It all began with what was considered pneumonia in Wuhan in the later part of December last year. Soon, officials found that this was a new viral outbreak that had originated from the seafood market.

The 2019 novel coronavirus has affected an estimated 10,000 people as confirmed by Chinese officials. A research, published in The Lancet journal, says that it has affected 10 times more people than that which have been officially confirmed. It says that about 75,000 people have been infected. Furthermore, about 102,000 people are under medical observation.

Spreading Outside China

While this is a new strain of coronavirus, corona has affected the masses before as well. The latest type has come from bats and snakes while other types, SARS came from civet cats and MERS from camels. This zoonotic virus was earlier believed to be transmitted from only animals to humans, though health authorities soon understood that human-to-human transmission is at play as well.

This has allowed the viral infection to spread to 18 different countries including Germany, Japan, and the US. In the United States, 11 cases have been detected so far, but no deaths have taken place. The WHO reported last week that 98 cases had been detected in other parts of the world. The virus has taken one life in Philippines recently which is the first outside of China.

Social media is filled with videos of the viral ailment. Chinese government has locked down Wuhan to prevent further spreading of the virus. Health officials in China say that they’re willing to help countries with weak healthcare systems if the virus gets to them.

Some nations have even closed borders to China and international companies like Ikea have halted operations in the country. However, though the WHO has called coronavirus a global emergency, it hasn’t recommended closing trade or travel with China.

What You Can Do

Symptoms of coronavirus include shortness of breath, trouble breathing, cough, and fever. It can also cause kidney problems, pneumonia, and death. In order to stay safe, people in China are wearing gloves and masks. Some preventative measures you can take include:

  • Washing your hands regularly. Wash your hands before and after cooking and eating. Wash them after coming from outdoors. And wash them after interacting with sick people.
  • Don’t touch your nose, eyes, and mouth as those are the main entry places for the virus.