The Wuhan virus has been taking the media by storm as this new and unfamiliar virus affects people. Some may know it as the Coronavirus while others may refer to it as Wuhan virus. But what’s the difference and what do we need to know about this new disease?
The Wuhan Virus
Firstly, because this disease is new and unfamiliar there is still a lot of research to be done. Not a lot is known but we will do our best to provide you with the available information.
To start, some refer to it as Wuhan virus because it was first detected in the city of Wuhan. Meanwhile, coronaviruses are a family of viruses causing illness. Therefore, the Wuhan virus is actually a type of coronavirus.
The symptoms of coronaviruses range from a common cold to severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS0 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Moreover, these viruses are transmitted through animals such as civet cats and a type of camel. Furthermore, there are also coronaviruses circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
However, a new Coronavirus has recently been discovered and is referred to as 2019-nCoV. This is the disease we are referring to when talking about the Wuhan virus.
Transmission and Symptoms of the Wuhan virus
The Wuhan virus is transmittable through human to human contact. Authorities believe that it originated from the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan. Many types of exotic seafood are illegally sold here.
Signs of an infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, and breathing difficulties such as shortness of breath. In the more severe cases, Pneumonia, severe acute respiratoy syndrome, kidney failure, and even death can occur.
Moving on, cases of the Wuhan virus have been reported mainly in China. As of the 23rd of January, Chinese authorities have confirmed 517 cases and 17 deaths. Infected areas include Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin.
Furthermore, the current cases confirmed outside of China include the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan.
Cause for Concern?
At the time of writing (24th of January), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not announced a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). While it is not urgent enough for a PHEIC, it is still important to be cautious.
There is currently no vaccine for the virus. If you suspect any signs of the new coronavirus then it’s important to schedule a visit to your Doctor. During this period of time, it is best to be on the side of caution.