New Coronavirus From China Spreads In 6 Countries, 2 More Suspect It More than 800 persons have been inflicted with the new 2019-nCoV Coronavirus and 25 have lost their lives so far, according to Chinese officials

By Tahira Noor Khan

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China originated Coronavirus has inflicted 830 people and has caused 25 deaths so far, according to the Chinese authorities. 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.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee met on January 23 to discuss Coronavirus 2019-nCoV. It said that the virus is not a global health emergency yet but needs to be controlled.

"This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a subsequently held press conference.

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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.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are other most recognized Coronaviruses.

SARS too originated in China back in 2002 and later spread to 37 countries, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750.

Coronaviruses generally originate in animal hosts and later spread to humans.

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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.

How the latest Coronavirus spreads?

Coronavirus infection is generally transmitted from animals-to-humans but can also be transmitted from human-to-human.

China confirmed that health workers have contracted the virus, which points towards human-to-human transmission. It is concerning as this means the virus can spread at a much faster rate and more people are prone to getting affected.

What is the current situation?

China is starting its week-long lunar new year holidays today in which Chinese travel within the country and abroad to celebrate it with their families. However, with the recent outbreak of the virus, Wuhan and two other Chinese cities are under a lockdown. Chinese authorities have asked people not to visit Hubei Province capital, Wuhan, the epicentre of the new virus.

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.

Tahira Noor Khan

Former Junior Features Writer

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