As coronavirus continues to spread across the country and the globe, here is some important informationyou should know about the potentially deadly disease, and what you can do to mitigate its impact.
Coronavirus: The basics
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses named after their appearance, a crown, said Dr. Mark Rupp, an infectious disease expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
How dangerous is coronavirus?
Most coronaviruses cause mild symptomsthat patients easily recover from.
What is COVID-19 and how is it different from other coronaviruses?
COVID-19 is not the same as other coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people, which is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19.
MERS and SARS are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.
When did the outbreak start?
The World Health Organization's China office says it began receiving reports in late December of a mysterious virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in eastern China with a population of roughly 11 million people.
How does coronavirus compare to other outbreaks?
SARS and MERS came from animals, and this newest virus almost certainly did, too.
Is coronavirus Disease X?
The novel coronavirus has led one expert to say that it fits the criteria for Disease X,a designated placeholder on theWorld Health Organizations (WHO)list of illnesses that have potential to reach international epidemic levels.
Is coronavirus here to stay?
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of theCDC, said the virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year.
(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
Coronavirus: Symptoms and transmission
What are the symptoms?
Many symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza overlap, here's how to spot the differences.
How is coronavirus transmitted?
According to the CDC, coronaviruses are common in camels, cattle, catsand bats. Person-to-person transmissions are thought to occur when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
How often are people hospitalized for it?
The risk of contracting coronavirus remains low for most Americans, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said.
What if someone on my plane is sick?
No one likes to be seated near a sick passenger and thats especially true duringapandemic.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Coronavirus: Protecting yourself and others
How can you protect against getting it?
You can protect yourself from coronaviruses by following basic wellness practices.
How do I sanitize surfaces?
Keeping your home and surfaces clean using the correct disinfectants is crucial in preventing its spread.
How long can it survive on surfaces?
The novel coronavirus may be able to live on surfaces, namely metal, glass or plastic,for up to nine days if it resembles some of its other human coronavirus-causing cousins, that is.
Am Iwashing myhands correctly?
There are a few general rules to follow when it comes to washing your hands thoroughly, including for how long you should keep them under runningwater.
How do I make my own hand sanitizer?
If soap and water arent available, hand sanitizer is the next best option namely if it contains at least 60 percent alcohol, the CDCsays.
Do face masks help?
Surgical masks will not prevent your acquiring diseases, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, and the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
How to stop touching your face
Keeping your hands off your face is easier said than done: One study found that people touch their faces some23 times an hour on average.
Can you get it through packages?
Surgeon GeneralJerome Adams said, There is no evidence right now that the coronavirus can be spread through mail.
How do you travel during the outbreak?
As the coronavirus risk grows globally, being smart about planning travel will help you stay safe.
(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Coronavirus: Who is at risk?
Who is most at risk?
Young people, senior citizensand those with immune deficiencies could have an acute reaction if exposed to the virus.
Is it a threat to children?
One pediatrician said childrens'frequent exposure toseasonal illnesses couldactually be protecting them from COVID-19.
Does it affect pregnant women?
The CDC said that while risk to the American public remains low at this time, pregnant women should continue to engage in usual preventative actions to avoid infection, such as washing hands often and avoiding contact with people who are sick.
Coronavirus: Treatment and care
How do you test for it?
Before being tested for thedeadly virus, patients must first answer a series of questions.
How do you treat it?
Fox News received an in-depth look at the new disease fromDr. Debra Chew, a former epidemic intelligence officer for the CDC and an assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Is there a cure?
Health agencies recommend patients receive supportive care to relieve coronavirus symptoms.
How do you care for a relative who has it?
Even if the patient does test positive, it can be considered safe to continue supporting them with some extra precautions.
What happens after you recover from it?
A negative test doesn't always mean the patient is free of the virus
Tips on how to talk to your kids about coronavirus
Its important to remember that children take cues from the adults that surround them, so how you address the virus at home may reflect in their behavior.
Coronavirus: Coping with isolation and social distancing
How do I avoid going stir crazy at home?
With the outbreak of the novelcoronavirus(COVID-19), many people have been forced to work from homeand are choosing to keep their social interactions to a minimum.Here are some tips on how to stay sane in the time of coronavirus.
