What is the Wuhan virus?

The Wuhan virus is a new virus that is started in China. It began in December 2019, when a cluster of people who worked at a seafood market suddenly came down with pneumonia.

So far 570 people have been sickened with the virus, and 19 have died.  The virus has spread to Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. The first case in the United States just occurred in Washington State in a traveler from China.

The Wuhan virus is believed to be a new type of coronavirus. The virus likely started in an animal such as a bat or a pig, then mutated and spread to humans. It is spread from person to person through respiratory droplet, such as by coughing.

Symptoms include fever, body aches, runny nose, headache and cough. There is a test that can diagnose the Wuhan virus, which is important as the symptoms are similar to the regular flu.

Good hand washing and avoiding anyone who is ill is important.  Those who are sick should stay home and not travel.

There is no specific treatment, but patients should drink fluids and take a fever reducer.   Antivirals such as Tamiflu may be helpful but it is not known for sure yet. There is no immunization for Wuhan virus to date.



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