A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected hundreds since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans.The viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.
“We are only hours away from China — where about 139 cases of the
#coronavirus have already been confirmed. Being airborne and a communicable disease, I can’t stress enough that PREVENTION is better than a cure.” says Richard on twitter
For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like a pneumonia or bronchitis.
Are all coronaviruses deadly?
There are a handful of human coronaviruses that are known to be deadly.Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, also known as the MERS virus, was first reported in the Middle East in 2012 and also causes respiratory problems, but those symptoms are much more severe.
Three to four out of every 10 patients infected with MERS died, according to the CDC.Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as SARS, is the other coronavirus that can cause more severe symptoms.
Your healthcare provider may order laboratory tests on respiratory specimens and serum (part of your blood) to detect human coronaviruses. Laboratory testing is more likely to be used if you have severe disease or are suspected of having MERS.
If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel or contact with animals. Most MERS-CoV infections have been reported from countries in the Arabian Peninsula.
Therefore reporting a travel history or contact with camels or camel products is very important when trying to diagnose MERS.
Person-to-person transmission of Wuhan virus
The Wuhan coronavirus is in the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.To date, the Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 300 people and killed six in an outbreak that has struck China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the US. While there’s much to learn about how easily the virus can be transmitted human-to-human, health officials said it appears that it’s not spread as easily as some other viruses.