Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
SOME FACTS ON CORONAVIRUSE
- There is no cure for the common cold.
- A coronavirus causes both SARS and MERS.
- Coronaviruses infect many different species.
- There are seven known human coronaviruses.
- SARS spread from China to cause infection in 37 countries, killing 774 people
Coronaviruses can spread in the following ways:
- Coughing and sneezing without covering the mouth can disperse droplets into the air, spreading the virus.
- Touching or shaking hands with a person that has the virus can pass the virus from one person to another.
- Making contact with a surface or object that has the virus and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.
- On rare occasions, a coronavirus may spread through contact with feces.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
- People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.