A new coronavirus is spreading fear – and the number of people infected with the coronavirus is constantly increasing.
But what is a coronavirus? How does it get infected? And how big is the risk of the coronavirus spreading around the world at a greater rate than today? Below we have gathered all the information that may be good to know.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a collective name for several different types of virus that belong to the same family, the coronavirus family. According to the Public Health Authority, there are seven coronaviruses that can infect people – some cause symptoms such as colds and others can lead to more serious respiratory diseases.
The new type of coronavirus that spreads is called covid-19, causing respiratory problems and can lead to serious illnesses in people with other, underlying diseases.
A previously noted virus in the coronavirus family is SARS, an airway infection that occurred in China in the early 2000s and spread to several other countries. The SARS epidemic claimed hundreds of deaths and several thousand people became infected with the infection.
Background to the coronavirus
On January 9, 2020, China’s Institute of Infectious Diseases reported that a new coronavirus was the cause of the infection.
The new coronavirus outbreak has been attributed to a specific live animal marketplace in Wuhan city in eastern China. The spread of the lung virus is believed to have occurred from animals to humans. Later, human-to-human infection has also been confirmed.
At an early stage, most people were infected with the Wuhan area. The infection has since spread to several countries where disease and deaths have been confirmed – so also in Europe.
The market in Wuhan, the suspected source of infection, has been closed since January 1, 2020. Live animals must no longer be brought into the city. Several million cities in China have been quarantined and many tourist attractions, schools and companies are closed for the time being. This is announced by the Swedish Embassy in China.
Number infected by the coronavirus
Hundreds of thousands of people have been infected with the lung virus and thousands of people have died. This number is continuously rising. The numbers of infected and dead are still rising. WHO estimates that mortality is 1-2 percent
How does the coronavirus get infected?
The new outbreak is believed to have been transmitted from animals to humans. On January 20, 2020, it was also confirmed, via data from China’s public health authority, that the new coronavirus covid-19 can be transmitted from person to person. This according to the news agency AFP.
The infection spreads in close contact between people or through sneezing and coughing, so-called drip infection. At the present time, there is no evidence of infection through various objects.
According to the World Health Organization, WHO is the incubation period, that is, how long it takes from being infected to the onset of the disease, between 1 and 14 days
The new coronavirus causes respiratory problems. Typical symptoms of coronavirus are:
- breathing problems
- Several people have become infected with pneumonia from the infection. Coronavirus can also cause cold symptoms.
Most people become mildly ill, but a number of more serious cases have been reported, as have deaths.
According to the Public Health Authority, serious illness can affect those with underlying illnesses, a reduced immune system or old age.
How to protect yourself against coronavirus?
General preventive measures against infection are to be careful about washing your hands, to avoid touching your face or eyes, and to avoid close contact with sick people.
There is no vaccine and no medicine for the coronavirus. The treatment is instead focused on relieving and removing the symptoms that occur, as well as supporting the function of organs such as the lungs and kidneys. Research is being done on the development of an upcoming vaccine against the coronavirus.