Should you be worried? According to the latest statement by the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippines remains free from the new #coronavirus (2019-nCov) since there is still no confirmed case in the country as of yesterday, January 29.

However, there are a lot of people being infected in other countries following an outbreak in China since December 2019.

What is a Coronavirus?

The 2019-nCov is part of a large group of coronaviruses including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, also known as the MERS virus that hit the Middle East in 2012 and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as SARS, that cause more severe symptoms.

These viruses are common among animals and can be transmitted to humans and make them sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold.

Experts say that the fatality rates from the 2019-nCov are lower than both MERS and SARS.

There are no specific treatment or vaccine yet, but research and trials for vaccine are underway.

Here are some facts about the 2019-nCov and how you can protect yourself against this virus.

Symptoms

Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.

For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and more serious to fatal respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.

Transmission

Viruses can spread from human contact with animals and when it comes to human-human transmission, it usually happens when someone made contact with an infected person, such as a cough, sneeze or handshake. It can also happen when a person touched something that an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Prevention

You may reduce your risk of virus infection by wearing a face mask, washing your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible, disinfecting the objects and surfaces you are about to touch, and avoiding crowded places.

Also, drink plenty of fluids, get enough rest, and sleep.

More importantly, awareness is key, so if symptoms feel worse than a usual cold, it is best to see a doctor and seek treatment early.

Source: cnn.com, Department of Health