What you need to know about the Novel coronavirus from China


About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The 2019-nCoV or the 2019 Novel Coronavirus was identified as the virus that caused an outbreak of respiratory illness which was first detected in Wuhan, China. Early reports said that many of the patients in Wuhan were connected to a large seafood and animal market which prompted medical workers to conclude that the spread was likely animal-to-person. However, the number of people infected with the virus who have not had exposure to animal markets keeps growing, suggesting that person-to-person spread is happening. Currently, health authorities are still unsure of how easily or sustainably this virus spreads between people.


According to reports, patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of the following:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is according to what has been found previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.


According to CDC, coronaviruses are common amongst animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats but rarely affect humans. As earlier reported, medical authorities concluded that the outbreak was from animal to person as many patients of the outbreak were linked to large seafood and live animal market. However, the growing cases of the coronavirus indicate that person-to-person spread is taking place.

“When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. The spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts,” CDC noted.

CDC stated that the viral infection can vary from person-to-person. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. CDC further reminds people of the importance of getting to know the virus in order to better understand the risk associated with it.


CDC noted that there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. In addition, CDC recommends everyday preventive measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The list includes the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


According to CDC, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

CDC advised that the people who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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Lorenzo Caballes, Jr.
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Lorenzo Caballes, Jr.

Lorenzo is a full time English Language Teacher to high school students in Phitsanulok. He reads and travels for self-enrichment. He also writes at khunkrupinoy.com where he shares his struggles and joys of being a teacher in Thailand for almost a decade now.