What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus that was discovered in 2019. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. But seven, including the new virus, has made the jump to humans. The virus believed to have come from a market in Wuhan which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds. These kinds of markets pose a higher risk of viruses due to hygiene standards being difficult to maintain as live animals are densely packed in small spaces and being killed on site.

What are the symptoms of the virus?


Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

Cough,

Fatigue,

High temperature and shortness of breath,

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness,

The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.



What are the UK doing about the virus right now?


The UK government's aim is to delay the spread of the disease and reduce the epidemic's peak. Some measures are already in place, but the government - taking advice from its chief medical and scientific advisers - is thinking about what comes next.

· Currently all people with flu-like symptoms, a fever above 37.8C or a persistent cough, should self-isolate for seven days or more depending on your age

· Anyone over the age of 70 must self-isolate for at least 12 weeks

· Schools should not take trips abroad and not allow big gatherings or events

· Older people and those with pre-existing health conditions should avoid cruises

· Many schools and businesses are going to possibly close down in the foreseeable future



How can you prevent the virus spreading?


Coronaviruses can be spread when people with the virus have close, sustained contact with people who are not infected. The more you come into contact from the droplets of the coughs and sneezes of an infected person, the more likely you are to catch the infection. But how are we able to prevent the virus from spreading quickly? The simplest things we can do are…

· Wash your hands often (avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands)

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick

· Cover any coughs or sneezes

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces




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