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The new coronavirus: Your questions answered

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A brand new coronavirus is spreading all over the world, having prompted almost 100,000 diseases and 1000’s of deaths globally. Listed here are solutions to some fundamental questions in regards to the new coronavirus.

What’s the new coronavirus?

Coronaviruses represent a big household of viruses that may trigger respiratory diseases such because the frequent chilly. The brand new virus is a kind of coronavirus that had by no means been seen earlier than. It first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Officers have named the brand new virus SARS-CoV-2, as a result of its genetic similarity to the coronavirus that causes extreme acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. The official title for the illness attributable to SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19.

What are the signs?

Reported signs in sufferers have various from delicate to extreme and might embrace fever, cough and shortness of breath, based on the CDC. Learn extra about coronavirus signs.

How lengthy does it take for signs to indicate up?

The time between catching a virus and displaying signs of the illness is called the incubation interval. For the brand new coronavirus, the inucbation interval is estimated to be between at some point and 14 days, though some research have reported an incubation interval so long as 24 days. Learn extra in regards to the incubation interval for the brand new coronavirus.

How does the coronavirus unfold?

The virus is believed to unfold primarily by way of respiratory droplets produced when an contaminated particular person coughs or sneezes. However different transmission routes are attainable. Learn extra in regards to the unfold of the brand new coronavirus.

The place did the coronavirus come from?

The precise supply of the brand new coronavirus isn’t identified. In a brand new examine, nevertheless, the researchers in contrast the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019-nCoV) with these in a library of viral sequences, discovering that probably the most carefully associated viruses have been two coronaviruses that originated in bats; each of these coronaviruses shared 88% of their genetic sequence with SARS-CoV-2. One other examine discovered 96% similarity between a virus present in bats and SARS-CoV-2.

Based mostly on these outcomes, the examine authors stated that SARS-CoV-2 doubtless originated in bats. Nonetheless, no bats have been offered on the Huanan Seafood Market, the market in Wuhan the place the outbreak is believed to have originated, which means that one other, yet-to-be-identified animal acted as a steppingstone in transmitting the virus to people.

A handful of research have steered that this “intermediate” animal was the pangolin, an endangered, ant-eating mammal. Nonetheless, viruses present in samples from illegally trafficked pangolins weren’t related sufficient to SARS-CoV to show that the scaly anteaters have been the supply for the brand new virus, Nature reported.

A earlier examine steered snakes, which have been offered on the Huanan Seafood Market, as a attainable supply of the brand new virus. Nonetheless, some specialists have criticized that examine’s evaluation, saying it is unclear if coronaviruses can infect snakes. 

What’s the remedy?

There isn’t a particular remedy for COVID-19. For sufferers who’ve gotten this illness, remedy has concerned “supportive care,” corresponding to fluids and medicine to alleviate signs like shortness of breath. For extreme instances, remedy ought to embrace care to assist important organ capabilities, the CDC stated. Learn extra about remedies for COVID-19.

On Feb. 25, U.S. officers introduced {that a} scientific trial to guage a remedy for COVID-19 was underway, based on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being. The trial will check an antiviral drug known as remdesivir in hospitalized adults who’ve COVID-19. The primary examine participant is an American who caught the illness whereas onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. That particular person is being handled on the College of Nebraska Medical Middle. The examine will be tailored to look at different remedies and enroll sufferers at different websites within the U.S. and worldwide, officers stated.

How are you going to shield your self?

One of the simplest ways to stop an infection with COVID-19 is to keep away from being uncovered to the virus, the CDC stated. Normally, the CDC recommends the next to stop the unfold of respiratory viruses: Wash your arms usually with cleaning soap and water for no less than 20 seconds; keep away from touching your eyes, nostril and mouth with unwashed arms; keep away from shut contact with people who find themselves sick; keep residence if you end up sick; and clear and disinfect continuously touched objects and surfaces.

Initially revealed on Dwell Science. 

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