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What is the coronavirus? Symptoms, infection and virus prevention:



More than 360 people have died from the Chinese coronavirus  a virus whose symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia and whose outbreak was detected in Wuhan (in central China) last month. The coronavirus has also caused thousands of infected people and has already reached more than 20 countries, including Spain. [Follow the latest coronavirus news live.]

Table of Contents

  1. What is the Chinese coronavirus?
  2. How is the virus spread?
  3. What are the symptoms?
  4. What prevention measures should be taken?
  5. Are there reasons to be alert in Spain?
  6. How has the epidemic progressed?
  7. What is the Chinese coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that primarily cause respiratory infections.  “Coronaviruses can cause mild infections such as colds, but also more serious infections, such as pneumonia,” explains Juan Pablo Horcajada, Chief of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Hospital del Mar de Barcelona and a member of the Spanish Infectious Diseases Society, to EL PERIÓDICO and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC).


“The name of the new Chinese coronavirus is 2019-nCoV: it has a different genome than other coronavirus, it is new within the family and was not known.” The Chinese coronavirus has a 3% mortality rate.

  1. How is the virus spread?

Although it was initially thought that it was spread from animals to humans (the outbreak began in an animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan), we now know that it can be spread from person to person, by coughing or sneezing. Recently it has been known that it is also spread during the incubation phase, while the person has not yet developed the symptoms.

The National Federation of Ambulance Entrepreneurs (ANEA) has disseminated a series of training videos to establish a protocol with standardized guidelines for the adequate and safe care and transfer of patients with infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus.

  1. What are the symptoms?

Five are the main symptoms of a Chinese coronavirus infection:

  1. What prevention measures must be taken?

“The measures that citizens must take are  hand hygiene,  covering up when coughing or sneezing,  avoiding contact  with people who have flu-like symptoms and avoiding trips to the Wuhan area,” explains Horcajada, who adds that  “there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment ”  for the coronavirus.

Only their symptoms are treated, with paracetamol or ibuprofen and hydration in mild cases. In severe cases, thermodynamic and / or respiratory support is performed.

  1. Are there reasons to be alert in Spain?

“It’s an emerging disease and people are worried because we live in a globalized world,” says Horcajada. “We are prepared to deal with this virus because we have powerful epidemiology and public health services and there is sufficient preparation to prevent its spread,” concludes this expert.

Although the Spanish  Ministry of Health  said it considered “very low” the risk of introducing the  new coronavirus in Spain , a first case has already been confirmed  , that of a German tourist in La Gomera .

In addition, there are other reasons to be alert: health authorities link this virus to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), whose outbreak also began in China and in 2003 killed 813 people worldwide (646 of them in China). Even so, the lethality rate of 2019-nCoV (3%) is lower than that of the SARS (10%).

  1. How has the epidemic progressed?

Thus we have counted the first days of the coronavirus epidemic and its arrival in Spain:

China enters money to stop the stock market crisis;

The People’s Bank of China has announced that it will inject 1.2 billion yuan into the country’s economy, some 156,000 million euros, to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus outbreak. The different bags of the Asian country will reopen its doors on Monday, after they remained closed since last January 23 on the occasion of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Experts assume that the session will be very volatile in the stock market and with this measure they aim to mitigate the impact on the companies most affected by the health crisis.


Italy manages to isolate the coronavirus thanks to two patients

Italian scientists have announced that they have managed to isolate the coronavirus that causes Chinese pneumonia thanks to two admitted patients. The Find facilitates the task to develop a treatment and a vaccine.


Discarded the case of the child of Catalonia

The Public Health Agency of Catalonia has ruled out that the 8-year-oldboy from Wuhan (China) suspected of having the coronavirus has contracted the disease. The tests done this morning at the Hospital Clínic have been negative.


Spain rules out border closures

The director of the Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, has requested that there be no discriminatory attitudes against people from China and discards the closing of borders “unless last position if really necessary”.

