The coronavirus, which has spread to three other Asian countries and infected more than 200 people in China, is alarming because of its genetic similarities to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
South China Morning Post cited one of China's leading Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) expert, as confirming that the virus could be transmitted to humans and that it was likely to have originated from wild animals.
Amid growing fear of an epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidance on how to monitor the affected and treat them.Here’s all you need to know about the coronavirus;
What is Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is common in animals, it is part of a large group of viruses. According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in rare cases, a coronavirus can be transmitted from animals to humans.
What are the coronavirus symptoms?
The coronavirus symptoms are similar to a common cold. The symptoms include sore throat, runny nose and cough. The virus also makes causes a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness. The symptoms can last for a couple of days. Older people and people with a weak immune system may be infected with serious lower respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.
How does coronavirus spread?
The coronavirus is found in animals and can be transmitted to humans by physical contact. It is also learned that the virus can be transmitted from one human to another when a person comes in direct contact with an infected person’s body secretions. If the virus is extremely severe, it can also be transmitted through coughs, sneezes and even a handshake with the infected person. Caregivers are also exposed to the virus.
What is the treatment for Coronavirus?
There is no special treatment for coronavirus, usually, the symptoms only last for a couple of days. Doctors prescribe common cold, pain and fever medicines to the patient. Patients are advised to drink plenty of fluids and take good amount of rest. If the symptoms do not go away in a few days and/or feel worse than common cold symptoms, it is important to see a doctor.
What are the preventive measures?
The medical associations have not yet discovered a preventive vaccine for the coronavirus family. To avoid being infected by the coronavirus, one must cover their mouth and nose while outdoors, disinfect your hands after being outside the house or after interacting with an infected person. If you are unwell, remain indoors until the symptoms subside. Cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.
With inputs from Agencies