Section 1 â€“ Typical Case
Research the characteristics of a typical case associated with the pathogen you have chosen to analyze.
Coronaviruses represent a family of single-stranded, enveloped, positive-strand, Nidovirales RNA viruses. The family encompasses human pathogens and pathogens of several animal species, such as the latest-isolated SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) (Weiss & Navas-Martin, 2005). COVID-19 or coronavirus disease 2019 surfaced for the first time towards the end of 2019 and, ever since, has affected over two-hundred nations. In a matter of a mere five months, over 4,890,000 individuals worldwide were diagnosed with the illness. Over 100,000 individuals tested positive for the disease within a single day (Yang, Li, Sun, Zhao, & Tang, 2019).
The first patient to contract the disease was a Chinese man aged 31 years, hailing from Wuhan, hospitalized at the Parisian Bichat-Claude Bernard University Hospital while on holiday in Paris, France, with his wife. He tested positive for COVID-19 on January 24, 2020, on the sixth day of his illness and five days following his first entry into Paris. Before commencing his vacation, he had visited a Wuhan hospital on January 16 for gout treatment (Xavier, et al., 2020).
Describe the chief complaints from the individual experiencing the disease, including signature signs and any other important findings.
Right from the outset, the patient exhibited influenza-like signs and was hospitalized upon being diagnosed with thrombopenia, mild lymphopenia, and an absence of any abnormalities on his chest x-ray (Xavier, et al., 2020). However, ten days after contracting the disease, his aggravating oxygen saturation (PO2=58 mm Hg; flow nasal cannula 4 L/min), coupled with bilateral lung abnormalities such as ground-glass opacities, alveolar opacities, and reticulo-nodular syndrome (discovered from chest CT scans), caused him to be shifted to intensive care. The following day, a loading remdesivir dose was administered, as well as maintenance treatment subsequently. On January 31, he was sent back from intensive care. Two weeks following disease contraction, he was no longer being administered remdesivir due to a maculopapular rash and elevation in alanine aminotransferase levels (thrice the normal threshold level), without eosinophilia, anaphylaxis, or systemic indications. Screening for cytomegalovirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, herpes simplex, and Epstein-Barr viruses revealed no active infections. Within 72 hours, his liver and skin abnormalities decreased and, another 24 hours later, he was declared asymptomatic. He was dehospitalized on February 12 (Xavier, et al., 2020).
Describe the typical progression of the disease.
Acute COVID-19’s chief complication is ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), manifesting as acute respiratory failure and dyspnea, which calls for mechanical ventilation. Besides respiratory sequelae, acute COVID-19 is associated with arrhythmias, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, myocardial injury, other cardiovascular sequelae, encephalopathy, acute ischemic stroke, and other neurological complications, and severe kidney injury, which typically needs renal replacement treatment (ECDPC, 2020).
Section 2 â€“ Pathogen (i.e., the infectious agent)
Research the characteristics of the pathogen.
An observational analysis of a sample of 1420 individuals diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19 reveals the following most widely-reported signs of illness: headache (in 70.3 percent of patients), impaired sense of smell (70.2 percent), nasal obstruction (67.8 percent), asthenia (63.3 percent), cough (63.2 percent), myalgia (62.5 percent), rhinorrhoea (60.1 percent), gustatory dysfunction (54.2 percent), sore throat (52.9 percent), and fever (45.4 percent) (ECDPC, 2020).
Identify and describe the pathogen’s classification (i.e., bacteria, virus, fungi, etc.).
The microorganism responsible for COVID-19 is a virus labeled as SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2); the novel pandemic was termed COVID-19 or Coronavirus Disease 19 by the WHO (World Health Organization) (Ouassou, et al., 2020).
Indicate any specific identifying characteristics
From electron microscopy, SARS-CoV-2’s coronavirus-specific morphology is found to be characterized by virus particles of sizes between 70 and 90 nm, seen in various intracellular organelles, especially vesicles (Kumar, Nyodu, Maurya, & Saxena, 2020).
Preliminary insights from studies revolving around similar viruses and lab studies expect the disease to decline at elevated temperatures, ultraviolet light, and increased humidity. Latest fine-scaled information on the weather and infection reports across the globe have facilitated the development of a model explaining 36 percent of the discrepancy in growth rates of the disease based on country-specific factors (19 percent) and demography and weather (17 percent) (Kumar, Nyodu, Maurya, & Saxena, 2020).
Section 3 – Epidemiology
Research how the disease is transmitted
Recent evidence indicates SARS-CoV-2 is largely transmitted from person to person using close, direct, or indirect contact with those diagnosed with the disease via diseased saliva, respiratory secretions, and respiratory droplets expelled while coughing, sneezing, singing, or talking (Xavier, et al., 2020).
Describe how individuals typically acquire the infection.
According to experts, the COVID-19-causing virus is usually transmitted from one individual to the next utilizing airborne transmission, surface transmission, and aerosol droplets.
Identify and explain any specific disease vectors and reservoirs.
Bats are the disease vector for coronaviruses, which lead to SARS, MERS, and the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2. But it is unclear why bats only act as disease reservoirs and don’t themselves contract the illness, which, for humans, has proved exceedingly harmful, even deadly (Rosenthal, 2020).
Research and report the disease prevalence in recent years.
Since the Weekly Epidemiological Update of October 5, more than 2.2 million fresh COVID-19 diagnoses have been made, and 39,000 individuals have succumbed to the disease across the 6 WHO regions, the highest weekly figure thus far. Between December 30 and October 11, more than 37 million individuals have tested positive for the disease, and a million have lost their lives worldwide. Around half these deaths (55 percent) and diagnoses (48 percent) are still reported in North and South America, with the US, Argentina, and Brazil reporting the highest share of fresh diagnoses and deaths within this region (WHO, 2020).