“There is some concern in the population and certain discriminatory attitudes against people from China are coming to be,” Simon lamented Sunday at the press conference following the ministerial meeting for the evaluation and monitoring of the coronavirus.


Discarded 11 suspected cases

The director of the Center for Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, had already begun his press conference when a possible new suspect has been known in Catalonia. Although he does not know the case, he has stressed that in Wuhan they have been in quarantine for 10 days, so if the child comes from there, it  is more likely to be affected by the flu , which generates many more infected than the coronavirus both in China and throughout the northern hemisphere, that by the new pneumonia of Wuhan.

The way to proceed in suspicious cases is that from the hospital a sample is sent to the Carlos III institute, which is in charge, in a few hours, in determining whether or not it suffers from coronavirus. In Spain, at least 11 suspected cases have already been ruled out.


The German, practically without symptoms

The director of the Center for Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, explained about the positive case, the German tourist, that “everything is going well, practically has no symptoms.”

A search has been made and all contacts have been identified except those on the plane, but it is believed that as there were six German tourists they traveled all together, so it is not thought that there is an excessive risk. It is a reduced number of contacts and the majority of low risk. Only one of them, Simón points out, is considered an extreme contact and has been placed in self-quarantine.


An 8 year old boy, a possible case in Catalonia

The Public Health Agency of Catalonia investigates a suspected case of coronavirus that meets both criteria (clinical and epidemiological). This is an 8 year old boy from Wuhan (China).

Agency sources have explained through their Twitter account that the tests that will be performed in the epidemiological surveillance laboratory “will finally rule out or confirm the case.”


China prohibits funerals

Those killed by the coronavirus cannot be buried wherever their relatives want or have a farewell ceremony, after the Chinese government today issued a strict protocol for the treatment of corpses, as part of its efforts to control the outbreak.

The remains of the deceased infected by the new coronavirus should be buried in a designated funeral home and near where they are , will not be transported between different regions and will not be preserved by burial or other means, says a protocol issued by the National Health Commission , the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Minister of Public Security.

Funeral traditions such as farewell ceremony is prohibited and the bodies must be disinfected and placed in a bag sealed by medical workers and cannot be opened after sealing.


First killed by the coronavirus outside of China

A man of Chinese nationality died yesterday in the Philippines as a result of pneumonia caused by the Wuhan coronavirus, the first death by this pathogen that occurs outside the borders of China. The deceased is a 44-year-old man who entered the San Lázaro Hospital in Manila on January 25. It was the couple of the 38-year-old Chinese woman who had so far been the only confirmed case in the Philippines, where there are four other suspects.


304 dead and 14,380 infected

The number of deaths from the  new coronavirus  causing Wuhan  pneumonia  in China has risen today to  304  (45 more than Saturday),while the number of  infected  in Chinese territory stands at  14,380  (2,590 more than the day before) ), according to the daily report of the Chinese National Health Commission.

Saturday, February 1


The plane with 350 Europeans who were in Wuhan delays its arrival in Marseille

The Portuguese plane that will repatriate 350 citizens of various European nationalities from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus, has been delayed due to delays in several authorizations and is expected to arrive in Marseille on Sunday.

The aircraft, an Airbus 380 of the Portuguese company Hi Fly, chartered by the European Union, already has everything ready to leave tonight from Wuhan after having accumulated several delays that have complicated the repatriation plan, started on Thursday morning when it took off from the Portuguese city of Beja.

He made a first stop in Paris to pick up a team of doctors and health experts, and it was expected that from there he would continue immediately to Vietnam, the last stage of his route to Wuhan, but the delay in receiving authorization from China for Europeans to leave The country delayed the plans.

The flight ended up leaving the French capital on Friday night, and in Vietnam accumulated a new delay this Saturday, this time because the air connection between this country and China is interrupted by the coronavirus and an extra authorization had to be achieved.

