Coronavirus disease, which is also referred to as COVID-19, is essentially an infectious illness that results from a newly-discovered coronavirus. The majority of persons who become infected with the virus will have mild to moderate respiratory symptoms and recover without needing any special treatment. Older individuals and persons who have underlying health problems like chronic respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are more likely to develop severe illness.
The virus was initially identified during an inquiry that was carried out after an outbreak in Wuhan, China. At this point in time, no specific vaccines or treatments are there for COVID-19. However, a number of ongoing clinical trials are in progress to evaluate potential treatments. The World Health Organization (WHO) will continue to supply updated data as soon as the results of these ongoing clinical findings become available.
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Different people are affected in different ways by the respiratory disease COVID-19 virus. Individuals with underlying medical conditions and persons 60 years or older have an increased risk of developing chronic disease and dying. Included among the common symptoms are:
• Dry cough
Included among other symptoms are:
• Sore throat
• Aches and pains
• Shortness of breath
In addition, there are very few individuals who will report a runny nose, nausea, or diarrhea. Individuals who experience mild symptoms but are otherwise healthy should isolate themselves and get in touch with a COVID-19 information line or their medical provider for a recommendation on referral and testing. Individuals who have a cough, fever, or experiencing difficulty breathing should get in contact with their doctor with the intent to seek medical attention.
Generally, symptoms differ in severity from an individual being asymptomatic (having no symptoms) to him or her having muscular pain and general weakness. In the most severe cases, acute respiratory, septic shock, severe pneumonia, distress syndrome, and sepsis occur, and all of these symptoms can potentially lead to death. Studies have revealed that this can be rapidly followed by clinical deterioration, usually during the second week of the infection.
It has been reported in more recent times that anosmia is a symptom of the coronavirus. Anosmia is essentially a deficiency in the sense of smell, and in some cases, this could also involve a loss of taste. Italy, South Korea, and China have documented proof that infected individuals have developed hyposmia/anosmia, and there are cases in which there is no appearance of other symptoms.
Where Did COVID-19 Originate From?
Coronaviruses typically circulate among animals; however, there are some that are renowned for also infecting humans. The natural hosts of these viruses are bats, but a number of other species of animals are identified as acting as sources as well. For instance, SARS can be passed on to humans by way of civet cats, and MERS is passed on by way of camels.
Mild, severe, and critical are the three levels of severity that are possible for individuals who contract the coronavirus. The mild cases look more like the common cold, and the respiratory symptoms include runny nose, fever, sore throat, and it could result in pneumonia as well. Furthermore, pneumonia can have varying severity levels ranging all the way up to the failure of multiple organs and individuals passing away. Nevertheless, in most cases, most of the infected individuals experience mild symptoms. In-depth research has revealed that approximately 82 percent of COVID-19 cases are mild, roughly 15 percent are considered severe, and about 3 percent are categorized as being critical.
Transmission Mode and How COVID-19 Spreads
When infected individual coughs or sneezes and expels droplets of saliva or nasal discharge takes place, this is how the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted. As such, it is vital for individuals to practice respiratory etiquette, which includes coughing and sneezing into a flexed elbow. In addition, the virus spreads when an individual touches an object or surface that has been contaminated with the virus and then touches his or her mouth, eyes, or nose. It is important to note that COVID-19 is capable of surviving on many different surfaces for several hours, and these include cardboard and copper. On stainless steel and plastic, it can survive for several days. However, the volume of the viability of the virus decreases over time, and sometimes there are not have enough numbers to lead to someone becoming infected.
The original source of virus transmission is understood to be animals; however, the coronavirus is now passed from one individual to the next, and this is known as human-to-human transmission. A satisfactory volume of epidemiological data is not yet available to decide just how easily the virus spreads among individuals. Nevertheless, it is currently projected that a single infected person could end up infecting two to three other persons, on average.
It has been established that the virus can be passed on when individuals with COVID-19 cough, sneeze, or expel nasal discharges. In addition, the evidence is there that suggests that an individual who is infected for just two days prior to exhibiting symptoms can transmit the disease to other people. It has also been discovered that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus, and it could be deadly to persons who are elderly and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
For individuals who have traveled from an area impacted by the coronavirus, you might be mandated by the government to restrict your movements for up to 14 days. If symptoms of the virus-like a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing appear during this period, it is vital that medical help is pursued. Get in touch with the office of your healthcare provider prior to leaving your home and inform them about your place of travel and the symptoms you are experiencing. They will provide you with instructions on how to receive care without exposing others to this illness. While you are sick, avoid being in contact with other individuals, do not venture out, and delay travel plans to lower the probability of spreading the virus to others.
Who Can the Virus Infect?
Persons of all ages can become infected with the new coronavirus. Older persons and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes are seemingly more susceptible to becoming exceedingly sick with COVID-19. The WHO has advised persons of all ages to take careful steps in safeguarding themselves against the disease by adhering to good hygiene practices.
Preventing the Infection
The best method of preventing and slowing down the spread of the virus is to be well informed about the disease and be knowledgeable about how it spreads. Safeguard yourself and others against becoming infected by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly or using an alcohol-based sanitizer and not using dirty hands to touch your face. Currently, no vaccine exists that can prevent individuals from becoming infected. However, you and your family can be protected by:
• Regularly washing your hands with soap and water and encouraging others to do the same. You can also apply an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to your hands between washes or in cases where soap and water are not available readily.
• If you work in a non-essential area, remain at home to socially distance yourself from members of the public; do not leave your home unless you absolutely have to. Additionally, it is extremely important to self-isolate from household members if you are feeling ill or displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.
• When coughing or sneezing, always remember that you should do so with your elbow flexed or use a tissue or cover your nose and mouth. You should then immediately dispose of the used tissue in a bin and wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
• If you have unclean hands, resist the impulse of touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
• For sick individuals, stay a distance between 3 and 6 feet away to lower the danger of also becoming sick.
The CDC or Center for Disease Control and Prevention has advised all individuals to wear cloth masks while in public places in which it is challenging to maintain a 6-foot distance from other individuals. Doing this will help with slowing the spread from individuals who show no symptoms and those who do not know they have the virus. The mask should be worn in addition to practicing social distancing.
Confirmed Cases and Death Toll
Johns Hopkins University has reported that the death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 78,110 worldwide. Furthermore, there are over 1.3 million confirmed cases internationally. So far, in excess of 286,000 have recovered from the virus. Infected individuals typically develop symptoms that include mild respiratory symptoms and fever between 5 and 6 days after becoming infected. Nonetheless, a number of infected individuals remain asymptomatic, which is an indication that they do not exhibit any symptoms of the virus. The virus develops in the respiratory tract and could lead to a number of symptoms. Thankfully, the majority of individuals infected by the virus experience mild symptoms and end up recovering.