A Brief Introduction to the Coronavirus
What is Coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a single-stranded RNA virus with envelope and it has a diameter around 0.1μm. The virus spreads via droplets from such as cough, direct contact with infected person or contact of hands with contaminated environmental surfaces. So far, the below 6 types of coronaviruses are confirmed to infect humans. 1
- Flu virus among humans: 4 types Human Coronavirus (HCoV)：HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-HKU1
- SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) – CoV
- MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) –CoV
What is the feature of the 2019-nCoV, the novel coronavirus?
The 2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus. The common symptom is fever and respiratory symptoms including cough and breathing difficulties. The viral infection also causes pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure for severe cases.2 The estimated incubation period is ranged from 2 to 11 days but it could be up to 14 days according to the previous other coronavirus experiences. Detailed information is not yet confirmed including the animal source of infection. Thus, it is recommended to stay focus on the reliable latest information such as WHO. 3
How can we protect ourselves from coronavirus?
WHO recommends below practices to prevent infectious disease transmission including coronavirus. 4
UPDATE: On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an official name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.
- Infectious disease surveillance center (Japan), What is Coronavirus? (2020 / 1 / 10) (translated title) https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/ja/from-idsc/2482-corona/9303-coronavirus.html
- WHO (2020) Coronavirus. Accessed on 3rd Feb 2020. Available at https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
- WHO (2020) Q&A on coronaviruses. Accessed on 3rd Feb 2020. Available at https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
- WHO (2020) Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public. Accessed on 3rd Feb 2020. Available at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
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