Once these problems are overcome, the Portuguese media maintain that the Portuguese flight takes off tonight from Wuhan with 350 people “of different nationalities”, including 17 Portuguese, without the Portuguese government wanting to confirm arrival times by, they argue, prudence.

The Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, has simply said, at the insistence of journalists, that is the operation “is going well,” and has refused to give details that could “harm the operation.”

Despite this reservation, the media insist that it will arrive in Marseille this Sunday, and from there the Portuguese will follow their country in an Air Force plane


Russia suspends travel without a visa for tourists to China and from China

Russia has announced that it was suspending travel without a visa for tourists to and from China to help contain the outbreak of a new coronavirus that emerged in China. A bilateral visa-free regime for tourist groups agreed in 2000 will be suspended as of February 2, according to a government decree. Russia will also temporarily stop accepting and issuing documents for work visas to Chinese citizens.

Russia reported its first two cases of coronavirus on Friday and restricted direct flights to China, its main trading partner. The Russian army will begin evacuating Russian citizens of China due to the outbreak.


First case of coronavirus on the east coast of the US, the eighth in the country

The health authorities of the United States reported on Saturday the first case of coronavirus on the east coast of the country, a man from Boston (Massachusetts) who has become the eighth infected in the North American country.

This is a man between 20 and 30 years old who lives in Boston and recently traveled to the Chinese province of Wuhan, the main focus of the coronavirus outbreak, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a statement.

The young man “sought medical attention shortly after returning to Massachusetts,” has been “isolated since then and will continue to be so” until he receives contrary orders from the authorities, who have located “his few close contacts” and are monitoring them in case they exhibited ” symptoms, “notes the note.

“The risk (of contracting the coronavirus) for the general public remains low,” said the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, Rita Nieves, in the statement.

Nieves said that the infected man is “stable” and that health authorities feel prepared and “in a good state to respond to the situation.”


China extends holidays in the province of focus

The Hubei provincial government of China, whose capital is Wuhan, epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, has extended the Lunar New Year vacations until February 13 to try to stop the coronavirus outbreak, the newspaper ‘Hubei’ reported.



Vic’s quarantined neighbor in Gómez Ulla refuses his family’s visit

Albert Aumatell, goalkeeper coach of Vic (Osona) who arrived from Wuhan last Friday along with 19 more people and who is isolated with the group in a plant of the Gómez Ulla hospital in Madrid,  explains that he prefers not to see his person in person family during the quarantine to avoid exposing them to any risk .


Russia sends five planes to China to evacuate 600 of its citizens

The Russian Army will evacuate some 600 Russian citizens from China in five planes due to the outbreak of coronavirus, news agencies in this country reported on Saturday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the evacuation will take place in the regions most affected by the outbreak next Monday and Tuesday. All evacuees will be quarantined.


Health looks for the companions of the infected La Gomera plane

The health authorities are looking for people who shared the arrival flight to the island of Tenerife with the German citizen who has tested positive for coronavirus  and who remains isolated with other four countrymen in the Hsopital of La Gomera. The experts only investigate the passengers of that flight, but not those who shared the boat trip from Tenerife to La Gomera for having less risk.


Health insists that the positive of La Gomera is “mild”

The director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, has specified that the positive case of La Gomera “has a mild picture”,  while maintaining the follow-up of the other five German tourists who currently do not present symptom. He has also reported that twenty of those admitted to Gómez Ulla have spent their first night normally.


Repatriated Spaniards can now receive visitors

The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed through its Twitter account that “the citizens repatriated yesterday and admitted to the Gómez Ulla Hospital are well, they are asymptomatic and today they will begin to receive visits from their families.” The visits will be controlled and will follow the precautionary measures established in the protocols, details the same tweet.


Germany recruits returnees in a barracks

The aircraft of the German air forces that departed this Saturday from Wuhan, epicenter of the coronavirus, with 128 people on board, including 102 Germans, plans to land this afternoon in Frankfurt, where  the evacuees will pass a first medical check  to determine if they present symptom. All of them will be held in a quarantine barracks.


