Symptoms of coronavirus — and some precautions to stay away from the epidemic
- There are several types of coronaviruses found in animals. However only 6 are known to affect human beings.
- Some infected people may not even show any symptoms of the virus.
- Some of the symptoms are mild respiratory problems, cough, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath or diarrhoea.
- A precautionary guide issued by WHO that suggests people to frequently clean hands, cover mouth and nose when coughing, avoiding contact with anyone who has fever or common cold.
The number of cases have been growing rapidly. India too reported the death of a Thai girl who had coronavirus-like symptoms on January 28. Moreover, over 300 people in Kerala were kept under observation over a suspected infection. And, six suspects were hospitalised in Jaipur, Bihar and Hyderabad.
Most of the suspects people the virus are travelling from China to the world. Sri Lanka stopped giving on-arrival visas to people from China after reporting its first case. India too has been screening people at the airport.
What is a coronavirus?
There are several types of coronaviruses found in animals. However only six are known to affect human beings.
“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS,” according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The news about coronavirus broke out in December when it affected 41 people who got the infection from a seafood and meat wholesale market in Wuhan. The market sold a variety of animal meat including peacocks, bats, frogs, snakes, fox, scolopendra, crocodile, kangaroo among others. Health authorities are yet to discover which species of animal caused the outbreak.
The virus is known to be infectious and can be transmitted from one person to another. According to China’s National Health Commission minister Ma Xiaowei, the virus is contagious even in an incubation stage that lasts upto 14 days.
Some infected people may not even show any symptoms of the virus. While some people may have mild respiratory problems, cough, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath or diarrhoea.
At times, people who have kidney failure of pneumonia can also be infected with the virus.
Precaution and cure
Since the virus is new, scientists around the world are finding it difficult to look for a cure.
However, there is a precautionary guide issued by WHO that suggests people to frequently clean hands, cover mouth and nose when coughing, avoiding contact with anyone who has fever or common cold, seeking medical help in case of fever, avoiding consumption of raw or undercooked animal products like meat or milk.
“If you are ill, put on a mask. If you are going to a crowded place, put on a mask even if you are not ill,” recommended Gabriel Leung, co-director of University of Hong Kong’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control.
A mask prevents the wearer from spreading the diseases via mouth and nose but it may not be able to give full protection from the virus as it lacks airtight seal. However, masks offer basic protection from the virus.
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