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Coronavirus: What is the Coronavirus?

Get the facts, not the rumors, about the coronavirus and what it means for you.

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What is the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus, more particularly the 2019 novel coronavirus, is a respiratory illness that was first reported in the Wuhan province in China in 2019. It is caused by a virus similar to the virus that caused the SARS outbreak, and can be spread person-to-person. It's unclear how quickly the virus is spreading, but there have been documented cases in the United States beginning on January 30, 2020. A case was reported in Massachusetts on February 1, 2020.

Initial reports indicate that the death rate is lower than the related illness SARS, which killed 10% of those infected. The coronavirus death rate is currently about 3%, the Wall Street Journal reported on January 29, 2020. However, much is still unknown about the virus including how the coronavirus spreads, how long patients remain contagious, how quickly it can spread, and if someone without symptoms can spread the virus.

Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to that of other respiratory illnesses. Fever, shortness of breath, and coughing have been reported.

Sources:

CDC Coronavirus Situation Summary

Wall Street Journal

NBC Boston

File:Symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus.png

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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