The Coronavirus is quickly sweeping over the globe, so what is the Coronavirus? Here is some of the things that we already know so far about this disease, also known as the 2019-nCoV.
WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?
Coronaviruses are a large class of viruses ranging in severity from the common cold to deadly respiratory infections such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Coronaviruses are an extremely common cause of colds and other upper respiratory infections. These viruses are zoonoses, which means they can infect some animals and spread from one animal to another. A coronavirus can likely spread to humans These cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand; and some cases are even under investigation in Australia and the Philippines. The coronavirus is not a specific infection, it is a new strain within the coronavirus family that has caused past global outbreaks.
WHAT WE KNOW AND DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS VIRUS
The first coronavirus infections were identified in the city of Wuhan in central China in December 2019. Within a couple weeks, the virus spread across China and to at least 18 other countries, including the U.S. and Canada. As of February 6th, more than 560 people had died from the virus, and the number of confirmed cases had risen to 31,535 with the overwhelming majority in China. There have been deaths associated with the illness, but not sure whether they all had underlying serious medical conditions or whether any of them were previously healthy.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE THE CORONAVIRUS
In severe cases, the new coronavirus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. All patients studied, developed pneumonia, most had a fever, three-quarters of them were coughing and more than half had trouble breathing. The average age of these patients were 49, most of them having visited Wuhan market, identified as the source of the outbreak. Nearly 33% of them had difficulty breathing.
The symptoms can include a cough, possibly with a fever and shortness of breath. There are some early reports of non-respiratory symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, vomiting, general feeling of being unwell and or diarrhea. Many people recover within a few days. However, some people — especially the very young, elderly, or people who have a weakened immune system — may develop a more serious infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.
HOW CONTAGIOUS IS THIS VIRUS
As of February 6th, there are just twelve confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US: In California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts and Arizona. All of these patients had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the origin of the outbreak, and they have all been hospitalized. Scientists at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) are currently mapping the outbreak and warned their latest models shows the number of actual infections was likely to be much higher than the official tolls, which only account for those who have been found and have tested positive. As many as 44,000 people may have been infected as of January 28th after evidence emerged suggesting people may be infectious even when they are not showing symptoms.
HOW TO PREVENT THE CORONAVIRUS
Currently, there is no drug that destroys this particular coronavirus. But here are some ways that it can be prevented from contracting. Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol, sneeze and cough into tissues or into your elbow. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially people exhibiting respiratory symptoms and fever, stay home when you're sick, regularly and thoroughly clean surfaces with a disinfectant. The best safeguarding against most diseases is a strong immune system. Your body is better able to fight off illnesses when your immune system is really healthy, and everyone should put in an effort to get their body into better shape. Get enough sleep at night,drink lots of water, and get enough nutrients in your diet.
It's important to keep in mind all of these factors to make sure that you are doing the necessary things to stay healthy. Making sure you are prepared for such is our goal. “The primary issue is to limit human-to-human transmission, to reduce secondary infections, especially amongst close contact and particularly in healthcare environments,” Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s head of emergencies, said in an emergency meeting about the novel coronavirus on Jan. 22.