You might have heard the word ‘Coronavirus’ circulating all around you in the past couple of days but what exactly is this particular virus and what you, as prospective students wanting to study abroad should know before you embark on your journey?

VDIEC brings to you the basic facts about this virus and essentials you must keep in mind before you decide to study abroad.

In order to know more facts and latest situation, kindly refer to World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) for recent updates.

The Coronavirus:

Coronavirus is a common type of virus that circulates among human beings, causing mild illness such as common cold.

Novel Coronavirus:

A novel coronavirus is a new type of coronavirus that has never been previously identified. The disease circulating across the world, known as COVID-19, is one such type of coronavirus.

Source of Coronavirus:

Coronavirus is typically a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in human beings while some, can also affect animals. The cases where coronavirus has spread from animals to humans, are very rare. This rare occurrence is what is suspected to have caused COVID-19. Other than this, MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) are two other types of coronaviruses that are known to be caused by animals and that have spread to human beings.

How does the virus spread:

Originating from Wuhan, China, the first infection was linked to the live animal market in the province but currently, the virus is spreading from person to person.


The basic symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  1. Cough
  2. Fever
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Persistent pain in chest (in case of extreme cases)

What is quarantine:

Quarantine means that a person who has been exposed to any contagious diseases, but has not yet been affected by it or is showing symptoms, is separated from other unaffected people, in order to prevent the disease from spreading. The span of quarantine, depends on the duration that the disease takes to develop after exposure. For COVID-19, the quarantine period is 14 days from the day of the exposure.

Can Coronavirus be spread through food:

Any research so far has indicated that COVID-19 can only be spread through respiratory droplets and have no associations with food. In any case, it is advisable to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before preparing or intake of food.

Current situation:

WHO declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic with the total number of global cases surpassing 137,000 out of which, majority of the outbreak has been recorded in China. Outside of China, most cases have been registered from Italy but nations worldwide are reporting their first cases of coronavirus.

Safety Precautions:

The best way to prevent COVID-19, is to avoid any exposure to the virus.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  1. Clean your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have visited a public place or after cough, sneeze.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  4. Do not gather in large groups
  5. Stay home if you feel sick
  6. Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
  7. Make sure to throw used tissues in the trash can
  8. Wear a face mask in case you feel sick or have cough or cold
  9. Keep your area clean by using disinfectants


If you exhibit any of the symptoms that could potentially be COVID-19, the first thing to do is not panic. Report yourself to the nearest medical center for assistance and keep yourself clean and covered to avoid spreading the virus to anyone else.

You can talk to our counselors and follow the latest safety guidance and steps to make a uniform decision about your study abroad plans.

To know more about COVID-19, please visit WHO and CDC sites.

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