News of a new virus spreading throughout China and parts of Asia has authorities on high alert to identify and isolate any new cases. So what do you need to know about this new virus – and should you be worried?
- The new virus, which had never been seen before, is causing severe lung disease in China
- Six people are known to have died from the virus, with almost three hundred cases confirmed
- It’s been established that the mystery illness is caused by a coronavirus, part of a group of viruses, six – now seven – of which have been known to be able to infect humans
- The outbreak has been pinpointed to the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, which was selling live animals and exotic meats as well as seafood
Signs and symptoms
Coronaviruses can cause mild illnesses like the common cold but can also lead to severe respiratory diseases, including Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and SARS.
Common signs of coronavirus infections include:
- Respiratory (breathing) symptoms including shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
- Fever (high temperature)
In severe cases, coronaviruses can cause:
- Kidney failure
For more information on this virus, please visit the patient info website: www.patient.info/news