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Health & Fit What is Coronavirus? The new virus from China explained.

15:45  21 january  2020
15:45  21 january  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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HONG KONG — A mysterious new respiratory virus that emerged in central China has killed at least three people and sickened more than 200 others Coronaviruses are named after the spikes that protrude from their membranes, like the sun’s corona. Such viruses cause several illnesses of the

A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected more than 200 people 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.

a close up of a flower: Three-dimensional drawing of Coronavirus© Shutterstock Three-dimensional drawing of Coronavirus

"What we know is it causes pneumonia and then doesn't respond to antibiotic treatment, which is not surprising, but then in terms of mortality, SARS kills 10% of the individuals," Poon, a virologist at the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong, said.

The World Health Organization offered guidance to countries on how they can prepare for it, including how to monitor for the sick and how to treat patients.

CDC expects more U.S. cases of China coronavirus

  CDC expects more U.S. cases of China coronavirus The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday it expects to see more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in the United States. © Dr_Microbe/Getty Images The agency said it has developed a new test that allowed it to identify the presence of the virus in a traveler from China in Seattle and plans to expand screening to airports in Atlanta and Chicago.The newly identified coronavirus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and has spread to Beijing and Shanghai. More than 300 people have been infected so far and six have died, according to Chinese health officials.

China has confirmed that the deadly Wuhan coronavirus virus can be transmitted between humans, with medical workers currently among the infected. Officials say the number of confirmed cases of the new and mysterious virus has risen sharply above 200, with cases also being reported in Japan

The new Chinese virus which has already spread abroad "is still preventable and controllable", China says. And officials in China and the World Health Organization have concluded the infection is a coronavirus . Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses , but only six ( the new one would make it

Here are seven things you should know about a coronavirus.

What is a coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus symptoms

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.

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.

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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. First identified in the Guangdong province in southern China, according to the WHO, it causes respiratory problems but can also cause diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, respiratory distress and kidney failure. Depending on the patient's age, the death rate with SARS ranged from 0-50% of the cases, with older people being the most vulnerable.

How it spreads

Viruses can spread from human contact with animals. Scientists think MERS started in camels, according to the WHO. With SARS, scientists suspected civet cats were to blame.

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What is a coronavirus , the mystery illness sweeping through China ? The World Health Organization announced Monday that it will convene an Emergency Committee on the virus on January 22 in Geneva, Switzerland, to determine if the outbreak is a public health emergency.

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When it comes to human-to-human transmission of the viruses, often it happens when someone comes into contact with the infected person's secretions.

Depending on how virulent the virus is, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Caregivers can sometimes be exposed by handling a patient's waste, according to the CDC.

Coronavirus treatment

There is no specific treatment. Most of the time, symptoms will go away on their own.

Doctors can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication. The CDC says a room humidifier or a hot shower can help with a sore throat or cough.

Drink plenty of fluids, get rest and sleep as much as possible.

If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, see your doctor.

How can you can prevent it

There is no vaccine to protect against this family of viruses, at least not yet. Trials for a MERS vaccine are underway.

You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by avoiding people who are sick. Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds.

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Three of the new cases are severe, with experts worried about the disease’s spread ahead of lunar new year.

If you are sick, stay home and avoid crowds and contact with others.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfect the objects and surfaces you touch.

Coronavirus and pregnancy

In pregnant women, the more severe versions of MERS and SARS coronaviruses can be serious. There are cases in which a woman infected with MERS had a stillbirth, a 2014 study showed.

SARS-associated illnesses were linked to cases of spontaneous abortion, maternal death and critical maternal illness, a 2004 study found.

Coronavirus and cats, dogs and other animals

Pets can catch coronaviruses and the infections can become severe. Sometimes the viruses can lead to deadly diseases. One can cause feline infectious peritonitis in cats and something called a pantropic canine coronavirus can infect cats and dogs, according to a 2011 study.

Cats can catch SARS, but none of the infected cats developed symptoms, according to the study. The feline coronavirus typically is asymptomatic, but can cause mild diarrhea. Feline infectious peritonitis, or FIP, can cause flu-like symptoms for a cat, but can also be more serious for cats and can cause organ failure, but it is not contagious and will not spread from animal to animal or person to person.

Pantropic canine coronavirus that can impact cats and dogs can be fatal to dogs, studies show.

China's coronavirus has not mutated in the US, says CDC

  China's coronavirus has not mutated in the US, says CDC US health authorities said Monday they have sequenced the genome of the first two cases of the Chinese coronavirus reported in the country and confirmed the virus has not mutated since leaving China. © Mark RALSTON Passengers arriving at Los Angeles on January 22 2020 taking precautions against the coronavirus Nancy Messonnier, head of respiratory diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said she was planning imminent changes on measures to control and track the deadly virus, beyond the current restrictions just on travelers arriving from the city Wuhan, which is at the epicenter of the outbreak.

A new strain of virus that was previously unknown to scientists has spread across China in recent days, as well as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea Coronaviruses can cause symptoms ranging from a mild cold to death. But the new strain has caused particular alarm because of its connection to Sars.

Experts fear latest strain of virus may spread across planet from person to person.

These particular dog and cat viruses don't seem to spread to humans.

a person standing next to a horse: A Saudi farmer wears a mouth and nose mask as he works near camels at his farm outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to avoid spreading the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) . Since Spring 2012 MERS-CoV has been spreading slowly among populations in the Middle-East.© FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images A Saudi farmer wears a mouth and nose mask as he works near camels at his farm outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to avoid spreading the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) . Since Spring 2012 MERS-CoV has been spreading slowly among populations in the Middle-East. a person wearing glasses talking on a cell phone: WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) A woman wears a mask while walking past the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to cases of Coronavirus, on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Local authorities have confirmed that a second person in the city has died of a pneumonia-like virus since the outbreak started in December. (Photo by Getty Images)© Getty Images/Getty Images WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) A woman wears a mask while walking past the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to cases of Coronavirus, on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Local authorities have confirmed that a second person in the city has died of a pneumonia-like virus since the outbreak started in December. (Photo by Getty Images)

Coronavirus in the U.S.: CDC orders 14-day quarantine for nearly 200 Americans recently evacuated from Wuhan .
The group arrived Wednesday by plane at the March Air Reserve Base in Southern California and were staying at the base under a three-day voluntary quarantine. US health officials previously said they wouldn't issue a blanket quarantine for the evacuees, as some agreed to stay at the base voluntarily longer than 72 hours.Then Thursday, one of the passengers tried to leave the base and was ordered to stay there in quarantine for a 14-day incubation period "or until otherwise cleared," Riverside County Public Health said in a statement.

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