We all know about the international spread of COVID-19, so here we have a summary of this illness.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
It’s an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms
– Dry cough
Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch it from others who have the virus.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. The virus can be effectively inactivated from surfaces with a solution of ethanol (62–71% alcohol), hydrogen peroxide (0.5% hydrogen peroxide) or sodium hypochlorite (0.1% bleach).
People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Stay home until authorities indicate otherwise.
- Avoid traveling to places.
- Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
- The situation is improving in China. For several weeks now, the number of cases diagnosed every day is decreasing.
- Symptoms appear mild in children.
- There are already vaccine prototypes.
- Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
- People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
- Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms or looking after someone who may have COVID-19.
Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.