Coronaviruses (CoV) are a broad family of viruses named after the crown-like spikes on their surface.
They typically cause mild to moderate respiratory tract disease in humans, but can also cause more severe infections such as pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections.
Mild illness cause by CoV includes the common cold and influenza-like illness. Severe illness caused by CoV includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)-CoV, and some pneumonias.
There are some coronaviruses that can be transmitted from animals to people. Both the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are believed to have originated in animals and were transmitted to people, causing infection.
The current coronavirus outbreak is one that originated from Wuhan province in China. Most of those infected with the Wuhan Coronavirus develop a sudden fever with other flu-like symptoms. Many develop pneumonia, which is inflammation of the lung often involving a fluid buildup in the lung.
Coronaviruses can live on environmental surfaces from a few hours to a few days, so surfaces in contact with the animals may carrying the virus and cause human infection.
What should you do?
Monitor advice and news from public health bodies and government sources.
Observe good infection prevention practices and ensure cleaning and disinfection protocols are in place.
Implement disinfection protocols for vehicles and locations where animals are housed or transported.
Reduce contact with animals or humans that may have a risk of being infected.
Wear protective equipment in environments where risk of infection is confirmed.
Perform hand hygiene regularly, especially after sneezing/ coughing.
Perform cleaning and surface disinfection regularly, using protective equipment and following protocols strictly.