Coronavirus is making headlines for the recent outbreak in China. It has affected more than 1000 people in Asia and at least 80 reported deaths. The Chinese government has put a ban on intracity travel in all affected areas of the coronavirus outbreak. Wuhan, the central place of this outbreak is completely lockdown to control this viral spread.
Coronavirus is a class of viruses that also includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). This SARS virus has killed thousands of people in the 2002-2003 outbreak that is why this new mysterious strain of coronavirus is causing a serious health concern all around the world.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in it. This new strain was first seen in Wuhan city of Hubei Province which is one of the biggest cities in Central China.
This first case was reported on 31st December 2019 in the city of Wuhan and after that many other cases are reported in other cities as well. This new virus from China has also made to other countries that include Thailand, South Korea, Thailand, and the US as well.
The cities where this virus was reported to include the following.
- Beijing (China)
- Shanghai (China)
- Wuhan (China)
- Guangdong (China)
- Seoul (South Korea)
- Tokyo (Japan)
- Bangkok (Thailand)
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that coronavirus doesn’t cause any distinctive symptoms. In fact, its symptoms are just like mild to moderate infection of the upper respiratory tract. That is why people often confuse coronavirus symptoms as the common cold.
Signs and symptoms of coronavirus as following.
- Runny nose
- Core throat
- Body pains
It sometimes leads to severe complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis. People with cardiopulmonary disease and low immunity, older patients and young kids are at higher risk of coronavirus outbreak.
Transmission of coronavirus
Coronaviruses spread through direct contact from an infected person to others. Some of the means of its transmission include the following.
- Direct physical contact (touching)
- Touching the contaminated surfaces
- Fecal contamination (very rare)
Prevention strategy from coronavirus
There are no vaccines or treatment medicines currently available against coronavirus. So the risk of coronavirus can be reduced only by taking personal measures such as;
- Washing hands frequently
- Washing hands for at least 20 seconds
- Washing hands before and after eating
- Washing hands before and after using the toilet
- Avoid touching eyes, mouth, nose or face with unclean hands
- Avoid contact with people who exhibit flu symptoms
- Avoid touching surfaces at public places
- Avoid using public bathrooms
If you notice flu-like symptoms that persist, make sure to contact your nearest health care unit as soon as possible. Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing, so that you don’t infect other people. Wash your hands more frequently when you have flu/common cold and use disinfectant to clean the surfaces around you.
Guidelines for travelers
The coronavirus outbreak is more severe in China and in other countries its spread is slower. However, the National Infection Service in the United Kingdom is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations to control its spread. Dr. Nick Phin works as deputy director at the National Infection Service and advises travelers to “maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene”.
Other guidelines for travelers include
- Avoid visiting animals and contact with them
- Avoid contact people with respiratory problems
- Wear a mask in public gathering
- Take care of personal hygiene