Image source: CDC
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as 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.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 can be transmitted between humans in droplets from coughing and sneezing, and touching or shaking hands. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly exhibited mild-to severe-symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath and headaches.
In this regard, all staff and students who are unwell or exhibit the symptoms highlighted are asked to seek medical attention immediately.