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Coronavirus: All You Need To Be Safe.

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

At least 26 people have died from a new coronavirus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, Chinese officials say.

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

These viruses are transmitted between animals and people.

What scientists are doing

Across the globe, scientists are trying to create a vaccine for the new virus. But don't expect it anytime soon.

How to protect yourself

Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing, the World Health Organization says.

Other symptoms of this coronavirus include fever and shortness of breath. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death.

Scientists believe this coronavirus started in another animal and then spread to humans. So health officials recommend cooking meat and eggs thoroughly.

How to protect others

If you have cold-like symptoms you can help protect others by doing the following

  • visiting a health care provider

  • Avoid close contact with others

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands

  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, the World Health Organization says.

But, in general, the public should do "what you do every cold and flu season," said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state -- where the first US case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed.

That includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If you're the one feeling sick, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfect the objects and surfaces you touch.

If you or your doctor suspect you might have the Wuhan coronavirus, the CDC advises wearing a surgical mask.

What to do if you're planning to go to China

This virus is spreading at the worst possible time of the year -- when millions of people are traveling to or within China for Lunar New Year celebrations.

Before traveling, the CDC recommends visiting a health care provider to make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations and travel medication.

Source: WHO and CDC

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