No doubt you’ve heard alright. Coronavirus. What is it? Where did it come from? Should I be more worried? Coronaviruses are a type of virus that attacks the respiratory tract in mammals, and now, humans. The virus is often associated with pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and even just the common cold.
Coronaviruses have been known to affect dogs, cattle, camels, cats, rats, and bats—among other mammals. So, how did this virus make the jump from animals to humans!?
The outbreak of coronavirus has been determined to have started in a seafood market in Wuhan, China—a Chinese city with a population of approximately 11 million. Wuhan, and 11 more Chinese cities, are under quarantine, impacting around 35 million residents.
It doesn’t stop there, however. There have been reported and confirmed cases of the virus in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, France and the United States.
While the direct cause of the virus has not been confirmed, there have been speculations within the Wuhan seafood market, that appear as likely factors.
The market is said to have had live and dead animals for sale—all within close proximity to each other, and exposure to humans.
Take a look at this excerpt from Aylin Woodward's article "The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like.". You can read the full article here.
According to another article, other wildlife up for sale included “wolf cubs, civet cats, bats, pigs, snaked, chickens, donkeys, badgers, and bamboo rats…”. Another theory of the virus’s cause speculates that the virus could have made a species jump from bats civet cats from consumption, and then through to humans.
Other theories say that the species jump happened form bats straight to humans. Just…take a look.
So, how do you stay safe?
Coronavirus is an airborne virus. It’s highly contagious with an increasingly exponential rate of people being diagnosed each day. A single person can infect up to 14 people.
How can you catch it?
- Airborne (coughs, sneezes, and spit)
- Skin to skin contact (handshakes and hugs. Touching your face with unclean hands)
- Saliva (kissing, spit)
- Contact with contaminated surfaces (and then touching your face with unclean hands)
Symptoms--such as a runny nose, headache, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, and fever--can take up to two weeks to show. And, the virus can still be passed onto to others before the virus has incubated.
And how can you stay safe?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released lots of information on how to protect yourself.
You can read more here .
With face masks, they can be just as harmful and helpful if not used appropriately. It is recommended to use face masks if you are in an infected area (such as a hospital or city under quarantine). When removing face masks, make sure to remove with the straps, and not pull the mask down over your mouth.