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ET Explains: Everything you need to know about the dreaded coronavirus

The deadly coronavirus outbreak has claimed lives of over 400 people and thousands have been infected. Since it's a new strain, there is no specific vaccine that can treat the virus.

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Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020, 06.32 PM IST
China's Coronavirus outbreak: All we need to know
China's Coronavirus outbreak: All we need to know
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India now has three confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus, which has claimed over 400 lives in China so far. The third case is from Kerala's Kasargod district. The patient is said to be stable. The second case from the state is being monitored in an isolation ward in Alappuzha Medical College. The patient who first tested positive for coronavirus is currently hospitalised in Thrissur Medical College and her condition is stable. Kerala has declared a state of calamity after the three positive cases.

  1. What is coronavirus?
    The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans including common cold and more severe forms like SARS and MERS which are life-threatening. The virus is named after its shape which takes the form of a crown with protrusions around it and hence is known as coronavirus.
  2. How did the recent outbreak occur?
    The recent outbreak of coronavirus is believed to have occurred in a market for illegal wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Chinese health authorities and the WHO are investigating the outbreak of the recent coronavirus which has claimed 17 lives and reportedly infected hundreds.
  3. Is the recent strain fatal?
    As of now, 132 people have died because of the outbreak and many more have been infected. Since it's a new strain, there is no specific vaccine that can treat it. However, according to the WHO, "many of the symptoms can be treated and therefore treatment based on the patient’s clinical condition".
  4. What steps have been taken so far to check its spread?
    Due to the Chinese lunar holiday, the fears of the virus spreading have risen as people travel overseas. However, responding to the fears of the virus spreading, China has put the source of the latest outbreak, the city of Wuhan, under a lockdown. It has suspended all outgoing flights and shut down urban transport network.
  5. How is India responding to the outbreak?
    According to the Health Ministry, 9150 passengers have been screened for the novel coronavirus. Till now, no case of novel coronavirus has been reported in India. Health ministry has asked travellers from China to report to the nearest health facility in case they do not feel well. The ministry has asked authorities at seven airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin to screen those travelling from China.
  6. How has it affected the economy?
    According to reports, Chinese and Hong Kong stocks plunged Thursday as investors fear that the novel coronavirus can impact consumption. If the WHO declares the outbreak as a global health emergency, it could impact global investor sentiment mainly impacting travel, entertainment, hospitality sectors.

Coronavirus explained: Here's all you need to know about the deadly virus

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What is Coronavirus?

23 Jan, 2020
The coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed four people in China is a novel strain not seen before.

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