Coronavirus: Information and Details.

What is the Coronavirus and How Did It Start ?

The Coronavirus is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans. But we have recently found that It has been transmitted from animals to humans.

The virus appears to have originated from a Wuhan seafood market where wild animals, including marmots, birds, rabbits, bats and snakes, are traded illegally in China.

A group primarily made up of stallholders from the seafood market, contracted it from contact with animals and has then passed the infection onto others.

The Wuhan market was shut down for inspection and cleaning on January 1, but by then it appears that the Coronavirus was already starting to spread beyond the market itself.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are known to infect both humans and animals, and in humans causes respiratory illness that range from common colds to much more serious infections like organ failures and extreme cases; death.

Which animal has it come from?

While some sea-going mammals can carry coronaviruses, such as the Beluga whale, the South China Seafood Wholesale Market also has live wild animals, including chickens, bats, rabbits, snakes, which are more likely to be the source.

Researchers say the new virus is closely related to one found in Chinese horseshoe bats.

However, this does not mean wild bats are the source of the outbreak – they could have passed the virus onto another species sold at the market.

How Far has it Spread?

United Kingdom:

In the UK, the first two Coronavirus infections were confirmed on January 31. Details are thin on the ground, but at the moment we know that both people are from the same family and they are being treated in Newcastle.


Thailand has reported the highest number of cases, with 14 people testing positive for the virus.

Hong Kong and Singapore:

Have ten cases.

Malaysia and Macau:

Each have seven cases.

France and the US:

Each have six infected citizens.

South Korea, Germany and the UAE:

Four cases.


Three cases.

Britain, Vietnam and Italy:

Each have two, while India, the Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Finland have one each.

What’s going to happen next?

While the number of cases in China is rising, there has been limited evidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China. The first confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission in Europe was reported in Germany on Tuesday January 28, in a man who caught the virus from a Chinese colleague who visited him from Shanghai. Further cases in Taiwan, Vietnam and Japan also involved people who had not travelled to China.

The pace of the outbreak in China and cases of human-to-human transmission outside of the country among the factors contributing to the health agency’s decision to declare an international emergency.

Since 2009 there have only been five declarations of international public health emergencies: the swine flu pandemic in 2009, a polio outbreak in 2014, the Western Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014, the Zika virus outbreak in 2015 and another Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019.

Should we be worried?

At least 213 people are known to have died from the virus in China, which appeared in the city of Wuhan in December, with almost 10,000 cases nationally.

There have also been cases in 18 other countries including two in the UK, but no deaths.

Experts expect the number will keep rising.

How Deadly Is It?

At least 213 people are known to have died from the virus – but while the ratio of deaths to known cases appears low, the figures are unreliable.

It is far too simplistic to divide the number of deaths by the number of cases to calculate the death rate at this stage of the outbreak.

Thousands of patients are still being treated and and we do not know if those cases will live or die.

How Easily Does It Spread Between people?

At the beginning of the outbreak, the Chinese authorities said the virus was not spreading between people – but now, such cases have been identified.

Scientists have now revealed each infected person is passing the virus on to between 1.4 and 2.5 people.

This figure is called the virus’ basic reproduction number – anything higher than 1 means it’s self-sustaining.

How Fast is it spreading?

There is actually very little information on the “growth rate” of the outbreak.

But experts say the number of people becoming sick is likely to be far higher than the reported figures.

Could The Virus Mutate?

Yes, you would expect viruses to mutate and evolve all the time. But what this means is harder to tell.

China’s National Health Commission has warned the coronavirus’s transmission ability is getting stronger, but they were unclear on the risks posed by mutations of the virus.

This is something scientists will be watching closely.

How Can the Outbreak Be Stopped?

The only option is to prevent people who have become infected from spreading the virus to others.

That means:

  • limiting people’s movement
  • encouraging hand-washing
  • treating patients in isolation with healthcare workers wearing protective gear

A massive feat of detective work will also be needed to identify people whom patients have come into contact with to see if they have the virus.

Are Their Any Vaccines Or Treatments?


However, the work to develop them is already under way. It is hoped that research into developing a vaccine for Mers, which is also a coronavirus, will make this an easier job.

And hospitals are testing anti-viral drugs to see if they have an impact.


If you need anymore information about Coronavirus, then please stay active as we will keep updating you regularly on our site. 

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