Today’s pandemic is often simply called “Coronavirus.” But what is it really, and how do we understand it better in order to fight it?
The term Coronavirus:
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause conditions that range from a common cold to more severe conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
Recently, a new strain of the coronavirus was discovered, and with it rose the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This strain had not been identified in humans before as most coronaviruses are zoonotic; this means that they are transferred from animals to people.
MERS-CoV was transmitted from camels to humans and SARS-CoV was transferred from civet cats to humans. Several identified coronaviruses have been circulating in animals and have not infected humans yet.
What is Coronavirus Disease:
Coronavirus disease is otherwise known as COVID-19. It is a respiratory disease that is spread from person to person. The disease can range from mild to severe, depending on the person. The virus that causes this disease was first observed in Wuhan, China.
It is very easy to get this disease if you are in close contact with someone that has been exposed to it or has gotten the disease. The people who are most at risk of getting this disease are healthcare workers and household members.
How does COVID-19 Spread?
As we mentioned, coronaviruses are zoonotic, so the virus that causes COVID-19 must have come from an animal source, but it is now actively transmitted from person to person. The virus is thought to spread with people who are in close contact mainly through respiratory droplets (coughing or sneezing) of an infected person.
It’s also possible to get the disease by touching your face after touching a surface that has been touched by these droplets; however, this mode of transmission is not entirely thought to be the main method for spreading the virus.
Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease:
People who are infected with the coronavirus disease experience mild to severe respiratory illnesses accompanied by these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Pains and aches
There can be severe complications from this virus which can include multi-organ failure, pneumonia in both lungs, and death. It’s important that you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from it.
If you are sick, it’s best to keep from spreading the disease by staying home when you feel sick, cleaning and disinfecting your hands and objects that you frequently touch, and covering your mouth when you are coughing or sneezing.
Importance of Self-Quarantine:
If you have traveled to any of the afflicted areas recently, then you should self-quarantine yourself for two weeks, this is especially important if you have no apparent symptoms. During this period, you should monitor yourself for any development of the symptoms listed, if any of the symptoms are observed then you should seek medical advice immediately.
Once you seek medical advice, inform them of your travel history and symptoms. It’s important that you follow their instructions to avoid the further spread of the disease.
One of the best ways to prevent further spread and infection from COVID-19 is to build up your immune system, maintain proper hygiene, and stay home as much as possible. Staying informed and helping others understand the risks that come with the outbreak of disease is a great stepping stone to beating this together.
Wishing you peace to your mind,
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