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Here’s How You Can Keep Yourself Safe From Coronavirus

We round up everything we have read about the new coronavirus, including the ways you can protect yourself from it.

An illness likened to pneumonia affected 59 people in Wuhan, China and a new coronavirus was found to be the pathogen behind it on January 8, according to the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. Based on an article released by The New York Times, a total of 26 deaths and 830 cases have been reported as of Friday, January 24 in China, and it has spread to other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the United States. There is still limited information about the epidemic, and here’s what we have read thus far.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses. Data provided by the World Health Organization says such “cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).”


Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Chinese National Health Commission head Zhong Nanshan disclosed that this has brought about two cases in Guangdong.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic. “Some of these coronaviruses have the capability of transmitting between animals and humans. We call that a spillover event,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization’s Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit. Comprehensive research has shown that SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV were passed on from civet cats to people and dromedary camels to people, respectively.

Respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, and breathing difficulties are some of the usual signs of contamination.

“In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death,” added Kerkhove.


Experiencing flu-like symptoms, however, does not mean you need to undergo a test immediately.

While coronaviruses can bring about respiratory infections, it’s important to know that many can encounter the same indicators amid flu season. “Right now, the number is very small and largely concentrated in China. Do you have travel history coming from China? Without that evidence, there is no need to unnecessarily get anxious and ask for a coronavirus test for anybody who is exhibiting respiratory symptoms,” Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO’s Philippine representative, said in an interview on ANC Headstart. “At this point in time, we have to depend largely on your travel history and exposure to possible known cases.”

The outbreak is still not considered by the World Health Organization as an international emergency.

“This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the press as stated in a Reuters report. He also stressed they still think it’s a serious matter and assured the public that they are monitoring the developments closely.


There are no vaccines available for coronavirus at the moment.

This may have been reported in a post by Aljazeera, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself from it. WHO recommends avoiding unprotected contact with live animals, cooking meat and eggs properly before eating, and most importantly, washing your hands with soap and water regularly.


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Lead photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

Images from @nytimes and @cnn