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What you need to know about coronavirus

The coronavirus, we only talk about it in the news. But what is it exactly? KenyaNews takes stock of the 2019-nCov.

In December 2019, an epidemic of viral-like pneumonia appeared in the city of Wuhan in China. On January 7, 2020, 2019-nCov, a new coronavirus was discovered and a link was established between the virus and the cases of pneumonia identified. 

What is coronavirus? 

Coronaviruses have been known for a long time in humans as well as in animals. Most of the time they cause mild illnesses like colds. However, some coronaviruses cause more serious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) which appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia.

The virus currently raging in China is named 2019-nCov. It is a new coronavirus which was discovered on January 7, after several cases of viral pneumonia appeared in China in the city of Wuhan. The first people affected by the 2019-nCov had all gone to the market in Wuhan, where live animals were sold. The track of zoonosis (disease which is transmitted from animal to man) is therefore privileged to define the origin of the virus.

What are the symptoms ?

Symptoms of 2019-nCov coronavirus are fever above 38 ° C, coughing fits, severe fatigue and muscle pain. In more severe cases, breathing difficulties as well as kidney failure may appear, especially in people with chronic diseases or in the elderly.

These symptoms are also those of the flu and flu-like conditions. If you haven’t been to China recently, or haven’t flown to an airport in Asia recently, there’s no reason to panic.

How is 2019-nCov coronavirus transmitted? 

The virus is mainly transmitted by postillions (coughing and sneezing) or during direct contact (by kissing each other for example). It is also transmissible through close contact (as when sharing the same place of life) and through contaminated objects.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus? 

In order to protect yourself from the coronavirus, the same protective measures as for the flu are to be taken: 

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Sneeze and cough in his elbow 
  • Use tissues which are then discarded after use
  • Avoid people at risk

Should we wear a mask? 

The Ministry of Health recommends wearing the mask only for people with symptoms to avoid the spread of the virus.

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