Reading Comprehension | The New Coronavirus

Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about the coronavirus and do the comprehension questions


What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses were discovered in the 1960s. They are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as the common cold.

The name "coronavirus" is derived from the Latin corona, meaning crown or halo. The name refers to the characteristic appearance of the infective form of the virus, which is reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona.

The new coronavirus

At the end of 2019, a new type of coronavirus started spreading in China. This type of coronavirus is often called 2019-nCoV, novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. It is believed that the virus was transmitted from animals to humans. Some of the first cases were diagnosed in people who had visited a market selling live seafood and animals. Unfortunately, when viruses are transmitted from animals to people, it can take scientists a lot of time before they can develop a vaccine or medicines to cure it.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus

Some of the symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, and trouble breathing. These symptoms are very much like those people have with a cold or the flu. The virus can be more serious in some people, especially if they are sick or have health problems.

While it is early to have a definite picture of the disease because scientists are still collecting the data, some patterns have already emerged. Some early reports reveal that children seem to be getting coronavirus at much lower rates than adults. Even if they get infected, the symptoms are milder. However, most people who get severely infected are those with a weak immune system, like the elderly. Coronavirus may be life-threatening for these people. They may develop more serious respiratory tract illnesses that may be fatal.

How does the virus spread?

The virus appears to spread mainly from person to person. The transmission occurs when someone comes into contact with an infected person. For example, a cough, sneeze or handshake could cause transmission. The spread may also be caused by coming into contact with something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.


There is no specific vaccine or medication to cure the disease, but generally, symptoms will go away on their own. However, experts recommend seeking medical care early if symptoms feel worse than a standard cold. Doctors can relieve symptoms by prescribing pain or fever medication. As far as antibiotics are concerned, they are useless to treat coronavirus.

People who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their healthcare provider immediately. A set of preventive measures are usually followed in case someone gets infected. This includes keeping infected people in quarantine for a certain period, generally fourteen days.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus?

To protect yourself from the virus, here are six recommendations to follow:

  • Avoid contact with people who are already infected.
  • Wash your hands well and regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if you haven't washed your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people touch a lot.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Sources: Wikipedia


  1. Coronaviruses were discovered in 2019.
    a. True
    b. False
  2. The source of the coronavirus probably comes from animals.
    a. True
    b. False
  3. Children get infected more than adults
    a. True
    b. False
  4. Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat the coronavirus.
    a. True
    b. False

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