What is it?
Novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans which has caused an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Earlier reported cases had contact with seafood and live animal market. However, most cases are now spread from person-to-person by droplets when coughing. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with coronavirus and investigations are ongoing. Flu-like symptoms often occur in patients after direct contact with someone with coronavirus. The incubation period (time between exposure and onset of symptoms) likely ranges between two and 14 days. People are at risk of catching the disease who are living or traveling to affected areas, had direct contact with a known case and with underlying diseases like diabetes, kidney or lung disease, weakened immune system or elderly.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including:
- Nasal congestion.
- Runny nose.
- Sore throat.
- Shortness of breath.
In most cases, you won’t know whether you have a coronavirus or a common cold-causing virus.
What to expect?
Get an urgent appointment on the same day with your physician or seek immediate medical help to get laboratory investigations done if you think you may have symptoms of novel coronavirus and recent travel to China or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus. Moreover, the risk of getting infected by coronavirus can be reduced by the following steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub frequently.
- Cover nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow and afterwards wash your hands with running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
- Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.