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Covid 19

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of hundreds of viruses that can cause fever, respiratory problems, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms too. The 2019 novel coronavirus is one of seven members of this family known to infect humans, and the third in the past three decades to jump from animals to humans. Since emerging in China in December, this new coronavirus has caused a global health emergency, sickening almost 100,000 people worldwide, and so far killing more than 3,000. As of March 3, about 100 cases had been reported in the US, and six people have died.

How does it spread?

Researchers are still trying to understand how SARS-CoV-2 spreads between humans. (SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of the germ; the official name of the disease you get from the germ is Covid-19—more on that below.) It’s likely to be transmitted in droplets from coughing or sneezes, and the virus has a two- to 14-day incubation period. That means people could be infectious for quite a while before symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath emerge.

Right now, CDC officials say Americans should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Based on the number of new cases, the overall risk of getting Covid-19 is still pretty low in most parts of this country. But flaws in testing kits and strict testing requirements have severely limited how many people have so far been tested, which means nobody knows who might actually be infected, or how serious (or mild) their illnesses might be. Growing numbers of cases of community spread in California and Washington suggest that the virus may be circulating more widely than case numbers might indicate.

What are the particular symptoms of Covid-19?

In the confirmed cases so far, most people get a fever with a dry cough; smaller numbers of folks might experience shortness of breath, a sore throat, or a headache.

How can I avoid catching the coronavirus?

Wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands wash your hands. You get the point.

Clean all of your tech equipment. Just like your hands, your smartphone and keyboard and headphones and anything else gets germs on it.

Are you a health care worker? If not, don't buy a face mask—that depletes supplies for the health professionals who need them. Same goes for gloves (see: "wash your hands," above).

If you're in a high-risk group (over 60, have preexisting lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system) you should seek treatment if you get sick, since it can quickly go from cough to full-blown pneumonia. Call your doctor or clinic first with your suspicions so they can direct you appropriately. If you're not in a high-risk group, better to self-isolate at home with plenty of fluids and anti-fever meds. Odds are you'll recover, and this way you won't expose anyone. Still call your doctor, so they know what's going on—they may be able to direct you to people at the health department who can conduct testing. Don't go to the ER unless you're really experiencing life-threatening symptoms

link : https://www.wired.com/story/what-is-a-coronavirus/
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