What is coronavirus, how does it spread and what are the symptoms? – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has so far killed more than 900 people and infected over 40,000 with nearly 6,500 of those being in a serious/critical condition.

But what exactly is coronavirus, how does it spread and what are the symptoms?

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).

The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing pneumonia-like lung lesions.

Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while others – like the one that caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) – are far more severe.

In 2003 an outbreak of a similar virus, Sars, killed more than 900 around the world within weeks.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are similar to a common cold.

They include:

  • a runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • chills
  • body aches

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or those with weakened immune systems.

There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus.

To help prevent infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common cold such as using alcohol-based anti-bacterial soaps and sprays.

People should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth – and avoid contact with people who are infected.

A coronavirus infection should be treated the same way a cold is treated.

How does coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus is an airborne virus, spread in a similar way to colds and the flu.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

This means that anyone who is infected can pass it on to any surface or person they breathe on or touch.

How far has the virus spread so far?

In spite of efforts to contain the virus, it has gone international.

There have been more than 40,000 cases confirmed so far.

China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, US, Germany, Vietnam, Macao, France, UAE, Canada, Italy, UK, India, Philippines, Russia, Nepal, Cambodia, Finland, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Belgium and Sweden have all reported cases.

On January 31, 2020 the first two cases were reported in the UK.

On February 6, a third Brit tested positive for coronavirus.

On February 8, five Britons, including one child, were diagnosed with the virus in France after coming into contact with a person who had been in Singapore.

How many people have died from coronavirus?

The global death toll currently stands at more than 900, priming it to become more deadly than SARS.

There are currently over 40,000 cases with nearly 6,500 of those being in a serious/critical condition.

In China, the majority of deaths have been in the central province of Hubei.


A Chinese baby boy has been born inside a coronavirus quarantine zone with both his parents feared to carry the deadly disease.</p>
<p>Medics dressed in hazmat suits have delivered the 7lb 11oz boy at Wuhan Union Hospital on Saturday.</p>
<p>The Wuhan hospital's isolation unit, inside the quarantined Hubei province, is the designated national location for pregnant coronavirus patients.</p>
<p>As a result, medics such as Doctor Song have been sent from numerous other provinces to assist with the influx of people.</p>
<p>The new mother has been held in isolation as a suspected carrier of the deadly virus, while her husband remains in quarantine after he was diagnosed.</p>
<p>Pictures from inside Wuhan Union Hospital, one of the facilities on the front line of the viral outbreak in Central China's Hubei Province, show the newborn boy in the arms of Doctor Song Bo.</p>
<p>The doctor said: "The child is healthy and everyone is very happy,” explaining the baby boy would be transferred to Wuhan Children's Hospital for further tests.</p>
<p>He added: "As a father-of-two myself, it's been tough being on the front line day and night, but we're all so excited to see this new life.”</p>
<p>"I believe we will win the fight against this disease."


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