Coronavirus: New, Deadly SARS-Like Virus Spreads

The coronavirus that is responsible for SARS. Photo by: Encephalon

The coronavirus that is responsible for SARS. Photo by: Encephalon

A new virus called the novel coronavirus has sickened ten people and five of those people have died. Even worse news is that there is very limited information about how this virus is spread, according to the World Health Organization  (WHO). So what is the coronavirus and what do experts know?

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses in animals and humans. The coronavirus have been known to cause the common cold and even Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), like in the SARS epidemic of 2003.  There are five types of coronaviruses that can infect people; they include: alpha coronaviruses 229E and NL63 and beta coronaviruses OC43, HKU1, and SARS-CoV.

So how common is the coronavirus? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) people all over the world are infected, but may only show mild symptoms. However, the SARS-CoV is the exception to the rule. Since 2004 there have not been any reported cases of SARS-CoV in the world.

Novel Coronavirus Symptoms

This new strain has never been seen before; thus its called the novel coronavirus. Ten people have been infected with this new virus and five of those people have died. So far the infections have been limited to Qatar, Saudi Arabia,  Jordan, and the United Kingdom, according to the World Health Organization. The ten people that were diagnosed with this new virus had severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. The list of symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus strain may change as the WHO gathers more information on the virus.

Click to Read Page Two: SARS-Like Virus – Transmission, Treatment and Prevention

© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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