An outbreak of a new coronavirus in China which to date has killed close to a dozen people and sickened hundreds has now spread outside of Asia.
On Tuesday (Jan. 21), the coronavirus was detected in the US, with health officials there confirming that the man had recently travelled to China.
Given that the new virus seems to be spreading rapidly, with officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) currently engaged in meeting on the matter, BUZZ is sharing nine things you probably need to know about the recent developments.
- Coronaviruses primarily infect the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of mammals and birds.
- While coronaviruses are not new, this strain is, with some in the health community likening it to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) due to its severe symptoms.
- This new coronavirus strain is said to have originated in Wuhan, China
- The current strain of the virus is said to be 80 per cent genetically identical to the SARS virus, which killed over 500 people in China and Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.
- It is said that the virus takes two weeks from the time of exposure for symptoms to manifest (incubation period).
- It can be spread through human to human contact; something that has been confirmed by China’s health officials.
- According to Chinese health officials, the new virus is already adapting and mutating.
- Hong Kong confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection on Wednesday (January 22)
- The US, Thailand, and Japan have already begun screening airline passengers arriving on flights from the mainland, China.