Coronavirus outbreak, N95 masks, traditional medicine and other burning questions — answered

The coronavirus outbreak originating in China has made its way across the globe, with nearly 12,000 confirmed cases. There are three confirmed cases in India as of 5 February 2020. There is considerable panic as countries race to contain its spread through screening and quarantine measures. Companies and universities have pressed into action; trying to figure out better diagnostics and possible treatment for the new virus.

The ambiguity to the virus’ origin and fear created by its rapid spread and lack of cure has incited a deluge of misinformation. So here are four questions you really need to know about this outbreak.

How deadly is the viral outbreak?

The virus is the latest member of the coronavirus family to jump from other animals to infecting humans. The scientific community has already determined the genetic sequence of the virus. We now understand that every infected person can infect up to 4 people. The virus spreads through the air, enveloped in tiny droplets released as a person sneezes, coughs or talks. Spitting in public places or coughing without covering one’s mouth are basic hygiene fails that needs to be avoided. (Read more)