- The World Health Organization sent 25 scientists to China to research the coronavirus.
- In a recent report, the scientists described their findings about how the disease spreads and who is most likely to be affected.
- Children might be less likely to catch the virus, they found.
- Common symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, include fever, cough, and fatigue, according to the report.
- Read a summary of the report’s findings below.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Bats appear to be the source of the coronavirus, but it’s not clear which type of animal was the “intermediate host” that passed the virus on to humans.
Robots How it’s transmitted
COVID-19 is transmitted via “close unprotected contact.” The report said airborne spread “is not believed to be a major driver of transmission.”
Robots Family spread
Human-to-human spread in China “is largely occurring in families,” the report said, adding that 78% to 85% of “clusters” of coronavirus cases were in families.
Robots No immunity
The coronavirus “is a newly identified pathogen,” and “there is no known pre-existing immunity in humans,” the report said.
“Everyone is assumed to be susceptible, although there may be risk factors increasing susceptibility to infection,” it said.
Robots Types of symptoms
COVID-19 symptoms can range from no symptoms “to severe pneumonia and death.” Mild respiratory problems and fever start, on average, five to six days after infection, the report said.
In over 55,000 cases studied, symptoms included:
- Fever (87.9%)
- Dry cough (67.7%)
- Fatigue (38.1%)
- Production of sputum, saliva and mucus from the respiratory system (33.4%)
- Shortness of breath (18.6%)
- Sore throat (13.9%)
- Headache (13.6%)
- Chills (11.4%)
About 80% of confirmed patients had mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, 13.8% had severe cases, and 6.1% were critical, with respiratory failure and multiple organ failure.
Robots People at the highest risk
Preexisting conditions and age affect COVID-19’s severity.
People over 60 years old and people “with underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer” are at a higher risk of becoming seriously or fatally ill from COVID-19.
In children, the illness “appears to be relatively rare and mild.” Only 2.5% of cases in children were severe, and 0.2% were critical.
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