Everything Must Know About New Coronavirus from China

Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 10:04

A new respiratory virus, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, has infected hundreds of patients across China and other countries, with central Hubei province the worst-affected.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), number of cases is likely to rise further, and Chinese authorities have introduced a number of measures to try to halt the virus's spread.

With global attention on the Wuhan coronavirus and its spread around China and other countries, it is important to put it in the context of other deadly infections, including seasonal influenza, which claims the lives of thousands of people every year, CNN reports.

According to a September 2019 study by Chinese scientists published in The Lancet, there are an average of around 88,100 influenza-related deaths every year in China, with a mortality rate of between 1.6% and 2.6%. The majority of those who died as a result of the flu were aged over 60, the report said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this flu season -- from October 1, 2019 until January 18 -- 15 to 21 million people have contracted the flu in the United States, killing somewhere between 8,200 to 20,000 people.

China's National Health commission announced that 1,230 medical personnel were sent to Wuhan, and more are on standby.

The virus has now spread to six new countries namely Thailand (4 confirmed cases), Vietnam (2 confirmed cases), Japan (2 confirmed cases), South Korea (1 confirmed case), the US (1 confirmed case) and Singapore (1 confirmed case). The UK and Australia are also suspecting the virus to have entered their territories.

What is the Latest Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are part of the family of viruses known as Coronaviridae. The new form of Coronavirus known as Coronavirus 2019-nCoV, that is currently affecting individuals, originated at the seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus was first reported to the WHO on December 31. The Wuhan market has been shut down since January 1.

What are the Symptoms?

The novel Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild to severe, a cause of worry as it can be mistaken for cold and fever. Some of the symptoms of the virus are dry cough, fever and respiratory problem. It is also widely described as a pneumonia-like illness, because of its similarities with pneumonia—a lung ailment. But as this is a virus, antibiotics are not helpful. There is no vaccination for the disease so far.

Wuhan alone has a population of 8.9 million people. The WHO has urged China to keep its lockdown ‘short’.

Governments across the globe are screening citizens coming back from China. India has screened 9,150 passengers from 43 flights for the Coronavirus.

“The health ministry is constantly reviewing the evolving scenario working closely with the ministry of civil aviation, ministry of external affairs, department of health research and the Indian embassy in China,” said a statement by the Indian health ministry.

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