There are now almost 100,000 cases of Corona Virus (COVID-19) globally and over 2,000 deaths and people around the world have gone into panic over fears of a pandemic.

Corona Viruses are a group of viruses that, much like influenza, have many types with varying symptoms and fatality. Most corona viruses are quite common and can cause common colds. The most dangerous types are MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, which was responsible for the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in 2003. SARS infected around 8,000 people, which is significantly less than the current growing figures for COVID-19, however less than 800 died from it giving it a mortality rate of 10%. On the 1st of December 2019, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Wuhan, China and it was discovered to be caused by the new virus SARS-CoV-2. This new corona virus has evolved to be more contagious than the previous SARS outbreak, but is less deadly as only 2% of those infected have died, compared to 10% for SARS.

Due to the amount of cases and speed of its spread many countries have declared a ‘state of emergency’. China and Italy have already closed off roads and told people to stay inside their homes.  Many schools in the UK have closed after many students had been to Italy over the half term holiday. There have been 19 cases in the UK with 0 deaths and 8 have made a full recovery – So it doesn’t seem so bad for us and research from multiple sources suggest most people in the UK have a higher chance of dying from common flu than from corona virus.

The best way to avoid it is to wash hands regularly and avoid contact with potentially infected surfaces. Try not to touch your face while on public transport and cough into the inside of your elbow. If you think you may have coronavirus, call 111 and isolate yourself indoors.