A coronavirus is a type of common virus that can infect both humans and animals. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous, but some types of coronaviruses are dangerous and cause an infection in your upper throat, nose, or sinuses. They spread like other cold-causing viruses such as through sneezing, coughing, and touching an infected surface or object.
What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
People who are infected with a coronavirus experience flu or cold-like symptoms for two to four days. However, symptoms vary from one person to another, depending on the type of coronavirus they are infected with.
Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
- Exacerbated asthma
- A sore throat
- A runny nose
- A cough
- Fever (in rare cases)
How Is Coronavirus Diagnosed?
Your doctor will take a sample of your respiratory specimens and blood to check for the presence of human coronavirus. However, this lab test is mostly recommended when you are suspected to have MERS or severe disease.
Types of Coronavirus
Currently, there are 7 recognized types of human coronaviruses, which include:
- HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
- 229E (alpha coronavirus)
- OC43 (beta coronavirus)
- NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
- 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus)
Transmission of Coronavirus
Coronaviruses can be transmitted from one person to another in these ways:
- Sneezing and coughing without covering the mouth can spread the virus by dispersing infected droplets into the air.
- Contact with an infected object or surface and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Touching or shaking hands with an infected person.
Prevention and Treatment of Coronavirus
There is no vaccine, specific treatment, or medication for coronavirus. Follow these tips to prevent coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with infected people.
- Stay at home when you are not well.
- Do not touch your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue and then safely dispose of it.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Drink more fluids.
- Keep frequently touched surfaces and objects clean and disinfected.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Use a steamy shower or humidifier to ease your sore throat.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people who are infected with 2019 novel coronavirus to wear a facemask to protect others from getting infected.
Some Common Coronavirus FAQs
What Is the Source of 2019-nCoV?
There are different types of coronaviruses. Some infect humans, while others infect animals, including bats, camels, and cats. The sources of SARS and MERS human coronaviruses are civet cats and camels. However, the source of 2019-nCoV is still not clear, and public health officials and partners are working hard to identify it.
Is 2019-nCoV the Same as the MERS-CoV or SARS Virus?
The 2019-nCoV is not the same as the coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). However, genetic analyses suggest that the 2019-nCoV virus may have emerged from a virus related to SARS.
What Should I Do If I Had Close Contact with Someone Who Has 2019-nCoV?
Visit your health care provider to confirm whether you are infected. Follow these tips to prevent further infection:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Wear a facemask.
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Do not share your utensils with others.
- Monitor your symptoms and get urgent care assistance if they are worsening.