Coronavirus , which has now been named COVID-19, continues to spread across the world fast.
The number of confirmed cases of the killer bug in the UK has jumped to 40.
Meanwhile, the EU has raised the coronavirus risk level in member states to “moderate to high”.
Currently the number of deaths has passed 3,000, and there are more than 89,000 cases worldwide.
Coronavirus first appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and it has since spread across the world.
Now many are wearing face masks in the hope of avoiding the bug, despite there being much debate on whether it helps or not.
But it isn’t uncommon to have cold or flu this time of year anyway, so how do you tell the difference?
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According to the NHS , the symptoms of coronavirus are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.
But if you are suffering from these symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean you have coronavirus.
That is because the symptoms are similar to other illnesses such as cold and flu.
The NHS says it is unlikely you have coronavirus if:
• You have not been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus
• You have not been to mainland China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days
• You have not been to Iran, northern Italy, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar since February 19, 2020
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If you don’t fall into any of these categories it is likely you have normal flu.
While many may experience symptoms similar to the winter flu, coronavirus seems more serious due to the speed and spread of the outbreak.
While many of those affected experience mild symptoms, some go on to develop fluid in the lungs, consistent with viral pneumonia.
The virus is more likely to become a severe illness in those with weakened immune systems and older patients.
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The mortality rate is currently thought to be at around 1%, which is higher than flu.
Dr Bruce Aylward, World Health Organisation ’s (WHO) public health expert, said: “This is a rapidly escalating epidemic in different places that we’ve got to tackle super fast to prevent a pandemic.
“The fatality rate of coronavirus has been estimated at 1%. If accurate, this would make coronavirus 10 times more deadly than the flu.”
Seasonal flu kills around 600 people a year in the UK, and between 290,000 to 650,000 around the world, according to the WHO.
If you think you may have coronavirus you should stay at home and call 111 straight away.
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