What is coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans including the common cold and more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus is named after its shape which takes the form of a crown with protrusions around it and hence is known as coronavirus.
How does it spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Symptoms of coronavirus
- A dry cough
- A temperature
- Shortness of breath (in more severe cases)
- Some patients may have “aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea”, the WHO adds. “These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell”.
Precautions to avoid coronavirus
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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 and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Estimated coronavirus cases
The number of people worldwide who have been infected with the coronavirus has passed 90,000. More than 3,000 have died since the outbreak began in December. The vast majority of cases — more than 80,000 — have occurred in China, but around 60 other countries are now also dealing with outbreaks. Many nations are preparing for a global pandemic, as reports of cases caused by spread within communities — rather than being imported from China — rise.
South Korea, Italy and Iran are fighting the largest outbreaks outside China.