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4 Things to Know About Chinese Coronavirus

The last month of 2019 was drastic as it first saw a new type of pneumonia-like infection in Wuhan, China. These cases remained a medical mystery for some time as it wasn’t clear that which pathogens are causing this new infection. The doctors, epidemiologists, and researchers altogether worked to find this new viral strain that turned out to be a member of the coronavirus family.

The virus is spreading like anything. Not just in China but it has also made its way to other countries including Japan, France, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, and even the USA. That is why it is important to know basic things about Chinese coronavirus. The common thing between all these cases is that all of them recently traveled to China.

Also read: The coronavirus outbreak might be the new global emergency

Little is known that there is no standard protocol to diagnose coronavirus or treat it. So any specific medical help or treatment at this point is beyond question. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned that the risk to the US population is much lower still researchers are working to know more about this new Chinese coronavirus. Here are five things to know about Chinese coronavirus.

1- This is a new virus and doctors and researchers are clueless about it

The literal meaning of coronavirus is “spikey, crown-like structure” and this virus shows spikes on its surface under a microscope lens. Corona in Latin means crown and that’s why it has got this unique name for it. This virus spreads through the respiratory tract just like the common cold and is highly contagious. It has a close resemblance with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which made a historic mark back in 2002-2003 in China.

Just like how SARS remained anonymous for a long time, coronavirus 0C43 and 229E, were the only two strains that could cause diseases in humans. However, after SARDS, two more strains of Chinese named NL63 and HKU, are identified and held responsible for human infections.

2- This virus has emerged from animals to humans

CDC reports that human coronaviruses are very common in multiple parts of the world. Many strains of coronavirus are causing human infections but the 2019’s Chinese coronavirus is the latest strain that has caused a global endemic. How it transmits from one to another person is still not clear and it is hard to say its severity of pathogenesis. Medical experts believe that it is spreading among people but it has emerged from animals.

3- Symptoms of Chinese coronavirus and the common cold are exact same

Started as a mild infection, doctors were not expecting if the new Chinese coronavirus would cause severe illness. Coronavirus takes a slow start contrary to the symptoms of SARS and MERS. But these symptoms are very similar to the common cold. The common symptoms include sneezing, flu, cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing.

Also read- 80 Confirmed Deaths by Coronavirus, China Cancels Lunar New Year Celebrations

Just like the common cold, Chinese coronavirus has no vaccine. The only thing that could control its spread is self-care and preventive measures. Experts advise taking care of personal hygiene especially before and after eating and using the toilet.

4-Researchers are working to find treatment and vaccine for coronavirus

Researchers are currently working on this new strain so that they could develop a treatment plan for it. CDC advises people not to travel to areas where this virus is reported.  It also advises not to make any physical contact with sick persons, avoid animals at public places and take care of their personal hygiene. Currently, many airlines are conducting safety screening on passengers flying from China to the US and other leading airports of the world.

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Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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