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What is the 2019 Novel coronavirus?

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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020. 10:28 am CST.

By BBN Staff: There have been many articles explaining the statistics surrounding the rapid spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

But what is this new novel coronavirus?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. The coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to pneumonia.

The coronaviruses are common in different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect humans and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with 2019-nCoV.

Initially, the patients in the center of the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.

But, the CDC says that an increasing number of patients have reportedly not had any exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.

In relation to the spreading of the disease, the CDC says that most of what is known is similar knowledge about the other coronaviruses.

Reported illnesses of the novel coronavirus has ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.

Symptoms can include:

Fever

Cough

Shortness of breath

It must also be noted that symptoms can appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

The CDC informed that it has developed a new laboratory test kit for use in testing patient specimens for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Can the 2019 novel coronavirus be treated?

Information from the CDC confirms that there is no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.

The public is advised to prevent getting infected by avoiding being exposed to the virus.

More preventative actions, you can take include:

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Facemasks are to be used by those who show symptoms of the virus, the facemasks are used to protect others from the risk of becoming infected.

The CDC also urges all travelers that recently returned from China (during the last 14 days) to visit medical offices if they feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

Other measures they can take include avoiding contact with others, avoid travelling while sick.

The Ministry of Health in Belize continues to engage in national surveillance activities to prevent the entry of the novel coronavirus in Belize.

 

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