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In China, there is currently an increased incidence of disease caused by a new type of coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The metropolis of Wuhan (11 million inhabitants) and Hubei province, to which Wuhan belongs, are particularly affected. Like the SARS virus, the novel virus belongs to the beta corona viruses. Other countries have also reported cases in the meantime. The majority of those affected were previously in Wuhan, and some are known to have had contact with confirmed 2019 nCoV cases. In Germany, the first cases have been confirmed since the end of January 2020. 2019-nCoV is transmissible from person to person. Currently, it is assumed that the incubation period is up to 14 days.

Latest Coronavirus Outbreak Quick Facts


What is COVID-19

2019-nCoV is a novel coronavirus that was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It was initially reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a global health emergency.

Illness caused by 2019-nCoV is now termed COVID-19 by the WHO, the new acronym derived from "coronavirus disease 2019."


What is the latest status?

As of February 11, 2020, COVID-19 infection has been confirmed in more than 43,000 individuals (mostly in China) and has resulted in more than 1000 deaths. Outside of China, infections have been reported in an increasing number of countries, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, The Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

What is the Background of Virus?

Coronaviruses comprise a vast family of viruses, 7 of which are known to cause disease in humans. Some coronaviruses that typically infect animals have been known to evolve to infect humans. COVID-19 is likely one such virus, postulated to have originated in a large animal and seafood market. Recent cases involve individuals who reported no contact with animal markets, suggesting that the virus is now spreading from person to person.


How is COVID-19 transmitted?

Transmission is believed to occur via respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing, as with other respiratory pathogens, including influenza and rhinovirus According to the WHO, the spread of COVID-19 in China seems to be largely limited to family members, healthcare providers, and other close contacts and is probably being transmitted by respiratory droplets.

How can COVID-19 be treated and Prevented?

No specific antiviral treatment is recommended for COVID-19 infection. Infected patients should receive supportive care to help alleviate symptoms. Vital organ function should be supported in severe cases.

No vaccine is currently available for COVID-19. Avoidance is the principal method of deterrence.

General measures for prevention of viral respiratory infections include the following:

  • Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Individuals should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Individuals should avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Sick people should stay at home (eg, from work, school).
  • Coughs and sneezes should be covered with a tissue, followed by disposal of the tissue in the trash.
  • Frequently touched objects and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.