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What you need to know about the Coronavirus

The first case of the Coronavirus, known as the Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), was reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Following this, on 29 January, The World Health Organisation held its third press briefing to provide an update on the spread of the virus around the world, as per the daily Situation Report. Here is everything you need to know about the Coronavirus.

China’s health commission reported on 31 January that the confirmed cases of infection have reached 9,692. This prompted the WHO to declare the outbreak as a global emergency.

The death toll now stands at 427 cases.

How does the virus present?

Currently, 102,000 people worldwide are under medical observation with possible symptoms such as  trouble breathing, headaches and coughing up blood, Al Jazeera reports.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told reporters at a press briefing: “Our greatest concern is the potential for this virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems that are ill-prepared to deal with it.”

“This declaration is not a vote of non-confidence in China,” he said. “On the contrary, WHO continues to have the confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.”

2019-nCoV can cause pneumonia and other respiratory and cardiovascular conditions: coughing, fever, fatigue and soreness. Because the outbreak is in the middle of the flu season, it makes distinguishing between the two difficult, Futurism.com explains.

Kidney and heart damage can occur in more severe cases. Although it must be noted that most cases are very mild and could even slip under the radar. The elderly and very young children are at higher risk.

What about SA?

One case of the virus has been reported in South Africa. However, there has been no confirmed case of the coronavirus in South Africa, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize added that 55 international travellers were screened at points of entry into South Africa and were found to have a fever.

However, none of them tested positive for the coronavirus, News24 reports.

*Facts correct as of 4 February 2020

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