Since the outbreak of coronavirus was first reported in China in December, members of the public have shared concerns about a possible pandemic.
Google has revealed the 10 most common questions asked about the Covid-19 virus, including how it originated and how many people are affected.
A spokesman for Google provided the most frequently asked questions about the virus, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and NHS providing the answers.
1 What is coronavirus?
WHO states on its website: “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans.
“Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).”
The novel form of virus commonly known as “coronavirus” has now been named Covid-19.
2 What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Public Health England (PHE) describes the symptoms of Covid-19 as being “flu-like”.
PHE said: “Based on current evidence, novel coronavirus (Covid-19) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.”
3 How many people have died from coronavirus?
The most recent statistics report 1,369 people have died after contracting Covid-19, with 1,367 deaths in China, one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
4 How did the coronavirus start?
On December 31, WHO’s China office heard the first reports of a previously-unknown virus in Wuhan, China.
WHO said: “It’s likely that an animal source from a live animal market in China was responsible for some of the first reported human infections. The animal source of the 2019-nCoV has not yet been identified.”
5 Is the coronavirus in the UK?
The most recent statistics report nine cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the UK.
6 Who started the coronavirus?
The virus Covid-19 cannot be traced back to one individual.
7 Is there a cure for coronavirus?
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus. Patients are being treated at hospital and quarantined to further prevent its spread.
WHO states on its website: “To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus.
“However, those infected with 2019-nCoV should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimised supportive care.
“Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to co-ordinate efforts to develop medicines to treat nCoV with a range of partners.”
8 How is coronavirus spread?
NHS guidelines state “similar viruses” to Covid-19 are spread in cough droplets, meaning washing hands often with soap could be helpful in reducing the risk of catching the virus.
The NHS website states: “Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses spread in cough droplets.
“It’s highly unlikely coronavirus can be spread through packages from affected countries or through food.”
9 How many people have coronavirus?
The most recent statistics report 60,368 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with 59,804 in China, and nine in the UK.
10 Is coronavirus airborne?
WHO states transmission of the virus is “yet to be assessed”, but it is believed it can be spread in cough droplets.
The organisation said on its website: “For the new coronavirus, we still need to see the data and understand how transmission has been assessed.”
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control states: “Although there is so far no evidence of airborne transmission, we recommend a cautious approach due to lack of studies excluding this mode of transmission.”