Novel coronavirus sources

Sources and spread of 2019-nCoV

Coronaviruses as such belong to large family of viruses. They cause illness in humans as well as circulate among animals including bats, cats and camels. Both in SARS and MERS we know that civet cat and camels respectively are responsible for disease transmission.

Public health officials and their partners are trying to identify the source of 2019-nCoV. The Full genome of 2019-nCoV was sequenced by Chinese scientists. It is a betacoronavirus like SARs and MERS. The origin of the virus is in bats. The sequence from US patients are similar to the one China has published and it suggests that recent emergence of 2019-nCoV is from an animal reservoir.   Like other coronaviruses, nCoV spreads from person to person when there is a close contact. It could be either through respiratory droplets (cough or sneeze). The droplets landed on a person when inhaled into the lungs, symptoms will develop. If an infected person touches objects, viruses can sit on the object. If someone comes in contact with the object, it could result in nCoV symptoms. However, there are reports saying that with 2019-nCoV many patients have not shown symptoms at all and were severely sick.

Image credit: Photo by kian zhang on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: February 3, 2020

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