What is Coronavirus? How did it start?

Coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses that cause respiratory diseases in animals. COVID-19 is a new virus found that has affected humans like other coronaviruses SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (middle east respiratory syndrome). COVID-19 is believed to be a new strain that has not been found before in humans, scientists are still researching more about how it spread, the severity of the illness, its causes and the extent to which it may spread.

It first started in China in 2019 and now has spread to almost 30 countries with more than 80000 people infected. China has a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, the affected patients reported that they did not have any exposure to animal markets indicating person to person spread. Countries apart from China have also reported person to person spread of the disease.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

Symptoms of coronavirus can range from fever to severe respiratory diseases, kidney failure etc. The people who have been affected with the disease have reported severe coughs, high fever and breathing difficulties. Since this is a type of viral pneumonia, the antibiotics are of no use. Recovery of the same depends on the strength of the immune system. Cold or flu-like symptoms usually occur within 2–4 days after a coronavirus infection. The symptoms may vary from person to person and can include –

● sneezing
● runny nose
● fatigue
● cough
● sore throat
● exacerbated asthma

How does coronavirus spread? What can we do?

As of now, the scientists are not sure of how contagious the virus is but it is believed that the virus is transmitted through fluids in the respiratory system such as mucus when someone affected with the virus coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads. C oronavirus vaccine isn’t currently available so it’s better to follow a few simple steps to avoid such respiratory diseases. These steps can be –

● Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
● Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
● Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
● Clean surfaces you often touch.
● Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.

Coronavirus updates country-wise:

● Ethiopia
● Kenya
● Tanzania

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