The newly discovered Coronavirus, termed as 2019-nCov, has killed 25 people in China and infected more than 800 globally. Public health experts are scrambling to understand, stem and find a treatment for this infection. Here is what we know about China's deadly coronavirus.
Coronavirus are a large family of viruses that cause illness in people and animals. The coronavirus that circulates in animals rarely can evolve and infect people and then transmit from humans to humans as has been seen with MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) & SARS (Severe acute respiratory symptoms).
Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The situation with regard to 2019-nCoV is still unclear. While severe illness, including illness resulting in death, has been reported in China and other parts of the world, other patients have had a milder illness.
Here are a few important things to know about Coronavirus:
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS viruses and SARS.
Where does Coronavirus come from?
The new Coronavirus has come from animals and the source is believed to be a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Coronavirus circulates in animals and some of these Coronaviruses have the capability of transmitting between animals and humans which is also called a spillover event.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of this illness include dry cough, fever and breathing problems.
How to protect from Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus typically cause respiratory symptoms. Basic hand hygiene such as washing hands with soap and water, and respiratory hygiene, such as covering the face when sneezing.
Unnecessary unprotected contact with live animals should be avoided. Making sure to wash hands thoroughly after contact with an animal, and cooking meat thoroughly before consuming.
Is there a treatment?
There are no specific treatments for Coronavirus but symptoms can be treated.
How serious is this outbreak compared to others in the past?
This one is scary because it's a brand new virus and little is known how it will behave. SARS, which was also a novel Coronavirus and caused global panic in 2002, had a death rate of 10%. Wuhan Coronavirus has death rate of 2%.