The Human Coronavirus

The Human Coronavirus seems to be everywhere, but it is not new.

The common human coronavirus is mild to moderate upper-respiratory that is similar to a standard cold. The “new” virus is not new. Most people get a strain of the coronavirus at some point or another in their lifetime, but it only lasts a few days and is not as severe.

Some symptoms of the virus include runny nose, headaches, cough, sore throat, fever, and a general feeling of unwell. At times the human coronavirus can cause a lower respiratory illness like pneumonia and bronchitis. This is more common with people who have a weakened immune system, cardiopulmonary disease, infants, and older adults.

There are two severe strains. One of them has not been reported since 2004. But the other one, called MERS-CoV, causes fever, cough and shortness of breath that often leads to pneumonia, and 3-4 out of 10 people affected with MERS have died. The virus can easily spread by the air (coughing and sneezing) or contact with the infected (touching, shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your face.) People can prevent the spread of the human coronavirus by frequently washing hands, avoid having contact with their faces and others infected. The infected can protect others by staying at home when sick, avoiding close contact, covering their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, and cleaning objects and surfaces.

The virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations including the United States. States with confirmed cases include Californian, Arizona, Illinois, and Washington. More than 5,000 cases have been confirmed in China, and over 100 deaths have been reported. Mongolia and many other countries have closed their borders to prevent the spread. China also extends the Lunar New Year to keep the citizens at home and avoid the spread of infection. China has been on “lockdown” in the city of Wuhan for more than 50 million people as they try to control the spread.

So far there have been no confirmed cases in North Carolina or the east coast. As of January 27, 2020, there are five positives and 73 pending cases of the coronavirus.

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