What is coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans including common cold and more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus is named after its shape which takes the form of a crown with protrusions around it and hence is known as coronavirus.

How is the new coronavirus transmitted?

Most respiratory viruses are transmitted through coughing and sneezing.

Though the Chinese authorities initially played down the likelihood of human-to-human transmission, it has now become clear there is significant and sustained transmission among people.

Chinese scientists have warned that some infected people may transmit the virus to others even before they develop illness or experience any symptoms, although a published report documenting asymptomatic transmission in Germany has been criticized as flawed.

A major concern is that with both SARS and MERS, a few patients inexplicably became “superspreaders” who infected huge numbers of people.

Steps that you can take to protect yourself from the deadly virus:

1) Use tissues/ kerchief while you sneeze or cough
2) Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds
3) Wear masks if you’re infected
4) Avoid contact with people who’ve come from countries affected by the coronavirus
5) Do not travel to these countries
5) Cook meat and fish properly before consuming

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