If you have social media or even occasionally glance at the news, you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus. The coronavirus has reportedly infected 9,800 people and resulted in at least 213 deaths. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China a city of 11 million people. Many of the early patients were reportedly linked to Hua Nan Seafood Wholesale Market, a large seafood and animal market in the city, according to CBS News' Ramy Inocencio. Since then, many people have been infected without being exposed to the food from the market. As of January 30th, the coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illnesses as minor as a cold, or as serious as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. The virus can be spread from an animal to a human. The coronavirus has also spread internationally, with recorded cases in the U.S., Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and several others. There are reportedly 98 cases of the virus across various countries and 6 cases in the United States- the first spread of the virus from person-to-person in the U.S. has been recorded as of January 30th by the CDC. Strict travel restriction are currently in place to China.
What are the symptoms?
According to the CDC, symptoms include a runny nose, headache, fever, sore throat, and the virus can cause pneumonia. Recovering from the virus greatly depends on immune system strength- as many of those who died were in poor health and pre-existing conditions.
Can it be treated?
Unfortunately, antibiotics are of no use once the virus is transmitted. However, once admitted to the hospital, medical care may include support for the respiratory system, other organs in the body as well as additional fluid administered. The person infected must recover from the virus on the strength of their own immune system.
How can I protect myself?
Although there aren’t any vaccines you can get to prevent getting the virus, you can certainly avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, wash your hands often with soap and water, and avoid contact with those who are ill. It's also suggested you avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals. Be sure to also thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
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