Photo Credit: Robert Rodriguez/CNET

What is the coronavirus?

According to the Center for Disease Control, the coronavirus is a respiratory disease. The first reports of the coronavirus originated in Wuhan City Hubei Province, China. The coronavirus is a set of viruses that was only known to infect animals such as camels, cattle, cats, and bats.  The reports of the virus spreading from animal to human were rare.

The CDC is reporting that the new coronavirus COVID-19 is a new virus that has not been reported to have been found in humans.

The coronavirus has spread to 37 locations around the world.

How dangerous is the coronavirus?

The reports of the illness have been from mild to severe to deadly. The symptoms can include fever, coughs, and shortness of breath. In a recent CUNYCAST podcast, the CUNY School of Public Health Dean Ayman El-Mohandes, stated that the virus is “transmitted by droplets like the common cold.” He advises a person needs to be in a “certain proximity of an infected person to be infected.”

This week, the CDC reported that there are 57 cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations Disease Control, reported this past Wednesday that “it’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”

How can you prevent infection?

Dr. El-Mohandes advises people to wash their hands frequently and to “stay away from people with respiratory symptoms.”

According to Dr. El-Mohandes, it is going to take time to fully understand this virus.  He stated that the coronavirus is “fairly infectious, maybe more infectious than the SARS virus, but it also seems like many of the people that catch the infections may have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.”

The President of the United States, Donald Trump announced that $2.5 billion in funds to go towards a plan to fight the illness.

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