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A Simple Guide: Coronavirus symptoms, spread and protection

Coronavirus outbreak in China has taken many lives and has infected hundreds. So, what exactly is Coronavirus? And how can you identify the symptoms and protect yourself from this deadly infection.

India TV Lifestyle Desk India TV Lifestyle Desk
New Delhi Updated on: March 16, 2020 19:33 IST


The deadly Coonavirus has caused many deaths world over and has infected hundreds across the globe. Countries from across the world have been a close eye on its citizens who have visited China in recent times.  The virus was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Dec. 31, 2019. Chinese scientists have linked the disease to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses, which include the deadly SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Chinese government officials have promised a tougher crackdown to stop the spread of the virus. The Indian Government has also taken note of the virus and has issued a travel advisory. A travel advisory has been issued and put up on the Ministry's website and Twitter handles for wider circulation. The Prime Minister's office has been keeping a close eye n the issue and Indians living in China have been kept under special monitoring for their track of the virus.

 The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has said that the National Institute of Virology in Pune is fully prepared to test samples of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) along with 10 other laboratories under the Indian Council of Medical Research's Viral Research.

While there have been no positive cases of Coronavirus, passengers returning from China are being kept under close watch. 172 people from Kerala who recently returned from China were checked and found negative.

What is Coronavirus?

The coronavirus causes a type of pneumonia, was thought to have first originated at a wholesale seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. It was first reported in late December. The World Health Organization said it appears the outbreak began in an animal source.​ Coronavirus spreads like most of the cold-causing viruses. The virus can spread through coughing, sneezing or touching an infected area. While everyone is prone to get infected by this virus, young children are at the maximum danger of this virus 

Common Symptoms of Coronavirus

Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

How to prevent Coronavirus infection?

The World Health Organisation has issued an advisory, informing people about the ways they could save themselves from getting infected by a coronavirus.

Preventive measures recommended are regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Meat consumers have been advised to only consume thoroughly cooked meats items to save themselves from Coronavirus.

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Coronavirus advisory

How does the Coronavirus spread?

Coronaviruses are zoonotic viruses, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. Hence, hand hygiene is a very essential component of preventing the infection.

Maintain at least a meter (three feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.

How to protect yourself from Coronavirus?

Washing your hands with an antiseptic handwash and water kills the virus if it is on your hands. Hands come in contact with various surfaces and if we touch that hand on the face or bring it close to nose we can acquire the virus. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as coughing and sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they secrete small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

Hence, the distance can help your chance of acquiring and avoiding public places. Hands touch many surfaces that can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

How dangerous is coronavirus?

As with other respiratory illnesses, infection with 2019-nCoV can cause mild symptoms including runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Can coronavirus be transmitted from person to person?
Yes, the 2019-nCoV causes respiratory disease and can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household workplace, or health care centre.

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