Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe
4 minute read
3 Feb 2020
11:25 am

What you need to know about the coronavirus

Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe

In most cases, you won’t know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as influenza.

People wearing protective facemasks to help stop the spread of a deadly virus which began in the city stand outside the Wuhan Fifth Hospital in Wuhan on January 24, 2020. / AFP / HECTOR RETAMAL

Coronaviruses were first identified in the ’60s, but no one really knows where they come from. They get their name from their crown-like shape. Sometimes, but not often, a coronavirus can infect both animals and humans. It is quite a common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous. Two human coronaviruses, Mers-CoV and Sars-CoV have been known to frequently cause severe symptoms. Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) symptoms usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath which often progress to pneumonia. About three or four of every 10 patients reported...