What is the Coronavirus?

With the tenth global case of the coronavirus being found in Northern England,
many people want to know more about this potentially fatal virus.

The coronavirus is a large group of viruses that affect the respiratory
system. Patients have presented with fever, cough and breathing difficulties.
It causes pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure. The human coronavirus was first identified in the mid 1060s, and cases have risen since then. Contrary to popular belief, the virus isn’t linked to
the popular lager brand. It is in fact named because of the crown like projection
on the surface of the virus.

Coronaviruses are very fragile as they can only survive outside the body
for around 24 hours. The viruses are also easily destroyed by household detergents
and cleaning products. Despite this, the virus can be lethal, and out of the ten
reported cases, five have been fatal.

How is it spread?

As with other respiratory infections, the coronaviruses are spread through the
air4. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the
virus become airborne, and can be inhaled by someone nearby. To avoid catching
or spreading any viruses, make sure to follow the catch it bin it kill it campaign.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then bin it to kill the virus.

10926 Published February 2013