A new coronavirus discovered in China’s central city of Wuhan has caught the world’s attention and begun circulating through other countries.
Coronaviruses are not new, according to the World Health Organization. The name refers to a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. In the past, only two cases of the virus have caused severe illness in people — Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The new strain, named 2019-nCoV, has been linked to nearly three thousand cases as of Monday, January 27, according to the World Health Organization. A vast majority of these cases are in Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the complete clinical picture of 2019-nCoV is still not entirely clear. Although little is known about it, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. There is no vaccine for coronavirus.
Although the strain of this disease may be new, the method of avoiding it is the same as with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza or the common cold.
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