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 February 25, the number of confirmed cases is over 80,000.

Locations with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases

Afghanistan

Australia

Bahrain

Belgium

Cambodia

Canada

China

Croatia

Egypt

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hong Kong

India

Iran

Israel

Italy

Japan

Kuwait

Lebanon

Macau

Malaysia

Nepal

Oman

Philippines

Russia

Singapore

South Korea

Spain

Sri Lanka

Sweden

Taiwan

Thailand

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

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).