24 JANUARY 2020:

The coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections which are typically mild, including the common cold. Rarer forms like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory System) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) can be lethal.

“At the moment there are 7 types of human coronaviruses: 229E (alpha coronavirus), NL63 (alpha coronavirus), OC43 (beta coronavirus), HKU1 (beta coronavirus), which are the most common. MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes MERS), SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes SARS), and 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are the less common ones,” says the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

“The coronavirus can be transmitted through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. It can even travel up 3-6 feet through the air,” says the San Diego Disease Control .

The symptoms are a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and just a general feeling of unwellness. To treat these symptoms, doctors say to drink plenty of liquids, stay at home, and rest.

“You can protect yourself by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and by avoiding close contact with people who are sick,” Health Office Technician Brett Williams said.

At the moment, we are not very likely to get this virus as there are very few confirmed cases of this virus in the US, and only two in California, although in other places in the world there have been a reported 8,000 plus cases.