By Chelsea Boyd
The death toll of a virus worse than SARS has killed over 1,000 and affected more than 43,000 people.
The first cases of the Coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, were identified in Wuhan, in the Hubei Province of China on December 3, 2019.
The virus is spreading, with new cases confirmed in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals.
These viruses are zoonotic, meaning in rare cases, animals like camels, cattle, cats, and bats that are infected with coronaviruses can transmit the disease to humans.
This is similar to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The illness causes symptoms ranging from fever, cough, and shortness of breath to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death in more severe cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends many ways to prevent the spread of infection by regularly washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
They also suggest avoiding close contact with anyone who shows symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
The WHO also released situation reports every day to inform the public on the spread of the virus.
The Situation Report from February 4 suggests reducing the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections by doing the following:
•Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
•Frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
•Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
•People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
•Within health care facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.
The WHO also reports that “there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection.”
Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons
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