Previous SARS COVID Viruses

 

Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that originated in birds, most commonly bats. As we can see from the COVID-19 pandemic, this type of viruses can cause infections that range from mind to lethal. An example of a mild illness is the common cold while more lethal versions can lead to SARS, MERS and COVID-19.

In this article, we are going to discuss the previous two coronaviruses – SARS and MERS and how they have impacted humans.

 

The SARS Outbreak 

 

Severe acute respiratory syndrome, also known as SARS, started in China similarly to COVID-19. It was first noted in November 2002, but it wasn’t reported to the World Health Organization. A few months later, another outbreak occurred in Hanoi, Vietnam, and it was reported to the WHO.

A doctor from China travelled to Hong Kong and stayed in a hotel with other international travelers. The doctor had SARS-CoV-1. The virus spread to at least a dozen other hotel guests. Two returned to Canada and started spreading it there. One went to Ireland, another to the US, three to Singapore, and one to Vietnam. Also, a few people were hospitalized in Hong Kong, creating an outbreak in the hospital there.

As a result of that, SARS spread to almost the entire world, yet most cases remained in Asia. The virus was very aggressive and lethal. Typically, patients started showing symptoms within two to three days from getting infected. Also, there were reports of infections without showing any symptoms, similarly to COVID-19. 

In China and other parts of Asia, people started wearing masks, such as N95 masks, and quarantines were implemented while the virus peaked in May 2003. Since then, the virus disappeared, and by July 2003, the WHO declared that the threat is over.

There were just 8,000 cases of SARS and only 700 deaths. In the US, there were 29 cases with zero deaths.

SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 are very similar viruses. Experts believe that they both were initially in bats. However, in terms of their impact, they are different. SARS was more lethal than COVID-19, but SARS-CoV-2 spreads a lot faster, sometimes without any symptoms.

The biggest difference is between their symptoms. Everyone who had SARS-CoV-1 showed symptoms 2-3 days after getting infected. With SARS-CoV-2, it may take up to two weeks to symptoms to appear, which explains why it can spread so easily.

 

The MERS Outbreak 

 

MERS, also known as Middle East respiratory syndrome or camel flu, is an infection that’s caused by MERS-CoV. Some of the symptoms are fever, cough, diarrhea and shortness of breath. The disease seems to affect the hardest people with existing health problems.

Scientists believe that this coronavirus also originated from bats. However, humans got it from camels either by direct contact or indirectly. To spread between humans, it requires close contact with a sick person. The spread outside of the hospital is very uncommon, making the risk of global pandemic fairly low.

As of now, there’s neither a vaccine nor a specific treatment for the disease. The WHO recommends that we wash our hands after we touch a camel. Also, they recommend that foods with camel meat are adequately cooked.

The first case occurred in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Most of the MERS cases occurred in the Arabian Peninsula. As of January 2020, about 2,500 cases have been reported, with a 35% death rate.

The early reports of MERS compared it to SARS, and it’s referring to as Saudi Arabia’s SARS virus. The first person that got it had a fever, shortness of breath, cough. The incubation period of MERS is between 5-6 days. You should know that more males got infected than females – 3 to 1.

There’s no reason to worry about MERS becoming a global pandemic like COVID-19 because it spreads incredibly hard from person to person.

 

Conclusion

 

COVID-19 is part of the family of viruses that have caused a lot of trouble to the human race. Past coronavirus outbreaks include SARS and MERS. The SARS outbreak in 2002 wasn’t as bad as COVID-19. It only infected 8,000 people, but it was way more lethal, killing 700 people. It didn’t spread as much, and most cases stayed where it started – in Asia. 

COVID-19 is different than SARS, because it spreads faster but isn’t as lethal. On the other hand, MERS is the deadliest of them all. It has a 35% death rate, but it’s almost impossible to transmit from human to human. They have to be in very close contact. The MERS originated in Saudi Arabia, and it’s known as the camel flue. Humans got infected from camels, and it’s recommended you don’t touch a sick one. Also, if you’re going to eat a camel, make sure it’s properly cooked, so you don’t get infected.

Experts think that all of these viruses have originated from bats. Currently, there’s no treatment for all of them. Since the peak of the SARS outbreak in 2003, the virus has disappeared while MERS is still here but doesn’t pose a big threat to humans.

You can protect from all of them similarly – by wearing a face mask, washing your hands regularly and keeping a healthy lifestyle. You can find and order this type of protective equipment here. If you want to order more than 2,000 units, you can reach out to us here.

 

Further Reading:

 

Coronavirus and Animals

Tips for Staying Protected During Phased Reopening 

What is a Second Wave and What Will It Mean for the United States?


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