One minute read. Written by a grade 7 student.
Coronavirus is spreading all over the world and it has affected everything – many schools and offices are shut, conferences have been cancelled, people are not taking holidays – and many businesses are feeling the effect (because people are not going to crowded shopping places etc)
Till now there have been more than 96,000 known cases and about 3,300 people have died from this infection. Most of these cases are in China, but now the virus has spread to almost all parts of the world- Italy, Iran and Korea now have many cases too.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a big group of harmful viruses which are found in animals. A virus is something that infects the cells in our bodies.
The name Coronavirus comes from corona, which means crown or halo in Latin and which is what the virus looks like.
This virus can make people very sick. It affects the upper respiratory tract illness, just like a common cold does. It is hard to tell if it’s a Coronavirus, since the signs are very much like a cold – runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache and fever.
This is what an Upper respiratory tract is:
The people most at risk are the elderly and children, in whom the virus could cause more serious problems, like pneumonia or bronchitis.
Has this happened before?
Yes, this virus has been seen before. This one is called novel coronavirus or nCoV. The other was MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It was reported first in the Middle East in 2012. It had similar signs though they were worse than this one. The other one was called SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Like this one, SARS was also first found in China.
If it’s found in animals, how do humans get it?
Coronavirus is a Zoonotic virus – zoonotic means those viruses that can pass from animals to humans.
Where did this one start?
The novel coronavirus or nCoV is said to have started from a seafood market in Wuhan, which is a city in China. It has infected more than 80,000 Chinese and killed more than 3000 in China.
How does it spread?
Coronavirus can spread if an infected person comes into contact with someone – through sneezing, coughing and touching. For instance, if you touch a place where he or she may have sneezed on and then touch your mouth, you will get the virus.
What are the signs and symptoms:
It’s very much like a common cold:
- Difficulty in Breathing
How do I safeguard myself:
- Don’t go near anyone who looks like he or she has a cold
- Wear a mask in crowded places – you need to wear the three layer surgical mask
- DO NOT touch your face, eyes, ears etc – keep washing your hands properly and also keep using an alcohol-based sanitizer
Remember to see a doctor if you feel you have any of the symptoms.