What is a coronavirus? 1

What is a coronavirus?

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Chinese authorities warned Wednesday for the new moon travel season that a mysterious SARS-like virus had killed nine people and infected hundreds.

The virus has spread to the United States, while other neighboring countries have issued strict travel warnings to control the spread.

Coronavirus has drawn attention to its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.

Here are some important points about coronaviruses.
UN health authorities say the outbreak in Wuhan is unprecedented. It belongs to a wide family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as SARS.

Arnaud Fontanet, head of the Epidemiology Department of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, believes that the new strain is the seventh coronavirus that can infect people.

He told AFP: “We think the source can be animals that are sold on the market and transferred to people from there.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Animal sources seem to be the most likely main source … limited human to human transmission between close contacts”

The outbreak was alarming due to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Between 2002 and 2003, SARS killed 349 people in mainland China and 299 in Hong Kong.

Fontanat said the current species is 80% genetically identical to SARS, which also causes serious respiratory problems.

218 people have been diagnosed with the virus in China and the epidemic has claimed three lives.

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