The coronavirus is a family of viruses named after the crown-like spikes which protrude its surface. In general coronaviruses can infect animals and people and causes respiratory illnesses from the common cold to pneumonia and lung lesions. Some coronaviruses may cause an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. The majority of coronaviruses are not that life threatening.
In early 2020, after a late-2019 outbreak in China, The World Health Organization identified a new more fatal type of coronavirus, they named it the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which causes COVID-19.
The virus spreads the same as other coronaviruses, through person-to-person contact via airborne particles or surface particle contact. The outbreak is now quickly moving from China to the rest of the world.
Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after first exposure.
Early on, the new coronavirus is a lot like the common cold, if you get infected you might experience symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath
The coronavirus infections can range from mild to very serious, and the virus may turn deadly if it leads to pneumonia, respiratory failure, or septic shock.
The people with the most risk of dying are elderly people and people with weak immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions.