coronavirus CNN

The Coronavirus, CNN



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Video: The Coronavirus, CNN



A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus has the international community on alert.

Since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December, the number of people infected and patients who have died keeps climbing.

So, here’s what you need to know about coronaviruses.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses, common among many species of animals, including humans. In rare cases, the virus actually makes a jump from animals to humans, and even more rare, from person to person, which is what scientists believe has happened in this case.

What are the symptoms?

Now typically, coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache, fever, which can last for several days.

For those with a weakened immune system, there is a chance that the virus could cause a lower-down and much more serious respiratory-tract illness, like pneumonia or bronchitis.

There have only been two other coronaviruses that have been known to be deadly. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, known as MERS virus, that caused severe respiratory problems. And the CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimated that three out of four of every ten patients infected with MERS had died.

Another one is the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS. Now that had an average death rate of about ten percent (10%), with older people being the most vulnerable.

How do these viruses spread?

Viruses can spread from human contact with animals: scientists think MERS, for example, started in camels. And they suspect that SARS started with civet cats.

As for human to human transmission, often it happens when someone is within three feet (0.9 meters) of the infected person.

Now with this new virus, we don’t know yet, when exactly someone become contagious, how sick they are when the do. Depending on how virulent the virus is, a cough, a sneeze, a handshake could cause an exposure.

Can you prevent it?

There is no vaccine to protect against this family of viruses. There is no specific treatment for a coronavirus. Most of the time, symptoms are going to go away on their own.

Those who catch the virus are advised to do the basics: drink plenty of fluids, sleep as much as possible. Symptoms as well can be relieved by taking pain or fever medications, but if they do get worse, it’s recommended you see a doctor.

You could reduce the risk of infection by avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and of course washing your hands with soap and water as often as possible for at least twenty (20) seconds.


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1. A coronavirus is a single, specific type of virus. True or false?

2. The symptoms of a coronavirus infection is similar to the flu or common cold. Is this right or wrong? Does it affect everyone equally?

3. Have there been other coronavirus outbreaks?
4. Is the virus unique to humans? Did it emerge from humans?

5. People contract the coronavirus by bites and scratches from or by eating infected animals. Is this correct or incorrect?

6. To be cured, do you need to take anti-viral medication?

7. How can people avoid getting ill?


A. Does the coronavirus illness sound completely new to you?

B. How often do you and your friends get the common cold?

C. I have seen movies regarding outbreaks or contagions. Yes or no?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. What should people and governments do?

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