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VIRUSES

CORONAVIRUS {COVID-19} / Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Colloquially known as the coronavirus and previously known by the provisional name 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. It causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness. SARS-CoV-2 is contagious in humans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been confirmed during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Transmission occurs primarily via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes within a range of about 1.8 metres (6 ft). Indirect contact via contaminated surfaces is another possible cause of infection. Preliminary research indicates that the virus may remain viable on plastic and steel for up to three days, but does not survive on cardboard for more than one day or on copper for more than four hours. The virus is inactivated by soap, which destabilises its lipid bilayer. Viral RNA has also been found in stool samples from infected people.


EBOLA VIRUS

Ebola virus disease (EVD), or simply Ebola, is a viral haemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebolaviruses. Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, sore throat, muscular pain, and headaches. Vomiting, diarrhoea and rash usually follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. At this time, some people begin to bleed both internally and externally. The disease has a high risk of death, killing 25% to 90% of those infected, with an average of about 50%. This is often due to low blood pressure from fluid loss, and typically follows six to 16 days after symptoms appear.


SMALLPOX {VARIOLA} VIRUS

Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by one of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World Health Organization (WHO) certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980. The risk of death following contracting the disease was about 30%, with higher rates among babies. Often those who survived had extensive scarring of their skin, and some were left blind.
There were two forms of the smallpox virus.
Variola major was the severe and most common form, with a more extensive rash and higher fever, which can result in confluent smallpox, which had a high death rate.
Variola minor was a less common presentation, causing a less severe disease, typically discrete smallpox, with historical death rates of one percent or less.