Corona viruses (CoV) 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 corona virus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Corona viruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known corona viruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Corona viruses were first identified in the 1960s, but we don’t know where they come from. They get their name from their crown-like shape. Sometimes, but not often, a corona virus can infect both animals and humans.
Common human corona viruses
- 229E (alpha corona virus).
- NL63 (alpha corona virus).
- OC43 (beta corona virus).
- HKU1 (beta corona virus).
Other human corona viruses
- MERS-CoV (the beta corona virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS).
- SARS-CoV (the beta corona virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS).
- 2019 Novel Corona virus (2019-nCoV).
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.
What to Do About Corona virus
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel corona virus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- The consumption of raw or under-cooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
Source By: WHO