Neucrad Health May 18, 2020
Nowadays, scientists of various institutions are advocating people to remain prepared about the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also warning that the second and third waves of the outbreak can be more severe than the current situation. While people all across the globe are reeling under fear of the first wave, this type of propagation can do more harm than good.
It’s good to remain prepared for challenging times, but unnecessary fear among the general public can lead to largescale depression in society. People will lose their confidence and motivation to face the present situation. They will find it challenging to kick start the economy, even when the situation improves due to the constant fear of second waves. Let us have a look at the related previous epidemics and analyse the outcomes.
What happened during the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak?
SARS outbreak was first identified in Foshan, Guangdong province of China in 16th November 2002. The SARS-CoV-1 virus was the causal organism of this infection. The pathogen also belongs to the coronavirus group but was less lethal than the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is a zoonotic virus, and bats and civet cats are presumed to be the primary and secondary host. Once transmitted to human beings, person to person transmission led to the epidemic, spreading across 26 countries.
What was the outcome of the SARS epidemic?
Patients suffered from influenza-like symptoms, including fever, general body malaise, shiver, headache, and stomach upset. In some cases, symptoms became moderate to severe, and patients complained of respiratory distress and cough in the second week of infection. They required immediate hospitalisation and treatment in Intensive Care Units (ICU). A total of 8096 people became infected with SARS infection between November 2002 to May 2004. Among them, 810 patients lost their lives while fighting with the epidemic resulting in 9.6 fatality rate. However, the New York Times reported that there was not even a single new SARS case in Mainland China and other countries after May 2004. So, in the last 16 years, there was no second or third wave of this epidemic.
How did the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) affect the world?
In September 2012, Saudi Arabia reported the outbreak of another deadly viral infection. Scientists named this disease as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) since most of the cases were reported in countries around the Arabian Peninsula. Till January 2020, there were 2 494 laboratories confirm MERS cases resulting in 858 deaths. 27 countries across the globe reported the spread of MERS-CoV virus. In June 2015, 184 patients became infected with the MERS-CoV virus in South Korea, claiming 38 lives.
Though relatively, fewer people got diagnosed with MERS, epidemiologists consider MERS-CoV a deadly virus as the fatality rate is around 40 per cent. Patients complained of high fever, cough, breathlessness, nausea, and diarrhoea in this infection. Some of them had severe complications, ranging from pneumonia to kidney failure. Though MERS reported a second wave of the epidemic in 2015; things were under control. It had similar fatality and rate of infection as the previous outbreak.
How should healthcare professionals prepare for the second wave of SARS-CoV-2?
Health infrastructures in all countries should aptly guard themselves in anticipation of a second COVID-19 outbreak. Every city should earmark separate hospitals for novel coronavirus treatment. There should be enough arrangement for institutional quarantine facilities to isolate patients. Moreover, countries should maintain a ready stock of test kits, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), ventilators, and medications. However, they should refrain from propagating fear among the general public. It may lead to mental trauma and depression among masses.
This was all about the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Stay safe and maintain social distancing to defeat the outbreak.