What you didn’t know about the Coronavirus

There are actually seven types of Coronavirus.

VICTORIA, Texas- Coronavirus. The word has become synonymous with “outbreak.” Death tolls are climbing toward 1000 in China, and airlines around the world are halting travel while the economy has taken substantial blows. How then, did one woman in Victoria end up diagnosed with coronavirus and then released from a local hospital?

The woman diagnosed tells us, “The first day I was really upset because the first day I went in.. It was like, ‘Oh. Nothing’s wrong with you. Nothing’s wrong with you,’ and the nurse practitioners were really rude about it. Basically acting like I was a regular patient that came in with a fever who should go home and take Tylenol.”

Human coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface, and there are actually seven types of coronavirus: HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 are alpha coronaviruses, while HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 are beta coronaviruses.

These four common types of coronavirus usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses much like the common cold. Some disinfectants and household cleaners already say they protect against these on their label. The CDC says that, “Most people will contract one of these forms of coronavirus in their lifetime.”

Dr. Gartzman of the Victoria ER tells us, “The main word we want to get out to the public is just common sense prevention tips. I want to make sure everyone’s using lots of hand sanitizer, for example. It is spread by respiratory droplets, so if you’re sick, wear a mask. It’s the same as with the flu, and spread the same way as the flu. If you touch surfaces, make sure you use hand sanitizer before you touch your mouth or your eyes or your nose. Hand sanitizer is being encouraged for everyone for just common sense hygienic purposes to keep viruses from spreading.”

There are three coronaviruses that, according to the CDC, infect animals before evolving and creating new and more deadly coronaviruses. Those three forms of coronavirus are MERS (Middle Easter Respiratory Syndrome), SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and the 2019 Novel or “new” Coronavirus. The newest outbreak is an entirely different form of coronavirus, and while it’s being studied, people are generally held in quarantine.

The woman diagnosed locally says that “It’s not the deadly coronavirus. It’s a coronavirus. Just be aware, I mean, anywhere near kids. Please use hand sanitizer. Especially right now with flu season, I encourage everyone.”

If you find yourself diagnosed with one of the alpha or beta coronaviruses, there’s really no need to panic. Your doctor will likely give you a home care regimen, and within a few days or weeks, you’ll be feeling good as new. Like with the flu, there is no antibiotic that can treat a viral infection. It has to run its course. But as of today, there are still no novel coronavirus cases in Texas, and only 12 cases of the 398 people tested have been positive across the country. You can find more information on the seven strains of coronavirus at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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