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The new virus: What we do - and don't - know - Harvard Health Blog

The new virus

They are a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections, including the common cold.
They can infect certain animals and spread from one animal to another. They can reach the human body if certain mutations occur in the virus.

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The new virus: What we do - and don't - know - Harvard Health Blog

The new virus: What we do - and don't - know - Harvard Health Blog

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-new-coronavirus-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2020012518747

health.harvard.edu

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Key Ideas

The symptoms

Common symptoms: coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Non-respiratory symptoms (feeling nauseous, vomiting having diarrhea) were also reported.
The virus is more violent with the elderly, the very young and with individuals that have a weak immune system. The majority of those infected however recover after a few days.

Spreading the virus

Coughs or sneezes from an infected person are the most likely to spread the virus. So it's essential to follow basic hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hand often during the day.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow or a napkin.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Stay inside if you have any of the symptoms and avoid interacting with people that show signs of the infection as well.

The new virus concerns

At the end of December 2019, concerns regarding a new form of illness related to the new virus arose in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has spread in several other countries due to international travel.
Many of the first persons infected had contact with a seafood and animal market in Wuhan and it became clear that the virus can spread from person to person.

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Protection By Face Masks

Due to the Wuhan virus spreading across the world, the use of face masks might seem a good means of protection.

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Protect Yourself Wisely
  • Cloth masks, which are reusable and washable, offer no real protection while being potentially harmful in case there is any moisture retention or dirt in them due to their being reused.
  • It is a good practice to wear a mask all the time, especially if you have any respiratory illness.
  • It is advisable to be careful while removing your mask, as a mere touch of your hands on the front of the mask can contaminate it.
  • It is also advisable not to touch your face or nose too much.
  • Constantly and frequently wash your hands, all year round, and get a flu shot, as it is flu season. While a flu shot is not a protection against the virus, it is still advisable to get one.