The coronavirus outbreak that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has killed more than 100 people in China and has infected more than 4,520 globally, most of them in China.
Countries around the world have put into effect screening processes in airports for flights coming in from China. Others have completely restricted travel to and from China, while some are considering evacuating their citizens from the country.
The symptoms of this virus have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. It is labeled among the medical community as “2019-nCoV,” which is a betacoronavirus like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
According to the US Center of Disease Control (CDC) symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS, the CDC believes.
How to protect yourself
The World Health Organization made recommendations to the general public to reduce exposure and transmission:
- 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 a fever and cough.
- If you have a 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 coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- The consumption of raw or undercooked 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.
Countries with recorded cases
- Hong Kong
- The Republic of Korea
- United States