The United Kingdom will withdraw its diplomats from China

The British Foreign Ministry confirmed Saturday that it will “temporarily withdraw” some of its diplomatic employees from China because of the coronavirus.

“We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and their families. Therefore, we will temporarily remove some British workers and their families from our embassy and consulate in China,” a Foreign Office spokesman confirmed today in a Brief statement.

That same source added that the United Kingdom ambassador to that country and other employees performing tasks considered “critical” will remain in China.


An “atypical” contagion

The six people hospitalized in La Gomera are currently isolated. The one that has tested positive on the one hand, the other four that presented symptoms on the other, and the one that has no symptoms on the other

It is also proceeding to identify the people who have been in contact with this group of Germans to assess what type of contact they have had and follow them up and take the appropriate measures, according to sources from the Ministry of Health.

These Germans had contact with a Chinese citizen at a work meeting. The circumstance is that it is an “atypical” contagion because if it is normal for a person to infect between 1.5 and 2.5 people, this Chinese citizen, who has only had mild symptoms, has infected five people and these turn to two others. “You have to assess this case because it can help you understand some patterns in China,” explained the director of the Alerts and Emergency Center of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón.


Illa will bring together the autonomous communities

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, stressed that the Government will remain in coordination with the regional and European authorities after expressing a message of confidence in the national health system.


The state of the hospitalized in La Gomera

It is not expected to move the positive case or the rest to another hospital because at this time “everyone is healthy” and the mild symptoms they suffered, which was feverish, “has disappeared”, as explained Fernando Simón, the director of the Alerts center and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health. However, they will not be discharged and the isolation will be withdrawn until there is certainty “that they are negative”, in reference that they do not suffer from coronaviruses.

In total, those hospitalized in quarantine are six people, five of whom presented symptoms.


Waiting for the return of returnees

Fernando Simón, the director of the Alerts and Emergencies center of the Ministry of Health, has ensured that all returnees are doing well. “We have just spoken with the head of the Gómez Ulla plant, there has been no incident, the routines for family visits are being established,” he added.

Simon has stressed that both the positive case in La Gomera and the five mild cases are perfectly and “have no symptoms.” However, he said, they will wait to see how they evolve in the last hours.


Message of confidence in the system

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, at the interministerial meeting for the monitoring of the coronavirus in Spain: “We always said that it could not be ruled out that there was no case, that this could happen, but I want to continue transferring a message of trust, the systems of alert are giving their result”


Mild symptomatology

The patient who tested positive for coronavirus infection and the other four people who have been in contact with him, who has remain admitted to the Hospital Ntra. Ms. de Guadalupe de La Gomera, will continue on the island receiving treatment and protective measures that indicates the protocol for these cases.

This has been reported by the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands in a statement that adds that it is the best option, since the symptomatology that has been detected among these German tourists is mild.

Likewise, the Ministry has indicated that as long as the evolution of the patients is favorable, there is no indication of transfer from the hospital, so it is considered that its continuity in the Health Area of La Gomera remains the best option for assistance to patients.


Interministerial Committee, about to begin

In a few minutes the meeting of the interministerial committee for evaluation and monitoring of the coronavirus chaired by the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, will begin at the headquarters of the ministry.

“Spain has a strong health system and an alert and detection network with highly competent professionals who, from the first minute, work on its detection and treatment following the recommendations established by the WHO,” say official sources.


The repatriated, asymptomatic Spaniards

The Spaniards from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, have spent their first night at the Gómez Ulla Hospital, where they were admitted after their arrival at 6:45 p.m. to spend the 14 days of quarantine.

The Ministry of Health has assured that all of them are asymptomatic according to the tests carried out at origin and upon arrival in London, as well as those carried out at the Madrid base of Torrejón in the first medical tests performed on them in Spanish territory.


