Coronavirus 101

What Kind of Disease is this?

Coronavirus is similar to the flu, as are the symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people may also experience fatigue, headaches, and not as common, but diarrhea. Most coronaviruses are not serious, but some are. Those that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) can be fatal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80% of cases thus far seem to be mild.


Where did Coronavirus Come From? And where is it now?

The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, where about 11 million people reside. Many of the early patients were connected to Hua Nan Seafood Wholesale Market, a large seafood and animal market in the city, reported by CBS News. However, since then, an increasing number of people, who are not connected in any way to the market, have caught the virus. As of now, at least 20 countries or places have confirmed cases of Coronavirus. At least 430 other cases have been identified in places outside China, including: the U.S., Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


How does it spread?

Originally, Health officials believe the virus was originally spread from animals to humans, but that human-to-human transmission of the flu-like illness is now taking place. Health officials believe the virus can be spread from person to person via exchange of fluids from the respiratory tract, but they still don't know exactly how. It also seems to be likely for the virus to be transmitted by infected individuals who are not displaying any symptoms at all.


What Steps Can I Take to Prevent Getting Coronavirus?

While there is still no vaccine for coronavirus, here are some tips to prevent coronavirus infection:


  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, like Purell.

  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are infected.

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