What is coronavirus, how did it start and could the outbreak grow bigger?

What is coronavirus, how did it start and could the outbreak grow bigger?

The new coronavirus nCoVd is spreading fast. More than 273,000 people are known to be
infected and over 11,300 deaths have been recorded – including 197 people in the UK who were
diagnosed with the virus.
While the outbreak started in China, the bulk of cases and fatalities are now outside the country
and the virus is spreading internationally.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses is collection of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new
virus, have made the jump to humans, it may just cause cold-like symptoms in humans
Two other coronaviruses “Middle East respiratory syndrome” and severe acute respiratory
syndromes {SARS} are much more severe having killed more than 1500 people between
them since 2002.
The new virus, officially called Covid19, is also dangerous so far, Around 20٪ of confirmed cases
have been classed as severe or critical. So far, around 15 to 25٪ of hospital cases have been
classed as severe and the current death rate varies between 0.8 per cent and 3.5 ٪ depending on
the location and, crucially,access to good hospital care and facilities
How did the outbreak start?
The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a meat market in Wuhan,China which sold both
dead and live animals including fish and birds_
These Markets poses a heightened risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans because
hygiene standard are difficult to maintain if live animals are being kept and butchered on site;
Typically they are also densely packed.
The animal source of the latest outbreak has not yet been detected, but the original host is
thought to be bats. Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected live poultry
animals or other animals sold there.
Bats are host to a wide range of zoonotic viruses including Ebola, HIV and rabies etc.
Could the outbreak grow bigger?
It’s impossible to say in which way the disease will go but, on its current trajectory, it is likely to
spread to more countries, affecting many more people. The number of cases is beginning to
decrease in China but the cases in other countries are climbing.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Initial symptoms include fever, dry cough, tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell. For a
full read-out of the symptoms and treatment of coronavirus,
How many people have died from the disease so far?

More than 272,200 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak started, and the death toll has
exceeded 11,360. The majority of cases are now outside China, and the virus has spread to more
than 170 other countries.
According to data from the Chinese authorities, around 80 per cent of cases of the disease are
mild, but 20 per cent require hospitalisation, and the death rate has varied by country to country
How is coronavirus spread?
Like cold and flu , the virus is spread via droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The
droplets land on surfaces and are picked up on the hands of others and spread further. People
catch the virus when they touch their infected hands to their mouth, nose, eyes or other things.
It is followed that the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself is keep your
hands washed with soap and water or a hand sanitising gel.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
There is some debate about whether the disease is airborne , There is no any evidence for it yet,
but that could change. Airborne viruses linger for a longer period of time than those spread by
droplets and can also be spread in air conditioning and ventilation systems.
The current advice is that the disease can only be spread between close contacts – defined as
spending more than 10 minutes within two metres of an infected person.
Who started the coronavirus?
Various amazing conspiracy theories have been circulating that the virus somehow escaped
from a Chinese labs, either by accident or designs. However, this is categorically false

and scientists studying its genetic code have linked it to bats. It probably then jumped to
another animal, which passed it on to humans.
The number of diseases crossing from animals to humans is growing, and teams of virus
hunters are tracking them down.

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