What is Coronavirus? – An Overview
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the new coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019. COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.
COVID-19 is not the same as common coronaviruses that circulated among humans and only caused mild illness, like the common cold. However, COVID-19 can be severe, and some cases have caused death.
WHO – Naming of Coronavirus
In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, ‘D’ for disease and ’19’ for 2019. Formerly, this disease is also referred as “2019 novel (new) coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
How does COVID-19 spreads?
A. Animals to Humans
- A coronavirus is a virus that is found in animals. It has been speculated that it first came from a seafood and meat market in Wuhan, China.
- However, transmission of the virus from animals to humans is rare.
B. Infected Person to other Person
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- It spreads when a healthy person is in close contact with an infected person (within about 6 feet).
- When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the respiratory droplets produced can land in the mouths or noses of people present nearby and infect them too.
C. Asymptomatic Person to other Person –
- Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- A patient is considered asymptomatic if he is a carrier for a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms.
- Some spread might be possible before people even show symptoms.
D. Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
- It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their own mouth, nose or eyes.
E. Community Spread
Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in a particular area when they are not sure how or where they became infected.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
There is no evidence as of yet about whether the disease is airborne, but that could change. Airborne viruses can spread through air conditioning and ventilation systems and can be a bigger threat.
What are the symptoms of a coronavirus?
COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe. The disease causes respiratory illness (like flu). The symptoms may appear 2-14 days after the exposure with the virus (known as the incubation period). The most common symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are:
- Difficulty breathing (severe cases)
Note: However, the list is not all-inclusive. If you are facing any other symptoms that are severe, please consult your medical provider.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
1) Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
2) Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
3) Confusion or inability to arouse
4) Bluish lips or face
When you’re at high risk – Dangers of Coronavirus
People who are at higher risk from COVID-19 are –
- are 70 or over,
- having a long-term medical condition,
- are pregnant,
- having a weakened immune system
- Older people, mostly with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, lung disease or heart disease), seem to be at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 illness.
- Those with weakened immune systems may develop more serious symptoms, like pneumonia or bronchitis.
How is a coronavirus diagnosed or tested?
- If you believe you have COVID-19, or
- If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, or
- If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, or
- If you are a resident of a community where there is an ongoing spread of COVID-19, then
- you SHOULD call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure from any recent travel.
- To diagnose you, your doctor may laboratory run tests to check if you are positive of 2019-nCoV.
Precautions & Preventions for Coronavirus – How do you protect yourself from coronavirus?
Here are the precautionary measures for 2019-nCOV to protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others:
- Maintain proper hygiene.
- Wash your hands frequently with a handwash for at least 20 seconds.
- If water isn’t available, use a good quality sanitiser for your hands.
- Can’t Find Hand Sanitizer In Stores? Here’s How To Make It At Home
- Avoid touching your faces as much as possible
- Wear a mask if you show flu or cold-like symptoms
- Cover your face with a disposable tissue and cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow. Do not cough into your hands.
- Keep safe distance with everyone
- Self-isolate from others and stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid having visitors to your home
- Clean and disinfect surfaces touched frequently by people.
- Opt for Work from Home even if you are not sick.
Coronavirus Treatment – What should I do if I Feel Sick?
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Also, there is no specific medicine to treat coronavirus disease. This is one of the horrifying facts about Coronavirus.
However, treatments for new Coronavirus (COVID-19) include:
- Self Care – You can relieve your symptoms if you –
- Take proper rest and sleep
- Keep yourself warm
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Use a room humidifier
- Improve your immunity
- Medical Treatments –
- If you develop a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, promptly seek medical care.
- Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
- Patients are provided supportive care to help them breathe if they are feeling shortness of breath.
- Patients need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until they have completely recovered.
- The doctor may prescribe pain or fever medication.
- Other treatments as suggested by your doctor.
Does COVID-19 cause death?
- Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing any special treatment.
- However, sometimes, the disease can be serious and even fatal resulting in death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Questions to ask your doctor
- What can I do to prevent my friends and family from getting the COVID-19?
- What over-the-counter medicines work best for COVID-19?
- Am I at risk of getting Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- How will I know if I have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Is there a test for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Is there a vaccine for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Disclaimer: The whole data is for informational purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for the right advice.