News about coronavirus is doing the rounds. Just how worried should you be and what symptoms should you look out for?
Coronavirus patient numbers are quickly climbing to the 10,000-mark and well over 100 people have already died. The bulk of these patients have been from China but it seems that the virus is spreading at a rapid pace, with cases already reported in Australia, the United States and Germany.
Coronavirus is actually linked to a virus strain that causes disease in animals. Unfortunately, the virus has now jumped to humans. There have actually been strains of coronavirus in the past and this current strain of the virus is known as Wuhan coronavirus.
What Symptoms to Look Out For
Some of the first symptoms that you might notice if you’ve been infected are:
- Breathing difficulties
- A cough
- Sort throat
- High temperatures
As you can see, these symptoms could easily be mistaken for other types of respiratory diseases such as colds and flu. Symptoms of coronavirus are said to appear 2 – 10 days after you’ve contracted it. This means that if you’ve been in contact with someone who is infected or you’ve recently travelled to a high-risk area, you might want to get tested if you start experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms.
Coronavirus High-Risk Areas
Currently, the high-risk areas for coronavirus are:
- Hong Kong
- The United States
The United Kingdom is also on this list, even though it’s placed much further down.
How Coronavirus Spreads
Droplets from coughs and sneezes are how this virus spreads between carriers. This includes inhaling or touching the droplets and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
It’s for this reason that hygiene is so important as a first line of defense against this virus. Wash your hands frequently and carry a hand sanitiser with you wherever you go, especially if you will be travelling. It also helps to be very aware of touching your face if you know you haven’t washed your hands recently.
In social situations, it’s best to avoid sharing snacks or using bowls or packets that other strangers have touched. If you happen to be in a high-risk area, rather refrain from shaking hands with or kissing others.
Keep any devices that you touch on a daily basis such as your smartphone and laptop as clean as possible.
Seeking Help for Coronavirus
According to world health officials, if you feel that you might be infected, don’t go straight to a hospital or doctor as you could end up spreading the virus. The best thing to do is to quarantine yourself and phone a nearby hospital or medical professional. A doctor will be able to tell you what next steps to take if you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus.
Unfortunately, just like the common cold, there is no cure for coronavirus. It is possible for coronavirus to dissipate on its own, it’s only when it turns into pneumonia that it becomes more dangerous because this causes breathing difficulties. Unfortunately, even if breathing difficulties occur, the only way to alleviate this symptom is to offer the patient support as there are currently no antivirals for this.