Corona viruses: Important facts, Common signs of infection, Prevention tips

Corona viruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause infection ranging from the common cold to further severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been earlier identified in humans. 

According to World Health Organization, “ Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.”

Important facts -

Hundreds of cases of people suffering from a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (termed "2019-nCoV") first detected in the Wuhan, China have been reported from diverse parts of the world. The virus has so far claimed 41 lives.

-Fifteen more deaths are reported at the outbreak’s epicenter.

As China marked a solemn Lunar New Year on Saturday, 15 more deaths from the novel coronavirus were reported in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

- Other countries, including Australia, said the virus have reached their shores.

-The latest deaths, announced early Saturday by the health authorities in Hubei Province, whose capital is Wuhan, brought the toll in China to 41.

-Just three of those deaths have been outside Wuhan: one in another city in Hubei, one in Hebei Province, and one in Heilongjiang, near the Russian border.


-The latest victims ranged in age from 55 to 87 including 11 were males, and 4 females.

-In China more than 400 new cases of the virus were diagnosed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the most populous country of world.

-Nearly 1,300.  Travel restrictions in Wuhan and 12 other cities have essentially penned in 35 million people on the country’s biggest holiday, normally a time for traveling to visit family.

Common signs of infection

-It includes respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

-In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

-The symptoms, experts believe, can become evident in two days or 14 days after exposure to the virus.

The Prevention tips

The best way to avert this infection is to avoid getting exposed to this virus.

Here are some precautionary measures one can take on to prevent the spread of the infection -

-Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands.

-Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

-Stay home when you are ill.

-Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include 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.

-Throw the tissues used in coughing and sneezing in the trash.

-Clean and disinfect often touched objects and surfaces.


What researchers say -?

-People without symptoms could be spreading the virus.

-The medical journal The Lancet published a study on Friday suggesting that “people infected with the corona virus might be able to spread it even if they do not have flu symptoms.”

-Researchers studied a family of seven in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, five of whom had traveled to Wuhan, the center of the outbreak. Two of them came into contact with an infected relative in a hospital there. Testing conducted days later, after they flew home, found that six members of the family had the coronavirus, including one who had not gone to Wuhan.


One infected family member, a child, had no symptoms, suggesting that people with the virus might be spreading it without knowing that they have it, the study illustrated.

The treatment

There is at present no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. People suffering from the virus should be given supportive care to help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, the treatment should consist of care to support vital organ functions.