OFFICIALS have warned the fatal Coronavirus could sweep the globe after two men died in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Here’s what we know about the infection:
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Some of the virus types cause less serious disease, while some – like the one that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) – are far more severe.
It is an airborne virus, spread in a similar way to colds and the flu.
The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing lung lesions.
It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.
In 2003 an outbreak of a similar virus, SARS, killed more than 900 around the world within weeks.
The virus may have already spread to Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.
How many people have died from Coronavirus?
Three people have died, including two men aged 61 and 69 have died in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Eiji Hinoshita, an official at the ministry’s infectious disease section, said that the 61-year-old man told officials he did not go to the fish market in Wuhan linked to the pneumonia outbreak, but had close contact with at least one person with pneumonia symptoms at a place where he stayed during the visit.
A man in Australia is currently in isolation after he returned from Wuhan and started suffering from a respiratory illness.
He is undergoing tests to determine if the virus has reached Australia.
There are now more than 200 cases, mostly in Wuhan, but it has also been detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzen.
The health ministry in Japan have confirmed its first case of the disease after a man in his 30s tested positive.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms are similar to a common cold.
- a runny nose
- shortness of breath
- body aches
In most cases, you won’t know whether you have a Coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.
But if a Coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.
There is no vaccine for Coronavirus.
To help prevent infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common cold such as using alcohol-based anti-bacterial soaps and sprays.
People should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth – and avoid contact with people who are infected.
A Coronavirus infection should be treated the same way a cold is treated.