Coronavirus is a type of virus. There are various types of coronavirus. Some cause diseases. The most recent of them is the SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for the ongoing pandemic. SARS-Cov-2 causes a respiratory illness that is called COVID-19.
The reason it is called coronavirus is that the outer layer of the virus is covered with pike proteins that surround it just like a crown. The term corona means crown thus coronavirus is named after its appearance.
Coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. People infected with this virus usually experience a respiratory illness that varies from mild to moderate.
Most people recover from coronavirus without any treatment. However, in some cases, the respiratory illness is severe and will require medical attention. People who are likely to develop severe serious illnesses are the elderly.
People with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease cancer, and respiratory disease are at high risk of severe illness. People of any age can contract coronavirus. Some die while others become seriously ill.
Transmission of coronavirus can be prevented or slowed down if people are well informed about it and its mode of transmission. Some recommendations made to prevent its transmission are maintaining a 1-meter distance, regularly washing hands with soap and water, using an alcohol-based sanitizer, and proper use of a mask.
Currently, getting vaccinated is going a long way in preventing severe disease. People need to get vaccinated and adhere to local guidance. Coronavirus spreads from one person to another through liquid particles. This happens when an infected person sings, speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes.
These liquid particles leave the body through the nose and mouth. They range from small aerosols to large respiratory droplets. Coughing into a flexed elbow, self-isolating, and staying at home if one is feeling unwell are ways in which transmission can be slowed down.
SARS is the acronym for the severe acute respiratory syndrome. Coronavirus which causes COVID-19 is similar to the virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003. The coronavirus that started in 2019 is related to the one that caused SARS.
Coronavirus can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome. There is a lot to be known about these viruses. However, the key point to note is SARS-CoV-2 spreads farther and faster than the SARS-CoV-1 of 2003. This could be due to its ease of transmission even in asymptomatic carriers.
There are different variants of coronavirus. Coronavirus mutates just like any other virus. The first variant B.1.1.7 was discovered in the UK and since then there have been reports of other variants around the world.
B.1.351 began in South Africa. Mutation of coronavirus has dire consequences since it fastens the rate of transmission from one person to another in addition to causing more severe disease.
On Dec 1, 2019, the first case of coronavirus was reported. Its cause was SARS-CoV-2 which is believed to have come from an animal. This virus mutated to cause illness in humans.
Previous infectious disease outbreaks were traced to viruses that originated from pigs, bats, birds, and other animals. They then mutated to become a danger to humans too. Symptoms of COVID-19 usually show up within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus.
An infected person is contagious for up to 2 days before they can show symptoms and remain contagious for 10 to 20 days. This depends on how serious the illness is and the immune system of the person.
Doctors and scientists continue to discover and learn new things about the virus. What is presently known is that COVID-19 does not cause symptoms in everyone who is infected with it.
It could take 2 to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to develop. The incubation period could be longer in some people. Common symptoms that are linked to COVID-19 are:
Other less common symptoms are:
COVID-19 can be divided into:
Most people who contract coronavirus will have mild COVID 19. A person is said to have mild COVID -19 if they:
Mild COVID-19 usually has long-lasting effects.
It is necessary to call emergency medical services if a person develops the following symptoms:
Coronavirus causes more death compared to the seasonal flu. COVID-19 and the flu share several symptoms including:
Generally, a person is at high risk of contracting coronavirus if they come into contact with an infected person. Exposure to their saliva when they sneeze, cough, talk or cough may expose a person to the virus.
The risk of contracting the virus increases if you do not take proper preventive measures and you:
People with underlying medical conditions and the elderly are generally at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus. Some of these medical conditions are:
Diagnosis of COVID-19 is similar to that of other viral infections. It is done using saliva, blood or tissue sample. Tests involve use of cotton swabs to obtain a sample from the inside of the nostrils.
Areas where COVID-19 tests are done include;
Currently, there is no treatment for COVID-19. However, there are a number of vaccines and treatments under study. The first COVID-19 treatment approved by FDA was delivered in October 22, 2020.
This medication is available by prescription. It is used to treat COVID in people aged 12 years or older and is administered as an intravenous infusion. In November 2020, monoclonal antibody medications were granted by the FDA.
Monoclonal antibodies are synthetically produced from proteins and they help the body to develop an immune system response against substances such as viruses. They include:
These are administered by IV infusion. They are used to treat COVID-19 in people above the age of 12 years. They can also be given subcutaneously and are mostly used for outpatient therapy.
Convalescent plasma was intended to treat people at a higher risk of hospitalization or those already hospitalized. However, studies have shown that there is no benefit in using it. For people who require oxygen, IV steroids have proven to be very effective.
Interleukin and anticlogging medications are also used to reduce the increased risk of clots from COVID-19.
It is advisable to seek medical help if a person suspects that they have COVID-19. Doctors can then recommend treatment for symptoms or complications that may arise and inform you if you need emergency treatment.
Coronavirus pandemic is also known as COVID-19 pandemic. It is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome virus. The first case of coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
It was declared a global pandemic on 11 March 2020 and as of Feb 2022, it has caused more than 5 million deaths and 423 million cases.
Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to deadly. Old age and underlying medical conditions increase the risk of contracting coronavirus. It is spread through airborne particles and droplets of infected saliva.
Coronavirus has mutated to produce various strains with different degrees of virulence and infectivity. Several COVID-19 vaccines are approved and widely distributed across the world.
Recommended preventive measures are masking, social distancing, improving air filtration and ventilation, and quarantining people with symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed.
There are several treatments offered to control symptoms of COVID-19 since there is no known cure yet. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe economic and social disruption across the world.
Several government interventions such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, closures, business restrictions, workplace hazard control, testing systems, and quarantine and tracing contacts of infected people have greatly reduced the spread of coronavirus.
It is recommended that as many people as possible should get vaccinated to create enough herd immunity.
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