10 February 2020
The UK government has recently declared the coronavirus as a "serious and imminent threat" to public health. Information on the serious virus, and how to protect yourself, is below for you.
According to health experts, coronaviruses are common in animal species, and most don’t affect humans. As of now, only seven different coronaviruses are known to infect humans. In their lifetime, most people will be infected with at least one common human coronavirus.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common coronaviruses typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, and those affected exhibit flu-like symptoms. The most common symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
Some cases of coronavirus can be more severe, and individuals experience more serious lower-respiratory tract illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. For the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems, coronavirus can be even more dangerous.
How is coronavirus diagnosed?
If you’re exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, you should contact NHS 111 and your GP immediately, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms and have travelled to countries where outbreaks have been reported. Your GP will likely order a lab test to detect coronavirus. Be sure to disclose any recent travel to your GP.
Deadly Outbreaks of Coronavirus
The 2019 novel coronavirus, as well as two other human coronaviruses, have caused severe symptoms.
In 2012, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak caused severe illness—nearly 4 out of 10 people infected died. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARSCoV), which was first reported in Asia in 2003, spread to two dozen countries, infected 8,098 people and caused 774 deaths before it was contained.
How can I prevent coronavirus infection?
The most common cases of coronavirus typically occur in autumn and winter, but can happen at any time throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is not a vaccine that can protect you from human coronavirus
infection. However, because human coronavirus is believed to be spread through person-to-person contact, the NHS recommends the following prevention strategies:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
For more information about coronavirus, click here.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional. © 2020 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.