Coronaviruses are a family of viruses known to cause disease in humans. The infection can be similar to the common flu or present itself as a more serious illness, such as pneumonia.
Unknown to science until recently, the coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, has caused severe lung disease in hundreds of people. The first cases as well as the first casualties were reported in China, although the presence of the virus has already been confirmed in more countries in Asia, North America, and more recently in Europe.
After all: what is it?
The Coronavirus is from a large group of viruses, common among animals.
In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted, therefore, from animals to humans, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are the symptoms?
- Likewise, Infection with coronavirus in humans is usually similar to the flu:
- Breathing problems including bronchitis and antibiotic-resistant pneumonia
- Running nose
- Scratching throat
In some cases, serious complications can arise even in healthy people who have contracted the infection, which can be fatal, such as antibiotic-resistant pneumonia.
How does Coronavirus spread?
It’s unclear how easily it spreads from person to person, but the CDC recommends that anyone who may have been exposed to the illness monitor themselves for 14 days after close contact with an infected person. The symptoms to mostly watch for are fever, cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, body aches, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.
According to CNN, there are already 11 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the USA. surprisingly, Six of them are only in California.
The first confirmed case was reported in Seattle, when a man seeked medical help after returning from Wuhan, China.
What is the treatment?
There is no specific treatment. However, research is underway. Most of the time, symptoms will go away on their own and experts advise seeking care early. If it feels worse than a standard cold, see your doctor.
Doctors can prescribe pain or fever medication. The CDC also states a room humidifier or a hot shower can help with a sore throat or cough. Drink plenty of fluids, get rest and sleep as much as possible.
How to protect yourself from getting infected according to the World Health Organization?
WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Raw meat, milk or animal organs must be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
Source: World Health Organization