All You Need To Know About Coronavirus Symptoms And Risks

The coronaviruses are a spectrum of related viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. These illnesses could be as simple as a common cold to severe ones such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

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Its structure has spikes that protrude from its membrane just like the sun’s corona hence the name coronavirus.

Where Did The Outbreak Begin?

The patient zero can be traced at the heart of China in a live seafood, wild animal, and poultry market in a city called Wuhan.

The exact source of the virus is not yet established. However, WHO suspects that an animal source is the most likely cause of the outbreak. This is especially given that various wildlife, including reptiles, are illegally traded in the Wuhan food market.

What Are The Coronavirus Symptoms?

Its symptoms are similar to any other upper respiratory infection. These include:

  • Runny nose,
  • Coughing,
  • Sore throat,
  • Breathing difficulties
  • and sometimes a fever.

Severe cases of coronavirus can lead to SARS, kidney failure, pneumonia, and even death. Some sources claim that the virus takes 2-14 days for the symptoms manifest.

How Deadly Is It?

Though some experts claim that the virus may not be as deadly as SARs and MERS, it has already claimed over 130 lives. Over 4500 cases have been reported globally, with most of them being in China.

Coronavirus Status in Kenya

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kenya and Africa so far. However, there are a few cases that have caused a scare in the country which are currently under investigation.


There is no vaccine for this virus. To avoid getting infected one should:

  • Avoid going to areas with high rates of infection.
  • Cover your mouth and nose if you are in a high-risk area.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap.
  • Avoid having close physical contact with infected persons.
ICT officer, content development and digital media at Kenyatta University Teaching Referral & Research Hospital.

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