1. Human coronavirus group was first recognized as a respiratory pathogen in the 1960s, six serological variants associated with human disease have been characterized till date:
However, the latest and the 7th variant detected is ‘2019 novel Coronavirus’ from the city of Wuhan in China.
2. Five of the seven Coronaviruses are routinely detected in our Referral Lab at Saket
3. Our Molecular diagnostic test UPPER RESPIRATORY PANEL, FILM ARRAY [, which is a multiplex PCR Microarray technology] detects the first five variants.
4. Most common variants are 229E, OC43, HKU1, and NL63
Fifth one not so common, but detected in our lab is ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)’.
The 6th type is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV; not detected by the Film Array ).
5. These viruses are most commonly associated with upper respiratory tract infections; however, they have also been detected in individuals with lower respiratory tract infections.
6. The common coronaviruses have been associated with croup and exacerbation of asthma. Infection occurs more often in the winters, and there appears to be a periodicity of epidemics for some strains.
Coronavirus infections (with the exception of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and now 2019 nCoV) are generally self-limiting.
Currently, there are no known drugs to eliminate coronavirus infection.
7. MERS-CoV was first described in 2012 and can cause severe acute respiratory illness. Unique among the coronaviruses, MERS-CoV infection also causes acute renal impairment in more than half of patients. Infection with this virus is fatal in ~25-76.5% of people. MERS-CoV epidemic is characterized by animal to human transmission, followed by person-to-person transmission. The two largest MERS-CoV outbreaks to date have occurred in the Arabian Peninsula region and the Republic of Korea.
8. 2019 Corona Novel virus
On 31st December 2019, WHO was informed of several cases of severe pneumonia in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan City, caused by previously unknown viruses.
On 7th January 2020 the Chinese authorities identified the new virus temporarily named “2019-nCoV belonging to the coronavirus family.
Patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
CDC believes that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days, or as long as 14 after exposure.
Close Contact [and droplet infection via sneezing and coughing] with people suffering from the symptoms/virus is the most common mode of transmission….
Lab testing: [will receive more info regarding testing in the coming few days from the Govt.]
Sample type: upper respiratory and lower respiratory samples
Method: Real-time PCR
Lab testing: at present is restricted to NCDC, Delhi and NRI Pune