10 facts on killer flu

iStock
The coronavirus, the new Sars-like infection doing the rounds is possibly more contagious than people previously thought.

Here are some facts you need to know about this:

  • Eighteen people have been killed worldwide by this new virus. Thirty-four people have been infected.
  • This novel coronavirus can cause severe pneumonia and also sometimes kidney failure. The common cold also belongs to the family of coronaviruses.
  • It is not known whether bats, camels or goats are a possible source of infection. They are all being investigated. It is thought that this virus has been circulating among animals and might now have made the jump to humans.
  • Many of the first victims had travelled to countries in the Middle East. These included Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan.
  • There have also been cases in Germany, the UK and France.
  • Most of the people affected by the virus have been older men, often with other medical conditions.
  • Common symptoms include coughing, fever and breathing difficulties.
  • It is possible that the virus is spread by droplets when people cough or sneeze.
  • These viruses can only survive outside of the body for about a day and are easily killed by normal household cleaning agents.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent the spread of this virus. It is very important to wash your hands regularly, as this helps to prevent hand-to-mouth transmission.

(Sources: WebMd.com, World Health Organization, BBC News)
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
16.78
-1.0%
Rand - Pound
20.25
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.08
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.60
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,775.15
0.0%
Silver
19.89
0.0%
Palladium
2,130.50
0.0%
Platinum
937.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
94.92
+0.8%
Top 40
63,114
+1.3%
All Share
69,519
+1.2%
Resource 10
64,042
+2.5%
Industrial 25
84,928
+0.3%
Financial 15
15,675
+1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE