What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses known for containing strains that cause potentially deadly diseases in mammals and birds. In humans they are typically spread via airborne droplets of fluid produced by infected individuals.

Some rare but notable strains, including Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and those responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), can cause death in humans.

Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s, but we don’t know where they come from. They get their name from their crown-like shape. Sometimes, but not often, a coronavirus can infect both animals and humans.

Most coronaviruses spread the same way other cold-causing viruses do: through infected people coughing and sneezing, by touching an infected person’s hands or face, or by touching things such as doorknobs that infected people have touched.

Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child. In the United States, coronaviruses are more common in the fall and winter, but anyone can come
down with a coronavirus infection at any time.


The Signs And Symptoms Of  Coronavirus

The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including runny nosecoughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won’t know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.

Typical symptoms of the Chinese coronavirus are similar to respiratory diseases. An infected person will exhibit fever, cough, breathing difficulties and pneumonia. Fatigue is also common.

signs and symptoms of coronavirus
signs and symptoms of coronavirus

Coronavirus Precaution & Preventive Measures

Practice hygieneWash your hands frequently and avoid crowded places. These are simple yet effective guidelines that can save you from infection. Use hand sanitisers and don’t touch your mouthnose or eyes with unwashed handsWear a mask if you use public transport and avoid public washrooms and restaurants.

coronavirus preventions and precaution

How Is This Coronavirus Diagnosed?

This virus has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days. This means that even if you are infected, you may not exhibit any symptoms. But you are still a carrier. This is what is so frightening as it makes the virus more difficult to control. One suspected case in India is a man who had travelled to China a month ago. He is currently in isolation at a hospital after complaining of flu-like 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.

So, if you have been to China in the recent past or been in contact with someone who has been to that country, be alert to symptoms. Report to a hospital immediately if you notice anything amiss, self-quarantine yourself and call the helpline set up by the government. If you go to a hospital, you may unwittingly spread the virus to other around you.


High Risk Groups

Though this virus infects people of all ages, the elderly and young children are particularly susceptible.  People over the age of  65 and children under the age of two must be careful. It is particularly dangerous for people who ae already suffering from an underlying health condition and have a weak immune system.


Cure for Coronavirus

There is no cure or a vaccine for this coronavirus. Doctors will treat the symptoms. But antibiotics will not work because the infection is not bacterial.

If a patient progresses to pneumonia, he will most likely be put on life support. This is because viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics. Supportive care is the best course of action till the patient recovers. However, experts across the world are working against time to find a cure and develop a vaccine.



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