A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has the international community on alert. Since the outbreak began in Wuhan China, in December, the number of people infected and patients who have died keeps climbing.
So here’s what you need to know about the Coronavirus.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus: Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses common among many species of animals, including humans. In rare cases, the virus makes a jump from animals to humans and more rare, from person to person. Which is what scientists believe happened in this case.
Typically, coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache, fever which can last for several days. For those with a weakened immune system, there is a chance that the virus could cause a lower down and much more serious respiratory tract illness, like pneumonia or bronchitis.
There have only been two other coronaviruses that have been known to be deadly. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, known as MERS virus, that caused severe respiratory problems, and the CDC estimated that 3 out of 4 of every 10 patients infected with MERS had died.
Another one is the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. Now, that had an average death rate of around 10%, with older people being the most vulnerable.
How do coronaviruses spread?
Viruses can spread from human contact with animals. Scientists think MERS, for example, started in camels, and they suspect that SARS started with civet cats.
As for human to human transmission, often it happens when someone is within 3 feet of the infected person. And with this new virus, we don’t know yet when exactly someone becomes contagious, how sick they are when they do.
Depending on how virulent the virus is a cough, a sneeze, a handshake could cause an exposure.
Can you prevent it?
There is no vaccine to protect against this family of viruses. There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Most of the time, symptoms are going to go away on their own.
Those who catch the virus are advised to do the basics, drink plenty of fluids, sleep as much as possible. Symptoms as well can be relieved by taking pain or fever medications, but id they do get worse, it’s recommended to see a doctor.
You could reduce the risk of infection by avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and, of course, washing your hands with soap and water as often as possible for at least 20 seconds.
Virus: infection that could spread from one person to another.
Outbreak: (of disease) sudden occurrence of something bad.
Wuhan China: Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province in China. It is the largest city in Hubei and the most populous city (population of over 11 million) in Central China.
People infected: people who got the virus, people who got the disease.
Patients: people waiting for doctors to heal them.
Keeps Climbing: keeps raising. The number of patients is growing.
Common among many species: popular in animals and humans organisms.
Coronavirus symptoms: the signs of Coronavirus. How to know if you are ill or infected?!
Runny nose: when “water” is coming out of your nose.
Cough: like a frog in someone’s throat. When you say khm-khm.
Sore throat: pain in a throat.
Headache: pain in the head.
Fever: high body temperature.
Weakened immune system: when your body can’t heal itself fast enough.
Pneumonia: lung infection
Bronchitis: inflammation of the lungs
Average death rate: number how many people die in general
With older people being the most vulnerable: older people are more at risk / in danger than the younger population.
Viruses can spread from human contact with animals: virus can jump from animals to people
Within 3 feet of the infected person: you can get virus if the infected person is 1 meter next to you.
Contagious: infectious. You can get infected.
There is no vaccine: there is no medicine for this virus yet.
There is no specific treatment for…: there is no medicine or any specific thing to do against it.
Those who catch the virus: those who get the virus.
Sleep as much as possible: sleep as much as you can, sleep a lot.
Symptoms can be relieved by … taking medications: if you take medications that could help.
Avoid touching your eyes and nose: don’t touch your eyes or nose.