The Coronavirus And Everything You Need To Know

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If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’re probably aware that there’s a new virus rampant that everyone is panicking about. Originally from China, the Wuhan Coronavirus now has more than 4700 reported cases and has spread to Thailand, Japan, the United States, South Korea and more. Keep reading for all the details on what exactly it is and what the symptoms are: 

Where Exactly Does This New Viral Come From?

The coronavirus is from a family of viruses that originate from animals. Those infected frequently visited the Hunan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city, which sells live and newly slaughtered animals. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS) are two other forms of coronaviruses that have previously infected individuals.

What Are The Symptoms?

The Wuhan Coronavirus is termed so because of the city from where it first originated. The symptoms of it include fever, difficulty breathing and a sore throat or cough. It’s similar to other respiratory diseases such as the common flu and cold, but there in extremely severe cases, there is  a risk of life threatening pneumonia. However, according to the Guardian, the mortality rate is less than 3% and there is no need to panic just yet.

How Does It Spread?

The coronavirus is similar to the flu in the sense that it spreads through direct and indirect contact. Direct contact would be through the physical transfer of the microorganism between those around you by the means of oral secretions. Indirect contact is when an infected person coughs or sneezes, spreading the germs on nearby surfaces (doorknobs, phones, etc). However, health professionals have yet to confirm if transmission of the disease can take place before the symptoms start to show – something that would make the spread of the disease more difficult to handle.

What Are The Safety Measures You Can Take To Avoid Catching It?

As of now, there aren’t any cases of the viral in Pakistan, but it’s better to be safe than sorry by taking steps to protect yourself from it.

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Just like with influenza or the common cold, the coronavirus can be spread through contact with infected surfaces. Making sure your hands are clean and free from the germs around you is the first step in ensuring you don’t catch this viral, or any other!
  • Avoid touching your mouth and face with unwashed hands – something most of us are unconsciously guilty of doing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be careful in public places such as an airport, especially of touching things.
  • Get a flu vaccination. It might not protect you from the viral, but could reduce your chances of catching it. Plus, would be easier on the health authorities if this grows into a wider epidemic.
  • The Pakistan foreign office has also set up a hotline for the Pakistani students and nationals within China to contact if they feel they are carrying the virus.
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