with their own hazards. For a person with an existing medical condition, wearing a mask may inadvertently complicate the situation. Many experts have noted that people may wear a mask incorrectly, and they can increase the risk of infection by touching their face more often.

Coronavirus in India: Are hand sanitisers effective?

They are, provided they are alcohol-based and the alcohol content is more than 60%. The US Centres for Disease Control “recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.” Hand-washing, though, remains the first and best step, preferably with warm water.

Coronavirus outbreak: Is it safe to shake hands?

The virus can transmit itself via hand contact, especially if the infected person has coughed or sneezed into his own hands. As the number of people exposed to the virus goes up, and given the 14-day incubation period during which a person can stay asymptomatic but spread the disease, it may be better to use a hands-off greeting, such as a namaskar.

All about the Spread of Corona Virus

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, including some that cause the common cold to some that cause major diseases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
  • The coronavirus outbreak came to light when on December 31, 2019, China informed the World Health Organisation of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in Hubei province.
  • On January 9, 2020, WHO issued a statement saying Chinese researchers have made “preliminary determination” of the virus as a novel coronavirus.
  • The novel coronavirus has acquired the ability to spread among humans, with cases of human-to-human transmissions being reported first in Vietnam and Germany.
  • Coronavirus symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • The illness also causes lung lesions and pneumonia.
  • Milder cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold, making detection difficult.
  • Chinese researchers have shared the whole genome sequence of the novel coronavirus, however apart from some basic details, not much is known about the virus in terms of its source, precise duration of incubation, severity, and what makes it quite easily transmissible.
Q. Which of the following is an unusual feature of the replication cycle in coronaviruses? a) The RNAs all terminate in a common 3´ and produce nested set transcripts b) They take advantage of recombination with the long RNA genome c) They are not highly mutable d) They use capped cellular mRNA’s   Ans. A
Explanation: The 8 coronavirus sub genomic mRNA’s all terminate at the common 3´ end of the genome but start at various places from the 5´ end to produce a nested set of 3´co-terminal transcripts. The RNA is highly mutable and recombination occurs but not to high frequency.
Q. Describe the coronavirus structure. a) Club shaped glycoprotein spikes protrude through a lipid bilayer b) An icosahedral structure with an envelope c) An icosahedral large pleomorphic virus d) Large regimented barrel shaped virus   Ans. A
Explanation: Three glycoproteins protrude through the membrane and the virus is pleomorphic but there are no hints of an icosahedron or pox like barrel morphology.    
Q. Which of the following coronaviruses has caused thousands of deaths around the world as an ’emergent’ virus? a) MERS b) SARS c) OC43 d) HKU1   Ans. B
Explanation: Although MERS, OC43 and HKU1 can cause mortality, SARS holds the record at present with 800 or so deaths in the 2002 outbreak.
December 2023