What is Coronavirus | Simple Explanation | Origin, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

3 min


Background Information about Coronavirus:


On 31st December 2019, World Health Organisation (WHO) was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus responsible for these cases did not match any other known virus.

One week later, on 7th January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed that this virus is from the coronavirus family. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV”. However, international media is referring to it as the ‘Novel Coronavirus’ (as it is a new strain of coronavirus) and ‘Wuhan Coronavirus’ (named after its suspected place of origin).”

What is Coronavirus?


Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses are zoonotic – they are transmitted from animals to humans.

Origin of Wuhan Coronavirus:


By examining the genetic sequence of the Wuhan Coronavirus and matching it up with every known coronavirus so far, specifically with MERS and SARS, many researchers believe that it could have originated from Bats.
Although the possibility of intermediary animal is not ruled out. Just like in case of SARS (identified in 2002-03 in China) it was the ‘civet cat’ and for MERS (reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia) it was ‘camel’.

Symptoms of ‘Wuhan Coronavirus’:

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
  • Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.

Human – to –Human Transmission:


China’s National Health Commission has confirmed the virus can be transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission” — where a virus is passed on due to an infected person sneezing or coughing — as well as by direct contact.


There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are approved for prevention or treatment of coronavirus infection.

Human Death Toll:


At the time of writing this article, Death toll from the virus in China has reached 300, with nearly 14000 others getting infected by it.

List of Countries where Confirmed Cases of ‘Wuhan Coronavirus’ have been Detected:

  • China
  • Australia
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Japan
  • India

Action Taken by Indian Government:


  • Screening of passengers returning from China at airports
  • Issued travel advisory – Refrain from non-essential travel to China
  • Indian Government had sent a special aircraft for the evacuation of Indian nationals from the Chinese province of Hubei.
  • 2 confirmed cases in India have been detected – both in Kerala – one of them is a student studying in Wuhan University while the other has a travel history to China. Both patients have been isolated and have been reported to be stable.

Preventive Measures for Individuals:


  • Regular hand washing
  • Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

We hope you found this article informative. Please share it with your family and friends.

Thank You
Team HopyTapy

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