What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses belong to a large group of viruses that are known to cause severe respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in humans. Coronaviruses are commonly found in animals such as civet cats and camels and are known to be transmitted between animals and humans.
Coronavirus disease COVID-19 is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCOV) that was first discovered in Wuhan, China, in 2019. It has never been previously detected in humans. COVID-19 is highly infectious and one of the most lethal types of coronavirus diseases that has affected people across the globe with total cases of over 766 million and a death rate of over 0.9% to date with no vaccines or medications yet available to treat the deadly virus. Animals as the potential source of COVID-19 have not been confirmed yet and are still under investigation.
Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Some of the common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) include the following:
- Dry cough
- Common cold
- Body aches
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pressure or pain in the chest
How Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spread?
COVID-19 spreads from one person to another through the respiratory droplets. The transmission occurs when:
- The respiratory droplets of an infected individual are inhaled by a healthy person
- Surfaces or objects with droplets from an infected person are touched by a healthy person and the person then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus can survive on inanimate surfaces from a few hours up to a few days.
How Long Does It Take to Exhibit Symptoms of COVID-19 After Getting Infected?
The time taken between getting infected and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 ranges from 1 to 14 days, but most commonly around 5 days.
Risk Factors for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Older people and individuals with pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lung diseases, heart conditions, and cancer are more prone to develop serious illnesses than others due to coronavirus infection.
How Can You Protect Yourself and Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Some of the standard recommendations to protect and prevent the spread of infection include the following:
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or your elbow to prevent the spread of droplets.
- Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or if not available, use alcohol hand sanitizers.
- Wear masks to prevent direct inhalation of droplets from affected individuals.
- Practice social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from people, especially those who are coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing signs and symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as cold and cough.
- Stay home and isolate yourself at home from others and avoid public places or crowds.
- Consume meat or eggs only after cooking them thoroughly.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit signs and symptoms of coronavirus.
- Avoid travelling to places with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases.
For more in-depth information and the current status of COVID-19, we have listed some authoritative websites below for your reference.