The patient, who was the first diagnosed novel coronavirus case in Guizhou, got cured and discharged from hospital on Wednesday. Picture: Xinhua/Tao Liang/IANS
The patient, who was the first diagnosed novel coronavirus case in Guizhou, got cured and discharged from hospital on Wednesday. Picture: Xinhua/Tao Liang/IANS

Coronavirus: Separating facts from fake news

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jan 31, 2020

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The World Health Organization will decide this week whether to declare the epidemic an international public health emergency. Officials in China say 170 people have died.

Infections have also spread to at least 15 other countries.

Chinese health authorities said there were 7 711 confirmed cases in the country as of 29 January.

The widespread infection has created panic world-wide. However, the official twitter account for the Gauteng Department of Health rolled out a plan to mange the infection and confirmed that there are no reported or suspected cases of Coronavirus in South Africa.


According to Web MD, a coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. 

The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.

The most noticeable way that people have been protecting themselves with masks, but does it work?

Dr David Carrington, of St George's, University of London, told BBC News "routine surgical masks for the public are not an effective protection against viruses or bacteria carried in the air", which was how "most viruses" were transmitted, because they were too loose, had no air filter and left the eyes exposed.

But they could help lower the risk of contracting a virus through the "splash" from a sneeze or a cough and provide some protection against hand-to-mouth transmissions.

"Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours reduces over time when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods," he added.

People would be better to focus on good personal and hand hygiene if they are concerned, Dunning told BBC. 

Authorities say there is no vaccine for coronavirus. To help prevent a coronavirus infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common cold:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are infected.

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