The new virus: What we do - and don't - know - Harvard Health Blog
Coughs or sneezes from an infected person are the most likely to spread the virus. So it's essential to follow basic hygiene rules:
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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.
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.
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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Transmissible diseases existed during humankind’s hunter-gatherer days, but the shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities that made epidemics more possible.
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The earliest recorded pandemic happened during the Peloponnesian War. It passed through Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt, and it reached Athens as the Spartans laid siege. Two-thirds of the population died.
The disease, suspected to have been typhoid fever, weakened the Athenians significantly and played a big role in their defeat by the Spartans.
It may have been an early appearance of smallpox that began with the Huns.
The Huns then infected the Germans, who passed it to the Romans and then returning troops spread it throughout the Roman empire. This plague continued until about 180 A.D., claiming Emperor Marcus Aurelius as one of its victims.
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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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