It’s got everyone on edge. A terrifying new coronavirus has reportedly killed 26 people and infected more than 900 people across the globe, following a deadly outbreak in China. So, what exactly is it and how easily does it spread? Learn more about the virus making headlines around the world, below.

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses “are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people; numerous other coronaviruses circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats,” according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s a scary and fast-moving upper respiratory illness that seemingly originated from a seafood market where wild animals were traded.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus in humans?

Those who were hospitalized for the illness often experienced “pneumonia-like symptoms” including a fever and cough. They also had some difficulty breathing.

How is coronavirus transmitted, and how can you avoid it?

People can try to avoid catching the new coronavirus like they do with any other common cold. Washing hands regularly is highly recommended, as well as avoiding your eyes, nose or mouth after touching any surfaces that could have germs. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick is also a good way to stay protected, and wearing a surgical mask helps too. Scientists and health experts are working hard to contain the virus so it doesn’t continue spreading.

Where has coronavirus been found in America?

So far, cases have been confirmed in China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan as well as the United States. A Chicago woman returned from Wuhan — where the outbreak was first reported — with the infection, as well as a Washington state man. He’s been quarantined in a hospital outside of Seattle after flying back from the same location.

There are 63 potential cases being monitored in America that stretch across 22 states, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, revealed.

“CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly,” she said, according to CNBC. “We have our best people working on this problem.”

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