Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
2019 novel coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Although health officials are still tracing the exact source of this new coronavirus. As of February 5, 2020, 492 deaths have been attributed to the virus including India, Japan, the US, Australis, and others.
People living or traveling in any area where the 2019-nCoV virus is circulating may be at risk of infection. At present, 2019-nCoV is circulating in China where the vast majority of people infected have been reported. Those infected from other countries are among people who have recently traveled from China or who have been living or working closely with those travelers, such as family members, co-workers or medical professionals caring for a patient before they knew the patient was infected with 2019-nCoV.
Here are some basic tips to protect yourself and others from getting sick: Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and respiratory difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
If you want to protect yourself from getting infected with the new coronavirus, you should maintain basic hand and respiratory hygiene, safe food practices and avoiding close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. People over the age of 50 or with certain medical conditions are more prone to the disease.
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus. Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to coordinate efforts to develop medicines to treat nCoV with a range of partners.