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Facts about Wuhan Coronavirus

Last updated: Mrach 25, 2020
Facts about Wuhan Coronavirus
Image Source - Google | Image by - tmj4

1. What is CoronaVirusDisease-2019?
(COVID-19)
The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans including common cold and more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus is named after its shape which takes the form of a crown with protrusions around it and hence is known as coronavirus

2. Where did the virus come from?

Wuhan coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019. At the time of writing, numbers of infected are still on the rise, with a number of deaths having been reported. 

Snakes have been suspected as a potential source for the outbreak, though other experts currently consider this as unlikely.

3. What are the symptoms?

According to the WHO, signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure and even death.

The incubation period of the coronavirus remains unknown. Some sources say it could be between 10 and 14 days.

4. How does coronavirus spread?

People can catch coronavirus from others who have the virus.

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with coronavirus coughs or exhales.

Other people then catch coronavirus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

People can also catch coronavirus if they breathe in droplets from a person with coronavirus who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. 

5. How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

6. What is being done to stop it from spreading?

Scientists are working on a vaccine but have warned one is unlikely to be available for mass distribution before 2021.

Chinese authorities have effectively sealed off Wuhan, and have placed restrictions on travel to and from several other cities, affecting some 56 million people.

The move was meant to "resolutely contain the momentum of the epidemic spreading" and protect lives, the central city's special command centre against the virus said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Many airlines have cancelled flights to China, while some countries have banned Chinese nationals from entering and have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan.

7. Where did the virus originate?

Chinese health authorities are still trying to determine the origin of the virus, which they say likely came from a seafood market in Wuhan where wildlife was also traded illegally.

The WHO also says an animal source appears most likely to be the primary source of the outbreak.

On February 2, officials in Hubei said the virus had a 96 percent concordance with an already-known bat-borne coronavirus. Chinese scientists previously mentioned snakes as a possible source.

8. How can I protect myself?

Based on what we know so far, you can protect yourself with the same measures you’d take (and should be taking) to protect yourself against the flu: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay away from people who are sick.

9. Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

Only wear a mask if you are ill with  symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have coronavirus. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.

WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.

The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against coronavirus are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.


10. How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask?

1. Remember, a mask should only be used by health workers, care takers, and individuals with respiratory symptoms, such as fever and cough.
2. Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
3. Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
4. Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
5. Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
6. Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
7. Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
8. After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
9. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
10. Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.

11. Is there anything I should not do?

The following measures ARE NOT effective against coronavirus and can be harmful:
  • Smoking
  • Wearing multiple masks
  • Taking antibiotics
In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.

12. Is this a global emergency?

The outbreak constitutes a global health emergency, the WHO has said.

The decision to sound the top-level alarm was made after the first cases of human-to-human transmission outside China were confirmed.

The international health alert is a call on countries around the world to coordinate their response under the guidance of the United Nations health agency.

There have been five global health emergencies since 2005 when the declaration was formalised: swine flu in 2009; polio in 2014; Ebola in 2014; Zika in 2016 and Ebola again in 2019

13. Is the recent strain fatal?
(Last updated: May 4, 2020)
As of now, 250,054 people have died because of the outbreak and many more have been infected. Since it's a new strain, there is no specific vaccine that can treat it. However, according to the WHO, "many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment based on the patient’s clinical condition".

14. How is India responding to the outbreak?
(Last updated: May 4, 2020)
PM Modi has announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days in an unprecedented drastic measure to try halt the spread of coronavirus. Covid-19 has claimed 1,395 lives in the country.

15. Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for coronavirus?

Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat coronavirus. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat coronavirus.


The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against coronavirus are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

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