Illa chairs a new meeting of the monitoring committee

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, presides this morning a new meeting of the coronavirus monitoring committee, after confirming last night the first case in Spain, one of the five German tourists who were isolated in the Hospital of La Gomera.

Regarding the first case detected in Spain after testing positive for the “2019-nCoV” virus, according to the Canary Islands Ministry of Health, the state of health of the German tourist is up to this point good, which indicates that the infection by this coronavirus is mostly slightly. It belongs to the group of five German tourists, two of whom had maintained direct contact with a person infected in Germany, who were being controlled in a Canarian health center.


China begins to repatriate Hubei citizens abroad

The Chinese government began on Friday night its repatriation plan for citizens residing in isolated areas of Hubei who were stranded abroad without being able to return home for the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Last night two flights were sent by the Chinese Government to bring 199 citizens from Bangkok (Thailand) and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), two popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.


More than 11,700 cases in China

China brings the official number of cases of coronavirus 2019-ncCovinfection to 11,791 people and deaths to 259.


Fourth case confirmed in Canada

Canada announced Friday its fourth case of the coronavirus that caused epidemic outbreak in Wuhan (China), the same day that the first Canadian patient with the disease was discharged and left the hospital where he was being treated.

The Canadian authorities reported that the fourth patient is a woman of around 20 years of age who arrived in Canada on January 23 from Wuhan, and had no symptoms.

Friday, January 31


45 more dead in Hubei

The Hubei region, whose capital is Wuhan, now has another 45 dead, bringing the number to 285 deaths in that Chinese region.

Another 1,347 people have shown symptoms in Hubei in the last 24 hours.


This Saturday, the Minister of Health will explain the case

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, will explain the information available on this first case of coronavirus detected in La Gomera.

The patient is part of a group of five tourists who were in contact in Germany with a patient diagnosed with the infection.


Health confirms a case of coronavirus in La Gomera

The National Center for Microbiology confirms a case of coronavirus in La Gomera. This is the first confirmed case in Spain.

Five German people are admitted and isolated at the Virgen de Guadalupe Hospital in La Gomera.

The patient who has tested positive, of German origin, is admitted and isolated in a hospital on the island.


Trial with an ebola treatment for coronavirus

Pharmaceutical Gilead Sciences Inc will test remdesivir, an experimental therapy against Ebola, in a small group of patients affected by the coronavirus detected in China.

The company has announced that it works with China on a therapy against the virus. Remdesivir did not work well with Ebola, but it proved effective in animals with severe respiratory syndrome, and in the Midwest respiratory syndrome, two diseases close to the current coronavirus.

Several other pharmacists, including Johnson & Johnson, work to find a vaccine.


US declares emergency for coronavirus

The US has declared the emergency situation due to the coronavirus crisis and has prohibited entry into the country of those who have been in China for the past 14 days, with the exception of close relatives of US citizens or residents. And these will be applied quarantine.

The measure will be applied from Sunday and will also imply the limitation of direct flights to China from seven US airports.


The Spanish returnees arrive at Gómez Ulla

The 19 Spaniards who have been repatriated from Wuhan (China) plus the Chinese wife of one of them have already arrived at the Gómez Ulla hospital in Madrid to spend a 14-day quarantine, which takes the coronavirus to manifest symptoms.

Once there, they will be accommodated in rooms on the 17th floor where they will be admitted, even though they are asymptomatic.


Kuwait asks its citizens to leave China

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry has advised its citizens not to go to China and has asked those who are out of there for fear of the coronavirus epidemic.

The ministry also asks Kuwaitis not to go to countries where cases of contagion have been declared.


The relatives of the Spaniards of Wuhan, relieved

The relatives of the repatriated Spaniards of Wuhan remained awake and excited throughout the day , waiting to know when they can visit them at the Gómez Ulla Military Hospital in Madrid, where they will spend a quarantine of 14 days to rule out that the lethal Coronavirus has entered Spain. The Spaniards arrived shortly before seven o’clock in the afternoon in much armored Military Base in Torrejón de Ardoz on a flight chartered by the United Kingdom from Wuhan that stopped in British territory.


