冠状病毒(coronavirus)是一类主要引起呼吸道、肠道疾病(respiratory and intestinal diseases)的病原体。这类病毒颗粒的表面有许多规则排列的突起(a fringe of bulbous surface projections )，整个病毒颗粒就像一顶帝王的皇冠(royal crown)，因此得名“冠状病毒”。冠状病毒除人类以外，还可感染猪、牛、猫、犬、貂、骆驼、蝙蝠、老鼠、刺猬等多种哺乳动物以及多种鸟类(mammals and birds)。
2019-nCoV, as it's been labelled, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people.
新型冠状病毒 novel coronavirus / new strain of coronavirus
呼吸道疾病 respiratory diseases
禽流感病毒 avian influenza virus
密切接触者 close contacts
潜伏期 incubation period
疑似病例 suspected case
确诊病例 confirmed case
得肺炎 get/catch pneumonia
接受医学观察 under medical observation
流行病学调查 epidemiological investigation
病毒爆发 virus outbreak
遏制疫情爆发 contain the outbreak
严格隔离政策 strict isolation policy
携带病毒 carrying the virus
医疗费用报销 reimbursement for medical expenses
中国大部分地区口罩供应紧张 tight supplies in large areas of China
人传人 human-to-human transmission
医务人员感染 infection of medical worker
Scientists believe an animal source is "the most likely primary source" but that some human-to-human transmission has occurred.
Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected more than 1000 people since the outbreak (爆发) began in Wuhan, China, in December. Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans.
"What we know is it causes pneumonia (肺炎) and then doesn't respond to antibiotic(抗生素) treatment, which is not surprising, but then in terms of mortality (死亡率), SARS kills 10% of the individuals," Poon, a virologist(病毒学家) at the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong, said.
The World Health Organization offered guidance to countries on how they can prepare for it, including how to monitor for the sick and how to treat patients.
Here are seven things you should know about a coronavirus.
What is a coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic[ˌzəʊəˈnəʊtɪk](人畜共患病), meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild(轻度) to moderate(中度) upper respiratory tract illness(上呼吸道疾病), similar to a common cold. Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.
For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there's a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like a pneumonia or bronchitis [brɒŋˈkaɪtɪs](支气管炎).
There are a handful of human coronaviruses that are known to be deadly.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(中东呼吸综合征), also known as the MERS virus, was first reported in the Middle East in 2012 and also causes respiratory problems, but those symptoms are much more severe. Three to four out of every 10 patients infected with MERS died, according to the CDC.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(严重急性呼吸综合征), also known as SARS, is the other coronavirus that can cause more severe symptoms. First identified in the Guangdong province in southern China, according to the WHO, it causes respiratory problems but can also cause diarrhea [ˌdaɪəˈriə](腹泻), fatigue (疲劳), shortness of breath, respiratory distress (呼吸窘迫) and kidney failure (肾衰). Depending on the patient's age, the death rate with SARS ranged from 0-50% of the cases, with older people being the most vulnerable.
How it spreads
Viruses can spread from human contact with animals. Scientists think MERS started in camels, according to the WHO. With SARS, scientists suspected civet cats (狸猫) were to blame.
When it comes to human-to-human transmission of the viruses, often it happens when someone comes into contact with the infected person's secretions [sɪˈkriːʃ(ə)n](分泌物).
Depending on how virulent [ˈvɪrələnt] (有毒的)the virus is, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause exposure. The virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Caregivers (护理人员) can sometimes be exposed by handling a patient's waste, according to the CDC.