What Is Coronavirus? Everything You Need To Know

The National Health Commission of China has confirmed more than 800 cases of coronavirus so far, and a death toll of 25 as of Thursday.


Highlights

  • China has confirmed human-to-human transmission of coronavirus
  • Coronavirus affects the respiratory tract of the infected person
  • US has reported the first case of coronavirus

A new flu-like virus known as the Coronavirus has infected more than 800 people in China. The World Health Organization has declared it an emergency. National Health Commission of China confirmed 830 cases of coronavirus so far, and 25 people have died because of it as of Thursday, reports AP. Most cases of this are in Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated last year. 

Earlier, it was believed that the virus originated from seafood market which could only spread from animals to humans. The Chinese health authorities have now confirmed human-to-human transmission of this virus. The US has recently reported its first case of deadly coronavirus. Strict health screening of passengers arriving from Wuhan has been advised by US officials. Countries like South Korea, Thailand and Japan have also confirmed few cases of coronavirus.

What is coronavirus? Everything you need to know

Coronavirus is an umbrella term for viruses that cause illness which can range from a common cold to respiratory diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (also known as SARS). According to the World Health Organisation, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper-respiratory infection, including runny nose, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath and fever in some cases.

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Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to flu and common cold
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: What Is The Difference Between A Cold And The Flu?

How does coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus can transmit from an infected person via

- Close contact like shaking hands, touching or any other personal contact
- Touching any surface or object with virus on it; you must wash your hands before touching your mouth, eyes, nose in such a situation
- Transmission is also possible through air via coughing or sneezing

How to prevent coronavirus?

WHO recommends simple precautions steps to control the spread of coronavirus. Some of the precautions include-

  1. Wash your hands regularly especially after visiting someone who is sick
  2. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  3. Cook meat and eggs thoroughly
  4. You should avoid close contact with anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness
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Wash your hands regularly to prevent coronavirus
Photo Credit: iStock

During the widespread, you should not ignore the early signs and symptoms of deadly coronavirus. You must seek medical help as soon as you experience any symptom.

Also read: 7 Things You Must Have At Home During The Flu Season

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.

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