Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually infect animals but can sometimes evolve and spread to humans. Public health officials have confirmed more than 300 cases of the new coronavirus, labeled “2019-nCoV,” in China. Some of the patients are critically ill.
The virus belongs in the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.
Its symptoms include fever and fatigue, accompanied by dry cough and difficulty in breathing, which are similar to many other respiratory diseases and pose complications
How to protect yourself if you’re at risk of contracting the Wuhan coronavirus
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing, per the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Anyone with underlying medical conditions should avoid live animal markets and raw meats altogether, since those people are “considered at higher risk of severe disease,” the WHO says.
If you’re the one feeling sick:
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Disinfect objects and surfaces you touch.
- Wear a surgical mask.
China has reported a total of 581 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus
- 5,897 people have been found to have had close contact with infected people
- 4,928 are undergoing medical observation
- 969 people have been discharged from medical observation
- 393 suspected cases were identified across 13 provinces, regions and municipalities
- 95 cases are being qualified as “severe”
- 17 people have died, all in Hubei province
- 257 suspected cases were identified across 13 provinces
- 131 new cases were confirmed across 24 provinces
- 8 people died in Hubei province, five men and three women
Snakes could be the source of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
The Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter.
The many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus), also known as the Taiwanese krait or the Chinese krait, is a highly venomous species of elapid snake found in much of central and southern China and Southeast Asia.
Using samples of the virus isolated from patients, scientists in China have determined the genetic code of the virus and used microscopes to photograph it.
The pathogen responsible for this pandemic is a new coronavirus. It’s in the same family of viruses as the well-known severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which have killed hundreds of people in the past 17 years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV.
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Source: The Hindu