A Coronavirus Pandemic?

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The coronavirus outbreak has now been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

There is no doubt that you already know about the coronavirus outbreak. But how much do you truly know about it? Read on for some more information:

World Health Organization experts at Imperial College London have suggested there could be as many as 100,000 cases of the disease.

At the current moment, it appears those with poor health are at the greatest risk of contracting the virus. The main concern is that infected people seem to differ in symptoms- some are suffering only mild illness, whilst others have become extremely ill.

What is it?

This coronavirus is something that doctors had never dealt with before- as you can imagine, this meant the need for immediate analysis of those that have been affected in China.

Patients found with the disease have been described as having pneumonia, with air sacks contained within their lungs filling with water. This causes acute respiratory distress, where the lungs are not able to gain enough oxygen in order to survive.

Other symptoms that have been recorded alongside this worst-case are fever, coughing, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches and sore throats.

The virus has been reported to start with small symptoms similar to a common cold, then to develop to more serious symptoms like pneumonia.

Investigators have been able to trace back the location of the first early cases to the South China Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan where live animals such as chickens, bats and snakes were being sold. Scientists currently fighting this virus believe it has definitely come from an animal source, with these species currently seeming plausible.

Over 213 deaths have been reported so far, all of which are in China. The city of Wuhan is now on lockdown in order to prevent further outbreaks.

How has it reached the UK?

Viruses spread through infected surfaces, coughing and sneezing near uninfected people, as well as through touch in some cases. This means that it becomes easy for a virus to spread from one country to another, simply by having people travelling between them. Human transmission has been confirmed as a definite spreader of this particular virus.

On Friday a plane left Wuhan carrying 83 Britons. They were all placed in quarantine the moment they left the plane and will remain in a hospital in Wirral for 14 days.

Two more cases of the coronavirus have also been reported in York, where the two carriers have currently been taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Both are still fighting the disease and there is no current signs of lung failure at this point in time.

Should we be worried?

NHS advisers have stated that there is generally no need to visit a doctor for cough and cold symptoms. Unless you have travelled to China or been in contact with someone infected with the virus, it is most likely just a common cold.