A deadly new coronavirus that emerged in China in late December 2019 has spread to more than 100 countries on six continents, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the pathogen a global pandemic. The warning came as the death toll from the virus passed 6,600 and the number of reported cases surged to more than 152,000 globally by Sunday, March 15.
The majority of cases were reported in mainland China, but the rapid advance of the infection – known as COVID-19 has triggered worries across the globe.
What is Corona “coronavirus” is often prefaced with the word “novel,” because that’s precisely what it is: a new strain in a family of viruses we’ve all seen before — and, in some form, had. According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to much more serious diseases. These diseases can infect both humans and animals.
The strain that began spreading in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, is related to two other coronaviruses that have caused major outbreaks in recent years:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
- Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Covid-19 spreads more easily than SARS and is similar to other coronaviruses that cause cold-like symptoms, experts have said.
Symptoms of a coronavirus infection range in severity from respiratory problems to cases of pneumonia, kidney failure and a buildup of fluid in the lungs.
Covid-19 spreads more easily than SARS and is similar to other coronaviruses that cause cold-like symptoms, experts have said. It appears to be highly transmissible, and since cases are mild, the disease may be more widespread than current testing numbers suggest.
There have been reports of people transmitting the virus before they show symptoms, but most experts think this is probably not a major driver of new infections. What is concerning, however, is that symptoms can be mild, and the disease can clearly spread before people realize they’re sick.
Viruses have no nationality but they have origin, and pathogens and diseases have been named after places of origin for a long time. Just few examples: Japanese Encephalitis, German Measles, Spanish Flu, West Nile Virus, Guinea Worm, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease (Source: washingtonpost.com & aljazeera.com)
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