What you need to know about the “Wuhan coronavirus”

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(WCMH/CNN) — An illness that has infected hundreds of people and killed at least six in China, has now been confirmed in the U.S.

A man who traveled to the state of Washington, from the Chinese city where the illness appears to have originated, contracted the virus according to the centers for disease control and prevention.

U.S. officials now urging travelers to “practice enhanced precautions.”

So, what is the “Wuhan coronavirus” and how is it spread?

A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, can be spread between humans according to a scientist appointed by the government.

Now, officials in China are racing to contain the “Wuhan coronavirus” by increasing the number of infrared temperature screening areas in public spaces.

The outbreak has spread to at least five countries including; Thailand, Japan, South Korea and now the U.S.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses common among animals. In rare cases, they can be transmitted from animals to humans according to the U.S. centers for disease control and prevention.

The viruses can make people sick usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness similar to a common cold.

Symptoms include:

  • A runny nose
  • A cough
  • A sore throat
  • Possibly a headache
  • In some cases a fever which can last for a couple of days

There are a handful of human coronaviruses that are known to be deadly. Including Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS and severe acute respiratory syndrome better known as SARS.

Right now, there are no vaccines to protect against this family of viruses. But the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. are working on one to combat Wuhan coronavirus.

While there’s no specific treatment, most of the time symptoms will go away on their own. Doctors can relieve symptoms by prescribing a pain or fever medication. The CDC says a room humidifier or hot shower can help with a sore throat or cough. Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest and sleep. If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold see a doctor.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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