What is Coronavirus?
An outbreak that started in China in December 2019 has been attributed to a new virus called the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). The disease is called Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
After the initial outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic. The pandemic caused by the Coronavirus has now spread to most countries worldwide, with rising numbers of infections every day.
How Does the Coronavirus Spread?
According to data and studies, the virus spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets released from an infected person when they talk, sneeze, or cough. The virus is more likely to spread when people are in close contact.
The virus is also spread when you touch contaminated surfaces with your hands, then transfer it to your mouth, nose, or eyes when you touch your face with your hands.
How Do I Know if I have Coronavirus?
COVID-19 has symptoms that vary from very mild to severe. In some people, the disease does not show any signs at all.
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The most common symptoms of patients suffering from Coronavirus are cough, tiredness, and fever. However, there are other symptoms, including chest pains, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, shortness of breath, and loss of taste or smell. Most Coronavirus symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure. If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s best to get tested and seek medical assistance.
The only way to tell if you have Coronavirus is through testing for people who don’t show any symptoms.
How is Coronavirus Treated?
At the moment (22 July 2020), there’s no specific treatment for the virus. For people showing symptoms, the only treatment is supportive measures to help relieve the symptoms. In severe cases, additional treatment options like the use of ventilators, research, and therapeutics are used to assist in breathing.
Unfortunately, not everyone suffering from the virus recovers. There are thousands of deaths world over that have been attributed to COVID-19. In the same light, there are even more people that have recovered from the illness.
Is Coronavirus Different from SARS?
In 2003, there was an outbreak of SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) that started in China. The illness spread to other countries before ending in 2004.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is similar to the one that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak. Both types of viruses are types of coronaviruses. Although there is a lot more to learn about COVID-19, it’s evident it seems to spread faster than the 2003 SARS and the severity of the illness it causes is less.
How Do You Protect Yourself from this Coronavirus?
You can take several steps to protect yourself from Coronavirus. These include:
- Practising proper hygiene and washing your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible or using an alcohol-based sanitizer when you don’t have access to soap and water. This kills the viruses on your hands.
- You can spread the virus without knowing. To prevent this, practise social distancing and stay home as much as possible. If you have to go out, stay at least six feet away from others.
- Even if you don’t feel sick, you might spread the virus when you go out in public. Wearing a cloth face covering or a face mask can limit the spread of the virus and protect others. It’s also advisable to maintain the six feet distance even when you have the mask.