- Coronavirus causes symptoms similar to common cold
- New cases of the virus were identified in Shenzhen, Beijing and Wuhan
- First strain of the new coronavirus appeared in December in Wuhan
Coronavirus in China: Chinese Authorities have reported 139 new cases of the mysterious virus in two days. This is the first time an infection has been confirmed in the country outside of Wuhan city. Officials in China and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that the infection is coronavirus after analysing viral samples taken from patients. Coronaviruses are referred to a broad family of viruses but only six of them were known for infecting people, so far. Now this is the seventh coronavirus that has been discovered.
The virus cause symptoms similar to common cold. The coronavirus which killed 774 out of 8,098 people infected in the outbreak that started in China in 2002, was severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Genetic code of the new virus shows that the virus is more closely related to SARS than any other human coronavirus.
New cases of the virus were identified in cities of Shenzhen, Beijing and Wuhan. Three have died from the respiratory illness and while the number of cases is now over 200.
According to the WHO, the number of cases of coronavirus rose because "increased searching and testing". First strain of the new coronavirus appeared in December in Wuhan. This has already spread in Thailand (two cases) and Japan (one case).
Experts in the UK said that the number of people infected could be far greater than the official figures, BBC reported. WHO said that increase in searching and testing of the virus in people sick with respiratory illness has led to the increase in number of confirmed cases.
How does coronavirus spread?
The most likely source of coronavirus seems to be animal source, WHO said. "Some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts," it added.
You can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus by avoiding unprotected contact with live animals, properly cooking meat and eggs, and avoiding close contact with anyone suffering from cold or flu-like symptoms.
National Health Commission of China earlier mentioned that the virus can be prevented and controlled. It also warned that there is a need for close monitoring as the source, transmission and mutation methods are not known.
Common symptoms of coronavirus
The virus usually causes mild to moderate illnesses of the upper-respiratory tract, like common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. It causes symptoms like the general feeling of being unwell, fever, sore throat, headache, cough and runny nose. Human coronavirus can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This occurs more commonly in people with cardiopulmonary diseases, people with a weak immune system, infants and older adults.
Coronavirus: Treatment and tips for prevention
There are no vaccines to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You can reduce your risk of infection by following some basic hygiene tips like washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Also, stay at home when you are sick and avoid close contact with others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue and trash and wash your hands. Clean your indoors with disinfectants at all times.
Also read: 7 Personal Hygiene Tips You Must Know
There is no specific treatment for human coronavirus. Most people infected with the virus recover on their own. Patients need to take pain and fever medications on time. CDC recommends that children should not be given aspirin. Use humidifiers and take hot shower to ease sore throat and cough. Drink plenty of fluids and stay at home and rest.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.