A 6-year-old Colorado girl died last year after contracting a potentially fatal respiratory illness that was initially treated as a common cold, doctors said on Monday. Her mother “had been on a school assignment to search for symptoms of WNV (Warnings of Viral Enterovirus 71). Despite that research, she did not pay any attention to her daughter’s worsening condition,” wrote doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
The Coronavirus, as it is commonly known, has been found to cause severe respiratory illnesses, sometimes including encephalitis, in at least 119 people who were not previously considered to be at risk for the illness. It was first identified in California in 2013, when three young adults were diagnosed with a rare respiratory illness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, dozens of cases have been found around the world, affecting infants, young children, elderly people, pregnant women, and a number of soldiers who were returning from war-zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The virus is generally spread via contact with respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth. In some cases, the virus is suspected to be the cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a serious form of pneumonia where the body is overwhelmed by inflammation of the respiratory tract that suffocates patients. However, this case does not appear to be a result of that. While the virus can kill, in a majority of cases it is treated through the use of antibiotics. Symptoms usually last one to three days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus can pass from a person to another person through close contact with the nose or mouth of someone who is already ill. This does not usually occur through casual activities, such as hugging or kissing someone, and the virus can’t be spread through intercourse. That doesn’t mean that you need to be so suspicious that you look at your babysitter to see if she is coughing. Since the virus is non-contagious, you have nothing to worry about.
According to the CDC, Coronavirus cases are increasing around the world, but the CDC remains “unaware of any globally significant outbreaks that have occurred in communities or workplaces where the virus has been widely distributed.”
“Although the risk of contagion from regular cold or flu is very low, the possible spread of Coronavirus is unlikely to be noticed by those people who receive poor care or insufficient attention when they get sick,” added doctors.
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