Describe any populations (geographic, cultural, socioeconomic, etc.) that might be at a higher risk of infection.
The geriatric population and individuals having underlying health issues are highly likely to display more acute COVID-19 symptoms. According to researchers, 349 million individuals (186â€“787) (i.e., 4 percent of the overall population of the world [3â€“9]) exhibit elevated risk of acute COVID-19, which calls for hospitalization if infected (which ranges from below one percent of individuals under twenty years of age to around 20 percent of individuals aged over 70 years). Further, they reckon 6 percent of males (3â€“12) are at greater risk as compared to 3 percent of females (2â€“7) (Clark, et al., 2020).
Investigate any recent outbreaks and describe them in detail.
On the eve of this year, the WHO was notified of pneumonia cases of indeterminate cause surfacing in Wuhan’s Chinese city. A week later, the cause was found, by the nation’s authorities, to be a novel coronavirus temporarily labeled as “2019-nCoV”. On March 11, 2020, the dramatic rise in disease cases outside of China (over 118,000 diagnoses and a total of 4291 deaths in as many as 114 countries) caused Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, to declare that this outbreak may be considered a pandemic. By the middle of March, the WHO’s European Region became the pandemic’s epicenter, with more than forty percent of confirmed cases worldwide. By April 28, 2020, 63 percent of virus-linked mortality worldwide was from this Region (WHO, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020).
Section 4 â€“ Prophylaxis/Treatment
Research any approaches that are used in the diagnosis, control, and treatment of this disease.
rRT-PCR based molecular detection
Molecular diagnostics is grounded in virus genetic matter detection and amplification from suspected persons’ specimens; rRT-PCR performs this identification. Upon identification of SARS-CoV-2’s nucleocapsid gene and viral RNA, researchers utilized them as their template to design dual hydrolysis probes and oligonucleotide primers to facilitate in vitro qualitative RNA detection via rRT-PCR.
Serological tests prove helpful in cases where molecular techniques fail. Antibody identification forms the key basis for lab-based serological tests. The absence of available and swift antigen testing kits and molecular instruments at the time of initial SARS-CoV-2 identification meant serology was supplemented as a diagnostic instrument (Asrani, et al., 2020).
Control and Treatment
No specific vaccine or treatment exists for COVID-2019; every medication option is based on influenza, SARS, MERS, or HIV treatment experiences. Experts are currently concentrating on developing specific antiviral medication or vaccines to combat it (Ouassou, et al., 2020).
Describe the typical methods that are used to combat this disease.
Concerning additional patient precautions, it is required that patients be separately quarantined, with all individuals in contact with them, whether kith or kin or other visitors, being quarantined as well, and social distancing being maintained at the time of contact. Further, patients ought to cover their nose and mouth while sneezing, with the aid of tissue or masks, and those suspected of infection ought to use medical masks within closed and public places. Lastly, patients are required to sanitize their hands using water and soap or an alcohol-based hand rub every time they sneeze (Ouassou, et al., 2020).
Explain the typical outcomes expected from treatment and indicate whether the disease can be cured.
Following a SARS-Cov2 diagnosis, quarantine and prevention are regarded as the best option for hindering the disease’s swift spread, as an effective antiviral, vaccine, or medication is yet to be discovered for disease prevention and treatment, despite considerable efforts on the part of researchers and scientists worldwide to produce treatments or vaccines for the ailment. Moreover, numerous strategies were adopted for aiding COVID-19-diagnosed patients, including major oxygen therapy and antivirals (Remdesivir Lopinavir, Ribavirin, Ritonavir, Favipiravir (T-705), Chloroquine, Interferon, and Oseltamivir) (Ouassou, et al., 2020).
Asrani, P., Eapen, M., Chia, C., Haug, G., Weber, H., & Hassan, I. (2020). Diagnostic approaches in COVID-19: clinical updates. Taylor and Francis Online.
Clark, A., Jit, M., Warren-Gash, C., Guthrie, B., Wang, H., & Mercer, S. (2020). Global, regional, and national estimates of the population at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions in 2020: a modeling study. The Lancet, E1003-E1017.
ECDPC. (2020, August). Clinical characteristics of COVID-19. Retrieved from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/covid-19/latest-evidence/clinical
Kumar, S., Nyodu, R., Maurya, V., & Saxena, S. (2020). Morphology, Genome Organization, Replication, and Pathogenesis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). National Center for Biotechnology Information, 23-31.
Ouassou, H., Kharchoufa, L., Bouhrim, M., Daoudi, N., Imtara, H., Bencheikh, N., . . . Bnouham, M. (2020). The Pathogenesis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Evaluation and Prevention. Journal of Immunology Research.
Rosenthal, M. (2020). Why Are Bats the Perfect Coronavirus Reservoir? Infectious Disease Special Edition.
Weiss, S., & Navas-Martin, S. (2005). Coronavirus Pathogenesis and the Emerging Pathogen Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews.
WHO. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). World Health Organization.
WHO. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Retrieved from World Health Organization: https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Xavier, F., Bouadma, L., Nguyen, D., Parisey, M., Wickey, P.-H., & Behilli, S. (2020). Clinical and virological data of the first cases of COVID-19 in Europe: a case series. The Lancet, 697-706.
Yang, M., Li, H., Sun, J., Zhao, Y., & Tang, D. (2019). Focus on Characteristics of Covid-19 with the Special Reference to the Impact of Covid-19 on the Urogenital system. Karger International, 79-84.
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