How do I get food delivered?
As more and more people across the U.S. arepreparing to stay infor the time being, some may be asking if it's safe to get fooddeliveredto their house.
Coronavirus: What to know about the mysterious illness
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses named after their appearance, a crown, said Dr. Mark Rupp, an infectious disease expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
There are many types and a few are known to infect humans. Some cause colds and respiratory illnesses, while others have evolved into illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) andMiddle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
SARS began in China and infected some 8,000 people during a 2002-2003 outbreak. Approximately 770 people died after it spread to other cities and countries.
"This is the third kind of novel coronavirus that we're having experience with that can cause lower respiratory tract disease," Rupp said Tuesday.
In some rare cases, the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans but are typically transferred during contact between humans, according to the CDC.
How dangerous is coronavirus?
The coronavirus, or what is now known as COVID-19, was first traced to an animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan and has since spread to dozens of other countries, including the U.S. The illness is now said to be transferable between humans.
As news of the virus spread and death tolls began to spike, many have begun to questionhow dangerousthe new outbreak is. Coronaviruses, which get their name from their crown-like appearance, come in many types that cause illnesses in people and animals.
In an effort to curb the spread of the disease (human coronaviruses are passed through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, touching objects with the virus on it and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands, according to the CDC, the city of Wuhan shut down all air and train traffic. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global pandemic.
How coronavirus differs from flu: Symptoms to watch for
Officials are urging anyone who develops possible symptoms of the novel coronavirus to contact health care providers to inquire about next steps and possible testing, but with millions infected by the influenza virus in the U.S., many are wondering how to tell the difference between the two.
There is so much overlap in symptoms between flu and COVID-19 but a couple of hallmark differences do exist, Dr. Caesar Djavaherian, co-founder of Carbon Health, told Fox News. Influenza tends to cause much more body pain and the COVID-19 virus tends to feel much more like the common cold with fever, cough, runny nose and diarrhea. However, in a small portion of the population with either COVID-19 or influenza, symptoms progress to kidney failure and respiratory failure.
By the end of February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that at least 32 million cases of the flu were reported in the U.S., resulting in 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths. For the coronavirus, by March 12 the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. had reached over 1,000, with at least 30 deaths. .
But several health officials, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have cautioned that healthy Americans who contract COVID-19 may not even know that they have it, and will heal without any treatment. Others say their experience will be similar to that of a common cold, but for those with underlying health conditions, the virus can be severe.
The differences arise in the very small portion of the population who are at risk because of their lung or heart conditions whose lungs can fill with fluid or go into kidney failure and unfortunately, eventually die, with COVID-19, Djavaherian said.
One of the most imperative ways to stop the spread, experts say, is to avoid contact with a sick person, and to practice your own good hygiene. Part of that includes staying home when youre sick and thoroughly washing hands.
If you are sick, monitor your symptoms daily, and when your common cold turns into a deep unrelenting cough and then shortness of breath, those are the signs that we worry about and the signs that require patients to get medical attention right away, Djavaherian said. They may be from pneumonia but in a very, very small group of patients, maybe a COVID-19 infection that has gone into the lungs.
Djavaherian said its imperative to call your health care provider ahead of time to share your symptoms and concerns so that they can prepare the appropriate tests and protect others from potential exposure.
I also recommend using telemedicine, where you can see a doctor via phone or video, to get your questions answered from the comfort and safety of your own home without putting others or yourself at risk, he said.
How did the coronavirus outbreak start?
WHO's China office says it began receiving reports in late December of a mysterious virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
Researchers suspect the virus originated at a seafood market in Wuhan, where wild animals, including birds, rabbits, bats, and snakes are traded.
It was initially believed the virus came from snakes. But a research paper by a team of virologists at the Wuhan Institute for Virology suggests that the coronavirus more likely came from bats, which was also the source of the SARS outbreak.
Bats are known to carry multiple viruses without getting sick, according to the New York Times, which said they have caused human diseases in Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Australia, and are thought to be the reservoir for Ebola.
Authorities shut down the market on January 1. But by then, the virus had spread beyond the market and was being transmitted between people.
On January 12, Chinese health officials shared a genetic sequence of the virus with other countries to better diagnose the strain in patients.
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