All around the world, people are worried about the Coronavirus that came from Wuhan, China. How dangerous is it? What can be done about it? Science gives some answers.
The virus is tiny. If you placed it next to a human hair, it would look like a poodle next to the Empire State Building. It is in the shape of a bumpy sphere, which looks like a crown. The Latin word for crown is “corona,” and that is why scientists call it a coronavirus.
Most viruses are either dangerous or spread very quickly, but not both. COVID-19 is different. The Coronavirus may be ten times more dangerous than ordinary flu. At the same time, it spreads fast.
Who is at Risk?
Around 60% of people who were infected did not show any symptoms and never got sick. The virus can spread quickly because people don’t always know they are carrying it. Around 32% had mild symptoms, like the ordinary flu. Another 6% had severe symptoms, which means they had trouble breathing, but all of them got better. 2% had critical symptoms, and they needed hospital care to survive. Half of those died, which makes up about 1% of all infected.
Almost all the people who die from the disease are in older age groups, above 60 years old. Young and healthy people are not as likely to die.
What Can We Do?
Extra care should be taken to protect the old and sick from being infected. Young people can help by washing their hands often and covering their coughs and sneezes. And most important of all: Keep a distance from all senior citizens until the pandemic is over.