Coronavirus can cause symptoms ranging from mild sickness to severe illness - and eventually death, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC released a list of symptoms for the virus, which is also known by many as corona, that include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
“This new coronavirus is a respiratory disease transmitted in the same way as is influenza and the common cold,” Joseph Eisenberg, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University Of Michigan School of Public Health, told Al Arabiya English. “People should use the same protective measures as they do with other respiratory viral diseases.”
Symptoms of the coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC website.
The World Health Organization (WHO) last month declared the outbreak a “public health emergency.”
Over 80,000 people globally have been infected with the virus and at least 2,700 people have died so far. The virus started in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on December 31, 2019, and has since spread to various neighboring countries and as far as France and the US.
How coronavirus spreads
Coronavirus spreads mainly from person-to-person, according to the CDC, between people who are within about six feet of an infected person. The virus is transferred via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
“These drops can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs.”
However, a person can contract the virus by “touching a surface or object that has the virus on it then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” though this is less likely according to the CDC.
People who have tested positive for coronavirus are mostly contagious when they are most “symptomatic,” or sickest.