Originated in Wuhan, China coronavirus is a contagious virus that causes respiratory infections in humans. Although the first case was reported in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China there have been many more cases reported across different parts of China and has been reported in 22 other countries such as Japan, the USA and UK too.

The mystery virus is spreading fast with at least 17,000 cases reported and more than 360 deaths recorded. The most common symptoms include fever, coughing, tightness in the chest, tiredness and shortness of breath. Anyone who is within two metres of an infected person for 15 minutes or more can be infected by this virus.

As with any viral & contagious illness, there are precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of catching or further spreading the virus. These include basic hygiene practises such as: 

  1. cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  2. wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  3. regularly clean surfaces with disinfectant
  4. avoid sharing food, drink and utensils
  5. avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  6. regularly clean hard surfaces (like door handles and remote controls) frequently with a normal cleaning product
  7. thoroughly cook meat and eggs and avoid raw or undercooked animal products

According to Public Health England, the virus would tend to survive for probably about 15 minutes on tissue but was unlikely to survive more than 24 hours on hard surfaces such as door handles.

Interior door handles play a vital role in our daily routine. On average a person operates a door handles at-least more than 10 times a day. Children are the best route for the spread of droplet-based viruses because they interact physically so much with each other and are not best at keeping themselves clean. 

Therefore, it is extremely vital to keep household surfaces clean such as the kitchen, bathrooms and door handles. One must also ensure to use a clean cloth to wipe surfaces so that germs don’t transfer from one surface to another.

Currently, there is no vaccine developed for the new coronavirus however the researchers and doctors are closely working together in the US, UK and China to develop a potential vaccine.