THE FACTS: Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

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Health officials and experts all over the world are closely monitoring and investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Health officials and experts all over the world are closely monitoring and investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The current outbreak of novel coronavirus was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.

Additional cases are reported every day. As of March 19, the number of confirmed cases is over 190,000.

Locations with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases

Afghanistan

Algeria

Andorra

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Aruba

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Barbados

Bahrain

Belarus

Belgium

Benin

Bhutan

Bolivia

Brazil

Burkina Faso

Cambodia

Cameroon

Canada

Cayman Islands

Central African Republic

Chile

China

Congo

Croatia

Cuba

Curaçao

Czechia

Denmark

Djibouti

Dominican Republic

D.R. Congo

Ecuador

Egypt

Equatorial Guinea

Estonia

Ethiopia

Eswatini

Faroe Islands

Finland

France

French Guiana

French Polynesia

Gabon

Gambia

Georgia

Germany

Ghana

Gibraltar

Greece

Guadaloupe

Guam

Guatemala

Guernsey

Guinea

Guyana

Honduras

Hong Kong

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Ivory Coast

Jamaica

Japan

Jersey

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kuwait

Latvia

Lebanon

Liberia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macau

Malaysia

Maldives

Malta

Martinique

Mauritania

Mayotte

Mexico

Moldova

Monaco

Mongolia

Montenegro

Montserrat

Namibia

Nepal

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nigeria

North Macedonia

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Peru

Philippines

Portugal

Puerto Rico

Qatar

Réunion

Romania

Russia

Rwanda

Saint Barthelemy

Saint Lucia

Saint Martin

San Marino

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Seychelles

Singapore

Slovenia

Somalia

South Korea

Spain

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

US Virgin Islands

Vietnam

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?

Health experts believe symptoms of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and the worst case, death.

Symptoms can include:

• Fever

• Cough

• Breathing difficulties

How can we protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus?

Global scientists are accelerating their work to develop a vaccine, effective antiviral drugs and, more immediately, contain the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) strain from spreading further.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

But there are everyday preventive actions we can take:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you’re sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

How can infected people be treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People who are infected should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their health care provider immediately.

Can humans become infected with a novel coronavirus of animal source?

Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans in China in 2002 and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. As surveillance improves around the world, more coronaviruses are likely to be identified.

What are the recommendations by the World Health Organizations for countries with cases of novel coronavirus?

WHO encourages all countries to enhance their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), to carefully review any unusual patterns of SARI or pneumonia cases and to notify WHO of any suspected or confirmed case of infection with novel coronavirus.

Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).