How does coronavirus spread and how can you protect yourself?


Almost 12,000 people have been infected by the new coronavirus, which continues to spread to more countries since it was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in early December.
More than 250 people have died so far, all in China and almost all in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

How is the coronavirus spreading?
The 2019-nCoV coronavirus spreads from person to person in close proximity, similar to other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu.
The disease can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing, which disperses droplets of body fluids such as saliva or mucus.
According to scientists, coughs and sneezes can travel several feet and stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes.
These droplets can come into direct contact with other people, or can infect those who pick them up by touching surfaces on which the infected droplets land, or touching a surface and then their face.

How to protect yourself?
This are Standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
1.      Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
2.      When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
3.      Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
4.      If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
5.      When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
6.      The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

How serious is this epidemic?
Given the response and effect, the new coronavirus is being treated as a serious concern.
The infection is now more widespread than the 2002-03 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) episode, which also originated in China, in terms of affected people but not deaths.
The World Health Organization has designated the outbreak with its highest warning level, as it has for five others, including Ebola in 2014 and 2019, polio in 2014, the Zika virus in 2016 and swine flu in 2009.