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Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

Posted at 2:37 PM, Jan 24, 2020

On Friday, the CDC confirmed that a second person in the U.S. has been infected with the deadly coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.

The CDC is monitoring the outbreak, which continues to expand. They said on Friday that 63 people in 22 states are being evaluated for symptoms.

China’s National Health Commission announced Thursday that 25 people have now died as a result of the virus and more than 830 have been infected.

Please note: The CDC calls the coronavirus a "rapidly evolving situation" and information is changing and expanding. Click here to access the CDC's latest information.

What is coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The CDC says the 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a virus identified as the cause of the respiratory illness outbreak first detected in Wuhan.

"Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread," the CDC said. "However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, suggesting person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people."

2019 Coronavirus outbreak map; CDC.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

How is it spread?

The CDC says many patients in the initial outbreak had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, which suggested an animal-to-person spread. But, they say a growing number of patients have not exposure to animal markets, which suggests a person-to-person spread.

"It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary," the CDC says. "Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. It’s important to know this in order to better understand the risk associated with this virus."


At this time, the CDC says 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading in the U.S., so they don't recommend anything additional to everyday preventative actions.

Such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

To keep up with the CDC's updates and learn more about 2019-nCoV click here.

This story was originally published by staff at WFTS.