Corona Virus Explained

Corona virus, mysterious viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Similar to MERS CoV or SARS virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Health care and medical concept



2019 novel Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus? It is a new virus in a family of viruses that comprises of SARS,
MERS and common cold. In early 2020, WHO discovered a new strain of Coronavirus in China
named 2019 novel coronavirus or abbreviated (2019-nCoV).

This virus affects the respiratory system. (Sinuses, nose or upper throat). No cases yet have been reported in Africa, but due diligence is important to stay prepared for any eventualities!

How is the virus spread? Evidence of animal to human infection exists, but the current
outbreak is occurring mainly due to human to human contact.

How to reduce your risk of contracting the virus.
 Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol based hand rubs
 Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, mouth or nose!
 Thoroughly cook any meat and eggs. Avoid consumption of raw or under cooked meat. Meat handlers to take due diligence in handling meat products and milk to avoid cross
 Avoid close contact with anyone who has flu-like or cold symptoms!
 Practice good coughing or sneezing etiquette by sneezing into your elbow or use a tissue
and dispose of it properly.
 If having difficulty in breathing, coughing and have a fever, seek medical care as soon as
possible and share any travel history with the health care provider.

What are some of the symptoms of Coronavirus?
1. Runny nose
2. Coughing
3. Sore throat
4. Sometimes there is fever.

The symptoms are very similar to those of common colds and lab tests are needed to confirm if
someone has Coronavirus. If the virus though spreads to the lower respiratory tract (windpipe
and lungs), it can cause pneumonia with older people, people with weakened immune systems
and people with heart disease being a subgroup at high risk of this!

How to treat Coronavirus:
 Get plenty of rest
 Drink plenty of fluids
 Over the counter medicines to manage the symptoms like sore throat and fever. NB! No
aspirin for children or teenagers younger than 19 years!
 A humidifier or steamy shower can do the trick for a sore throat.

There is no vaccination or treatment targeting the virus itself. Just supportive care to make the patient comfortable.


Article prepared by;
Andrew Manjonjo (District Health Promotion Officer) for Tsholotsho district, Zimbabwe.

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