NewsMobile Explainer: Novel Corona Virus (nCOV) hits China

India on Friday issued a travel advisory for its citizens traveling to China in view of the Novel Corona virus outbreak.

The Union Health and Family Welfare has initiated a comprehensive plan on Friday to deal with the outbreak of the Novel Corona Virus (nCOV). This is being done in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). Here is everything you need to know.

1. What is this Novel Cornona Virus (nCOV)? Where did it originate from?

At this moment, there is little information available regarding this virus. All that we know, as per the Geneva based World Health Organization (WHO) is that this virus belongs to the same strain of virus which also caused the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the SARS (severe acquired respiratory syndrome) and which causes the common cold.

However, this strain of virus is said to be slightly different from the others.

An illustration of the Virus

It is also understood to have the ability to affect bats, cats, dogs and other animals.

It is said to affect the kidney, cause pneumonia and breathing problems and in rare cases even cause deaths.

Till date, 41 cases including one death have been reported in China, 2 cases in Thailand and one in Japan have also been reported.

WHO is regularly monitoring the situation.

It is said to have originated from in a meat market in the Wuhan Province of China.

2. What are the symptoms? How to prevent its spread?

The symptoms include fever, cough, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

It is believed to have been transmitted from animals to humans and then onwards from human to human also.

Here is a list of DO’s and DON’T’s.

Ø Do not come into contact with an infected person.

Ø Do avoid imported meat from China.

Ø Do wash your hands regularly.

Ø Cover your mouth while sneezing.

Ø Thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consuming it.

Ø Report immediately if any of them symptoms are observed to the nearest medical practitioner.

3. What are the steps being taken by India?

The Union Health and Family Welfare is monitoring the situation closely and has set up screening centres at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi), Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata) and the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai). All efforts are being taken to prevent the arrival of this virus into India.

The Ministry has also issued necessary instructions to various laboratories, surveillance, treatment entities. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has been activated.

The Indian Council for Medical Research has also said that they are ready to deal with this situation.

The National Institute of Virology in Pune has initiated a research program into studying this virus.

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