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A new Chinese coronavirus (similar to the SARS virus) has infected a lot of people in recent times. The first outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December and continued to spread across the world.

Scientists believe that the virus started with animals and spread to humans.

Symptoms of coronavirus

Coronavirus causes respiratory tract illnesses that range in intensity between mild to moderate. These illnesses last only for a small amount of time usually. The symptoms include:

  1. Runny nose
  2. Headache
  3. Cough
  4. Sore throat
  5. Fever that can last for a couple of days

In more intense infections, coronavirus might cause pneumonia and bronchitis. This is usually found in people with lower or weakened immunity levels like small children and older adults.

Also Read: What are the Common Infections Faced by Elderly?

How it spreads

Coronavirus spreads from human contact with animals. The scientists are yet to decide which animal this virus spreads from.

Among humans, it spreads through contact with an infected person’s fluids like droplets in a cough. Depending on the extent of the infection, the virus could spread through a cough, sneeze or even a handshake. Touching an infected person and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes can also cause the virus to spread.

Also Read: Let’s Understand Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Vaccines

Who it affects

The Wuhan coronavirus, like the SARS virus, seems to affect older adults more. The average age of the people affected is over 40 and those over 60 show intense symptoms of the infection.

Treatment

There is no treatment available right now, though research is in progress. Many experts suggest complete rest and early care. The symptoms go away in time. If you feel that your symptoms are worse than a common cold, see a doctor immediately.

Doctors usually prescribe pain killers and fever medications to control the symptoms. Using a humidifier or a bath with warm water can relieve sore throat and cough.

Also Read: Five Important Immunizations for Elderly

Prevention

There is no vaccination yet for preventing the infection of the Wuhan coronavirus. You can, instead, avoid people who are sick. You can also wash your hands often and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes after you have interacted with a sick person. Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing so that you do not spread the disease.

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