Coronavirus: Overview, Symptoms, Prevention

General Health

Coronavirus: Overview, Symptoms, Prevention

Common signs of the infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing.

A novel coronavirus was reported by authorities in Wuhan, China last December 2019. Thousands of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported globally each day and the numbers are still growing. The coronavirus disease or COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously seen in humans. Read more on the symptoms and how you can prevent the spread of this disease.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a group of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS CoV). Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. In rare circumstances, as with the MERS and SARS, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Although this is the case, studies from the CDC show that there is no evidence that household pets can spread COVID-19.

What are its symptoms?

Common signs of the infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing. More severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

What to do to prevent transmission

Experts have confirmed that COVID-19 is spread through the inhalation of the respiratory droplets of an infected person. Another confirmed mode of transmission is close or frequent exposure to those who are ill or exhibiting similar influenza-like symptoms. Take note of the following standard precautions to avoid getting sick:

  • Perform hand washing regularly and thoroughly. It is advised to wash hands with soap and water for at least 40 to 60 seconds. Use hand sanitizer or 70% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Practice cough etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when coughing and sneezing. 

  • Boost immunity. Take multivitamins and drink lots of water.

  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs. Practice safe food preparation to minimize bacterial growth.

  • Avoid crowded places. Do not come into close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

  • Get a flu shot. The influenza vaccine should be done yearly.

  • Consult your doctor. Seek advice and get proper assessment if you have fever, cough, and possible exposure to a patient who traveled from China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advise international travelers to practice these usual health precautions:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections

  • Avoid visiting healthcare facilities in a country with cases of COVID-19

  • Practice frequent hand washing especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

  • Avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals. Touching poultry/birds or their droppings should be avoided, as well as visiting live poultry markets or farms

  • Travelers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze with disposable tissue or clothing. Wear surgical masks to minimize airborne transmission of infection)

Immediately seek medical attention in case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness during or within 14 days after travel.

General disclaimer

Always consult your doctor regarding any concern about your health. Your doctor will be in the best position to give the appropriate medical advice. For suspected undesirable drug reaction, seek medical attention immediately and report to the FDA at and UNILAB, Inc. at 8-UNILAB-1 or



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Novel Coronavirus-China. Emergencies preparedness, response. World Health Organization.

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WHO Travel advice for International travel and health in relation to the Outbreak of Pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus in China. World Health Organization. 10 January 2020

WHO Statement on novel coronavirus in Thailand. World Health Organization. 13 January 2020

WHO Statement Regarding Cluster of Pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. Western Pacific, China. World Health Organization. 9 January 2020

Japan Confirms first case of coronavirus. Japan Times. Accessed January 17, 2020.

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