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What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus

By Julia Kindelin |  @RedLineProject | Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is quickly evolving, as the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic on March 11.

The first case of the virus was reported on Nov. 17, 2019 in the Hubei province of Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has spread to 147 countries and 140,000 individuals. The virus is extremely contagious and symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the age and medical history of the patient.

Of the 140,000 that have been diagnosed, over 70,000 have already recovered. The 3.4% mortality rate is mostly made up of elderly individuals, or people with compromised immune symptoms. Since the virus targets the respiratory system, those who have any sort of respiratory illness are highly encouraged to self isolate to protect themselves.

The virus can spread thought the air when an infected person coughs or exhales. Those water droplets can then be inhaled by a healthy person, infecting them. Once in the system, the virus has a two- to 14-day incubation period, meaning that one may not develop symptoms until two weeks after exposure.

Several countries including the United States have declared states of emergency, and many are closing schools and public gatherings. Governments are pushing their residents to practice social distancing and avoid going out as much as possible. Doctors are also pushing residents to practice strong hygiene habits, such as washing your hands often.

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