Coronavirus: Explained


Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses ranging from the common cold to different types of deadly diseases, such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Disease), and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Disease).  A new type of Coronavirus has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness called COVID-19 that started in China. More than 75,000 people have been affected by the disease across the globe. In China, at least one tenth of the population has been confined to their homes or hospitals to keep away from the deadly disease.  Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

Coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City Hubei Province, China.  The first case was linked to live animals, like bats and armadillos, but now the disease is spreading person-to-person, and can spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).  Other common ways the virus can be spread is through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.  

Many people fear that ordering products from China will make them more likely to contract the disease.  This is not the case however, scientists state that most viruses like this one do not stay alive for very long on surfaces, so it is not likely you would get COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks.

While there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus now, doctors and scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective will take many months.  Many people believe that swallowing or gargling with bleach is an effective method to keep themselves safe from COVID-19 but this recommendation is very dangerous and is just one of the many myths about the disease.  The best ways to stay healthy are, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and hot water, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing. In addition, avoiding spreading your own germs by coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.