Coronavirus has recently become one of the most ‘talked about’ news in media following its outbreak in China. However, it is a type of common virus and causes infection in your sinuses, upper throat or nose. Of all types of coronaviruses, only a few are dangerous.
Outbreak of coronavirus in Middle East caused death to 858 people. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS first appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and then spread to other countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe. The first reported case of MERS involved an American in Indiana in April, 2014. Another man was hospitalized for MERS in Florida. Both returned from Saudi Arabia.
Another outbreak of MERS was reported in Korea in May, 2015. Outside the Arabia peninsula, it was the largest epidemic. In 2003, 774 persons succumbed to an SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak. No further cases of SARS were reported as of 2015.
Following a recent outbreak of coronavirus in China in December, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified 2019-nCoV (Novel Coronavirus), which is a fairly new type. A coronavirus often causes a stuffy nose, sore throat and cough, commonly referred to as upper respiratory infection symptoms. In children, the virus causes middle ear infection. Medicines and a good amount of rest can successfully treat the problem.
What is Coronavirus?
It was during the 1960s when these viruses were identified. However, their origin is still unknown. They were named after their crown-like shape. A coronavirus can sometimes infect both humans and animals.
Most coronaviruses show the same pattern of spread like their cold-causing counterparts. That means they spread through sneezing, coughing and infected persons. These viruses even spread quickly just by touching hands or face of an infected person or even touching the things used by the infected persons.
Nearly every person is infected by coronavirus at least once in their life. It most likely happens during their childhood days. Coronaviruses are very common during fall and winter in the United States. However, anyone can be infected with the virus during other seasons of the year.
The common symptoms of coronavirus infection are not different from other upper respiratory infections such as, coughing, sore throat, runny nose and sometimes mild to high fever. In most cases, it’s hardly possible to diagnose if an infection is caused by coronavirus or other cold-causing viruses without lab tests.
Coronavirus infection can be serious if it spreads to windpipe and lungs. In those cases, the infection even leads to pneumonia, mainly in older people or those with a weak immune system or cardiovascular problems.
Nose, throat and blood cultures are the common lab tests to diagnose coronavirus infection. The infected persons should not panic over it as with proper treatment, the symptoms will go away in few days.
How to Prevent
Coronavirus has no vaccine. To avoid corona virus infection, you should follow some simple guidelines that you do to prevent common cold:
- Use warm water and soap to wash hands properly. Alternatively, you can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your fingers and hands.
- Maintain a safe distance from the coronavirus-infected persons.
How to Treat
Treatment for coronavirus does not differ from treatment for common cold: .
- Drink fluids
- Have plenty of rest
- Take medicines for fever and sore-throat
Remember that you should not take over-the-counter medicines for your problems as it is not possible to tell if it is a coronavirus infection or something else. Contact your physician for immediate and proper treatment.
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