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What is Novel Coronavirus Which Has Affected 28 Indians So Far and How it Started

Image for representation. Reuters

Image for representation. Reuters

According to the WHO, coronavirus is a large family of zoonotic viruses that causes illness starting from common cold to severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

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There has been a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in India in the last 72 hours and 28 people have test positive.

The government has asked citizens to not panic and maintain personal hygiene. Also, the visas issued to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan on or before March 3 have been suspended.

What is coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus is a large family of zoonotic viruses that causes illness starting from common cold to severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been identified in humans before. Being zoonotic, means they can be transmitted between animals and people.

Coronavirus symptoms

Since people in India have already started testing positive for COVID-19, everyone wants to know what the symptoms of the disease are. Common symptoms of coronavirus include respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

If the disease gets more severe, it may cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

The WHO says that the incubation period between infection and showing any symptoms last around 14 days.

Coronavirus prevention

According to WHO, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, people should wash hands regularly, cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. They should also cook meat and eggs thoroughly.

Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, including coughing and sneezing.

How did coronavirus start?

Coronavirus was first detected in China’s Wuhan city on December 31, 2019. China alerted the WHO of a number of unusual pneumonia cases. The virus was not known or identified back then.

Gradually, China started to report more number of people falling prey to the virus. On January 11 this year, China announced the first death from coronavirus.

Just two days after that on January 13, Thailand became the first country outside China to report coronavirus.

By January 17, China and Thailand were not the only countries which reported coronavirus cases. The US, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan reported cases of coronavirus.

On January 30, coronavirus was declared as a global emergency as by the WHO after the death toll crossed 170.

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By the end of January, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, India, Philippines were added to the list of countries reporting cases of coronavirus.

The total death due to coronavirus as on March 4 stood at over 3,200 worldwide. More and more fresh cases are being reported from various parts of the globe.

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