Coronavirus also affects the automotive sector

Credit rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) believes that car productions in China could register a “significant” year-on-year decrease in the first quarter of 2020 due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic. In a report released on Friday, it indicates that, although it is early to predict the overall impact of the epidemic on the automotive industry in China, in addition to that decline in production, it is also likely that the demand for cars will be affected in the next few months. However, he points out that he could recover once the epidemic is under control.


UNWTO recognizes that tourism is already being affected

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), based in Madrid, said Friday that tourism is “vulnerable” to the effects of public health emergencies and “is already being affected” by the outbreak of the Wuahn coronavirus (2019 -nCoV). However, “it is too early” to estimate the impacts it will have on the tourism sector, the UNWTO added, which is closely following the evolution of the outbreak in both China and the rest of the world and is cooperating “closely” with the World Health Organization (WHO).


Two other German workers contract the coronavirus

Two other German workers of the Webasto Company, in which an employee contracted the virus in China have tested positive for the disease.


Americans will also spend quarantine

The CDC, under the statutory authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), has issued a federal quarantine order to the 195 citizens of the United State who repatriated to the United States on January 29, 2020. The quarantine will last 14 days since the plane left Wuhan, China.


Three events canceled in Madrid for the Chinese New Year

For “technical” reasons, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Madrid has canceled the events scheduled this weekend in the capital of Spain on the occasion of the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, according to a Madrid municipal website that includes the programming of the embassy. The measure is produced coinciding with the spread of the outbreak of the coronavirus that has its epicenter in Wuhan (China), which is why the emergency committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the international alert.


The Spanish will undergo tests

In total, twenty-one people will stay in Spain. These are 19 nationals, a Polish citizen residing in Spain and married to a Spaniard; and a Chinese citizen married to a Spaniard. In addition, four Danes and a Norwegian will leave tonight to their countries of origin in an airplane that is already at the base. In the next few minutes they will be tested for their condition (all of them are asymptomatic according to the tests performed at the source and upon arrival in London) and will be transferred by bus to the Gómez Ulla hospital in Madrid, where they will remain in quarantine.


Study shows 75,815 cases of coronavirus in Wuhan

The true magnitude and potential of the coronavirus epidemic (2019-nCoV) remains unclear, a team of scientists has warned, which has calculated its spread through mathematical models: up to 75,815 people from the Chinese city of Wuhan may have been infected. In a paper published in The Lancet magazine, the authors warn that due to the lack of “a solid and detailed calendar of suspicious, probable and confirmed case records, and close contacts, the true magnitude of the epidemic and its pandemic potential remains unclear.”


The 19 repatriated Spaniards of Wuhan land in Madrid

The Wamos Air Boeing 747-400 that the airline has offered for the repatriation of 19 Spanish citizens, as well as other British, Polish, Chinese, Danish and Norwegian citizens, “trapped” in Wuhan during the coronavirus outbreak  has landed at 18.55 hours at the air base of Torrejón de Ardoz.


The world is about to stop the epidemic

After the international emergency declared on Thursday by the Health Organization (WHO), the world is preparing to stop the coronavirus epidemic while increasing the number of infected in China and other nations of the world. On Friday, different countries have shown their willingness to adopt the emergency measures suggested by WHOM, since, in China alone, the virus “2019-nCoV” has already affected almost ten thousand people and caused 213 deaths, according to figures from Beijing government.


Mudassar Hassan brings 8 years of experience in helping grass roots, mid-sized organizations and large institutions strengthen their management and resource generating capacities and effectively plan for the future. He is also a mentor and professional advisor to artists working in all disciplines. He is also the gold medalist from Abbottabad University of Science and Technology in the Bachelors of Sciences of Computer Science and recently Graduated from the University of Bolton with Masters in International Management.