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If so, the next question is whether the patient has symptoms. If he doesn’t have one, he’ll just stay at home for now. If he has symptoms, Koch discusses how to proceed with the health department. He shouldn’t endanger his team either. "If we are quarantined, there is nothing more we can do."

He canceled regular appointments for the time being, said Koch. "I have changed my announcement on the answering machine so that I cannot keep my regular office hours at the moment." Every morning he will re-assess how the situation is. The great advantage of the family doctor is that he knows his patients and can accordingly assess them well.

A full closure of Autobahn 1 near Hamburg in both directions can cause long traffic jams at the weekend. Drivers have to be patient on the way to the Baltic Sea beaches.

Drivers have to be prepared for a full closure of the A1 near Hamburg at the weekend. Due to bridge construction work, the motorway between Hamburg-Moorfleet and Hamburg-Billstedt is not accessible in either direction. As the Autobahn branch north announced, the closure begins on Friday evening at 8 p.m. and ends on Monday morning at 5 a.m. The A1 Bremen-Lübeck is one of the most important routes to the Baltic Sea beaches in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The autumn holidays come to an end at the weekend in several federal states, including Lower Saxony and Bremen as well as North Rhine-Westphalia.

Avoid unnecessary journeys

The spokesman for the North Autobahn branch, Christian Merl, appealed to drivers to refrain from unnecessary journeys or to switch to the train. The supraregional traffic is to make extensive use of the A7. The recommended route goes from Lübeck via the A20 and the B206 to the A7 near Bad Bramstedt. The local diversion in Hamburg is via Ring 2.

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In Hamburg-Moorfleet, the two bridges of the B5 over the A1 are currently being renewed. The structures from 1956 were eaten away by concrete crabs. The new construction of the southern bridge is now finished and should be put into operation. At the same time the northern bridge will be demolished. The work should be completed by the end of 2021.

Sources used: dpa news agency

The coronavirus has now spread all over the world and triggered a pandemic. The origin of the pathogen is still not fully understood. What we know so far. 

Hundreds of thousands of infected people, worldwide travel warnings, curfews: the corona virus currently has the world firmly under control. But where does the pathogen come from and what do we know about the new disease so far?

How many infected people are there currently?

The number of confirmed people infected with the novel corona virus is rising steadily. Currently there are officially (as of March 22, 2020) 25,554 confirmed cases in Germany. 89 people in this country have already died of Covid-19. 

Worldwide there are currently (as of March 21, 2020) 298,400 infected people, 12,700 people have died as a result.

The number of unreported cases of infected people is much higher, but it is difficult to determine due to the many mild courses.

Where did the virus come from?

It is believed that the virus originated from bats. The first patients were apparently infected in December 2019 at a market in the Chinese province of Wuhan, where wild animals and organs from other animals and reptiles were also offered.

"It is believed that the source was animals sold in this market"said Arnaud Fontanet, head of the epidemiology of emerging diseases department at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The market was closed and disinfected at the beginning of the year.how to write an argumentative essay step by step pdf

How did the virus come about?

Contrary to what some conspiracy theorists claim, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus developed naturally and is not the product of deliberate manipulation in a Chinese laboratory. This is shown in a study by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. The scientists compared the data of known coronavirus strains and came to the conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 was created through natural processes. 

According to the scientists, evidence of this natural development is the molecular structure of the virus. "If someone tried to develop a new coronavirus as a pathogen, it would take the structure of a virus that is known to make sick"explains one of the researchers at "Medical journal". The structure of the coronavirus, on the other hand, shows clear differences to the previously known coronaviruses SARS-CoV or MERS. 

As the researchers explain, there are two possible scenarios for the exact origin of the coronavirus. Either the virus has already developed into a pathogen through natural selection in an animal host and then passed on to humans. Or the non-pathogenic version of the virus has jumped from animals to humans and only developed the first symptoms of disease in humans. In this scenario, bats are more likely to act as intermediate hosts. At the moment, however, it is not yet certain which of the two scenarios is the right one. 

New infections and recovered: The global curves show how Sweden’s special path affects and which country has taken an impressive development. (Source: t-online.de)

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. They can infect humans as well as various animals, including birds and mammals. The viruses cause various diseases in humans, from common colds to dangerous or even potentially fatal diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The current coronavirus is a new type of virus.

The pathogen originally known as 2019-nCoV has had a new name since February 11: SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the large coronavirus family – so named because they are surrounded by jagged structures that resemble a crown. Harmless types often only cause mild colds. The new coronavirus, on the other hand, can lead to pneumonia and severe breathing difficulties. The lung disease that the coronavirus can trigger has been named Covid-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019).

Many medical professionals compared it, especially at the beginning of the outbreak, to the SARS pathogen that caused an epidemic in 2002/2003. SARS stands for "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome", i.e. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The new name of the coronavirus indicates the close relationship between the two viruses. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8,096 people worldwide contracted SARS, 774 of whom died. At that time, 349 deaths were reported from mainland China and 299 others from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.

How is the virus transmitted?

Like all coronaviruses, the new pathogen was probably first transmitted from animals to humans. Mammals in particular carry germs that can spread to humans. Bats and flying foxes are among the sources of the new corona viruses. Farm animals have also transmitted coronaviruses to humans in the past. The exact origin of the virus is still unclear. Researchers suspect that the new virus, like the SARS virus at the time, was transmitted from bats to humans via an intermediate host. In the current outbreak, however, snakes are also suspected as intermediate hosts. 

The novel virus can be transmitted directly from person to person. This can be done before an infected person has developed symptoms such as fever or cough themselves. It has not yet been finally clarified whether the pathogen can only be transmitted via a droplet infection or also via a smear infection. It can be assumed that the transmission – as with other coronaviruses – primarily takes place via secretions from the respiratory tract.

The virus multiplies in the throat. While an infected person speaks or coughs, he gives off droplets, said the virologist Christian Drosten from the Berlin Charité at the end of February. "They fly about 1.5 meters and fall to the ground relatively quickly. It is the inhalation of such a cloud that infects you in most cases."

The new types of corona viruses were also found in stool samples from some of those affected. According to the Federal Center for Health Education, it has not yet been conclusively clarified whether the virus can also be spread through the stool. The German Society for Infectious Diseases assumes that you have to have contact at a distance of less than one meter for some time in order to be infected.

As the Ärzteblatt reports, Günter Kampf from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the University Medical Center Greifswald, together with Eike Steinmann from the Ruhr University Bochum, put together 22 studies on coronaviruses and their inactivation. This shows that coronaviruses remain on inanimate surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days – if they are not eliminated. In practice, researchers like the virologist Christian Drosten point out, the survival time of the pathogen on such surfaces is much shorter.

Why does transmission occur between humans and animals?

According to the World Animal Health Organization OIE, 60 percent of infectious diseases are zoonotic (tuberculosis, rabies, HIV) and at least 75 percent of new infectious diseases (Ebola, influenza, Nipah virus) are of animal origin.

These numbers are increasing because there are more and more people in a small space.