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Don’t ignore a cold, cough or fever

Staff Reporter / 8 March 2014

Coronavirus comes from a large family of viruses causing illness in humans and animals.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, also known as Coronavirus (Mers-CoV), is an infectious respiratory disease, and is the topic of discussion by health professionals as it causes a number of death occurrences in the region.

It may or may not be due to a human source of infection or direct contact and exposure to animals. Very recently, it was discovered there was a possibility of Coronavirus to originate from bats, but the virus has also been found in camels.

Coronavirus was first detected in Saudi Arabia, and later on it was also detected in France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Tunisia and United Kingdom. It is termed as the Middle East respiratory virus as majority of the cases reported of Coronavirus are from the Middle East.

Some of the symptoms of Mers -CoV are: Acute, serious respiratory illness with fever, cough shortness of breath and breathing difficulty and can also lead to pneumonia, diarrhea and kidney failure. The virus, which usually starts off as a severe common cold, is known to be quite deadly, and is constantly mutating and spreading from one person to the other, infecting thousands of people.

Dr Rismon Hakkim, Aster Jubilee Medical Complex, Bur Dubai, said: “Coronavirus comes from a large family of viruses causing illness in humans and animals. The scary bit is that nobody knows the source or cause of Coronavirus.”

“A lot of people do not consider it important to meet a doctor when they have a common cold, cough or fever and try over the counter treatments, but it is important for them to visit the doctor and get the proper medication for it. It can spread from sick people to other normal people and even animals. It is important to keep monitoring the severity and instances of its occurrence.”

Dr Rismon added: “There is a relation between those who suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart problems and those who have a weaker immune system to be more prone towards Coronavirus. With UAE having a high rate of population suffering from these conditions, it is important for patients to take extra care and provide immediate attention towards cough, cold and flu.”

The treatment depends on the patient’s medical condition, and there is no vaccine for it. Doctors, scientists and researchers are working on finding out the exact cause and treatment of Coronavirus.

Dr Rismon said, “Wash hands regularly and do not sneeze or cough without covering your mouth and nose. Those who wear eye contacts should also take precautions and clean their lenses well. One should avoid sharing the same towels and drinking glass with someone suffering from any respiratory disease.”


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