Everything You Need To Know About New Coronavirus

1. What is the virus causing the illness in Wuhan?

The virus is a new member of the coronavirus family that is linked to the Hua Nan Seafood Market in Wuhan. The outbreak likely started from a spillover incident passed from animal to human. The spillover happened through human-to-animal contacts in markets where live and newly slaughtered animals are sold for food.

2. What are the symptoms caused by the coronavirus?

New coronavirus causes pneumonia. The symptoms include coughing, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases there can be organ failure. There is no effective antibiotics. Recovery depends on the strength of their immune system. Those who are in poor health may die of the virus.

3. How deadly is this disease?

The mortality rate now is around 2.38%. It’s far less than say 10% mortality rate for the SARS virus, and 30% for the MERS virus. Many patients with mild coronavirus symptoms may not have been reported to authorities yet, which would mean mortality rate could be even lower.

4. How fast the virus spreads?

From January 21to February 12, the number of reported patients in China, mostly Chinese mainland has leapfrogged from 325 to at least 44,000. 25 other countries have reported confirmed cases. But in these countries, the spread has been hardly dramatic, from 5 to 163.

5. Is the virus being transmitted from one person to another?

Yes. New coronaviruses spread from an effected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing. The formed respiratory droplets come in contact with someone through their eyes, nose or mouth .

6. How can I help protect myself?

Wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to protect you from getting effected. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve, but avoid covering with your hands directly. Wash your hands frequently and properly with soap and running water thoroughly for at least 15 seconds.

7. Am I at risk for new coronavirus from a package from China?

No. In general. Because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is low risk of spreading from products or packaging that are shipped over a few weeks at ambient temperatures.

8. Why is this worse than normal influenza?

Seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below1% while the new coronavirus causes a mortality rate of 2.38%. Another crucial difference is that there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, meaning that vulnerable people – elderly people or people with poor immune systems would likely die if they get effected.

9. Should I go to the doctor if I have a cough?

If you have travelled to or traveled near Wuhan or other outbreak cities in the last two weeks, and suffered cough or fever or difficult breathing, you should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if the symptoms are mild, according to the NHS. These symptoms are similar to SARS and MERS, and cases of the new coronavirus are only confirmed at CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) labs.

10. I live in North America, should I panic?

No. The spread of the virus outside is fast, but can not be an unexpected development. The WHO has declared the outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern, and there is an opportunity to halt the spread of the virus.

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