What is the 2019 Coronavirus Outbreak?


Coronaviruses are viruses that have crown-like spikes on their surface. There are seven different types with four main subgroupings: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.


The outbreak right now in 2019 is of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and mainly causes respiratory illness. It was first detected in Wuhan, China and is suspected to have a person-to-person spread, however it is unclear how easily this virus is spreading.


Transmission of Virus

The way this virus is spread is still unknown but it is thought to be spread by coughing or sneezing, similar to how flu spreads. It could also spread if the person has some contact with a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, there is still no concrete information and it is unsure how contagious this virus it.


Symptoms

Coronaviruses usually have symptoms similar to a cold and affects the upper respiratory system, and they usually only last for a short period of time. They may include:

- runny nose

- headache

- cough

- sore throat

- fever

- shortness of breath

- a general feeling of being unwell


However, in some cases they can also cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults. It also depends on the type of coronavirus.


Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You should:

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.

- Use a mask to cover your mouth when in crowded places.


If you do get sick, it is important to keep the illness from spreading so you should:

- Stay home when you are sick.

- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects


There is no vaccine or proper treatment as of now, the best thing to do is to prevent yourself from getting exposed or get supportive treatment for your symptoms such as cold or fever.


For more information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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