With the outbreak of a previously-unknown coronavirus in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China, everyone wants to know more about this type of infection. Researchers have discovered six other human coronaviruses. Under the microscope, a coronavirus is a sphere covered in spiky protrusions, like a thorny crown. They know how to take advantage of necessary cell reactions and use them to replicate and infect healthy cells. Coronaviruses mostly attack the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and their sneaky movements make it hard to synthesize a vaccine or cure.
If you've been watching the news in January 2020, you have likely heard about the outbreak in China that has taken 17 lives and hospitalized hundreds more. Recently, the infection has been identified as a new strain of coronavirus, and a few cases have been identified in the U.S. Though coronaviruses often cause relatively mild symptoms, such as respiratory issues, fever, and coughing, they can progress to pneumonia or bronchitis because of their adverse effect on the immune system.
Doctors believe that though China's coronavirus strain was originally transmitted from animals to humans, it has mutated to enable human-to-human transmission and could change further. The U.S. is taking and recommending various precautions. In addition to stopping flights from Wuhan, China and working on guidelines for health professionals, researchers are working on tests to quickly identify the virus in infected people.
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