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Coronavirus outbreak: How to prevent coronavirus

The Coronavirus causes a type of pneumonia and its symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing, which are similar to many other respiratory diseases. The official infection total, as of January 20, is 291.

How to prevent coronavirus

The virus is in the same viral family as SARS and MERS, which killed a combined total of almost 1,600 people when they originated in 2002 and 2015 respectively.

These types of illness are transmitted between animals and people.

The Wuhan virus is believed to have started in a seafood market in the city where live animals were being sold, and that market has now been shut.

China’s National Health Commission has confirmed the coronavirus can spread from human to human.

It said that two people in the Guangdong province had been infected this way.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said at least 15 medical workers in Wuhan have also been infected with the virus, with one in a critical condition.

It’s thought they became infected due to contact with patients and all of them are being kept in isolation while being treated.

Gabriel Leung, the chair of public health medicine at the Univerisity of Hong Kong, gave advice on how to avoid catching the illness and passing it on to others.

He said: “Hand hygiene – wash your hands often, don’t rub your nose and mouth.

“Please take care. If you are ill, put on a mask.

“If you go into a crowded place, put on a mask even if you are not ill, because others may be.

“Even if they have cough etiquette or sneeze etiquette, they may still get in touch with you.

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“Try to avoid crowded places. Make sure that you are considerate to others.

“If you have any symptoms, especially if you have got travel history to Wuhan, then please go and seek medical attention, and be honest and open with your doctors.

“Tell them of your travel history. Do not hide any history from your doctors because you fear ‘Oh, if I say this, I might be quarantined’.

“Please be honest to help yourself and to help others.

“And I think that’s really the best you can do at the moment, which is exactly the same advice that we’ve learnt from SARS.”

Since emerging in Wuhan, the virus has spread south to Shenzhen in the Guangdong province, east to the Zhejiang province near Shanghai and north to the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.

Two cases of the virus have been reported in Thailand, another in South Korea and one case in Japan.

An Australian man has been quarantined in his home in Brisbane after being suspected of having the virus after he returned from a visit to Wuhan.

It’s feared the virus will spread even further when millions of people travel across China for the Lunar Year celebrations on Saturday, January 25.

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