Coronavirus Infection, Spread, Symptoms and Treatment
Introduction to causes of Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Covid-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019. The virus originally started in Wuhan in a seafood market. However, the first covid-19 patient had not taken the seafood from the market. The exact origin of the virus is still being determined and is not yet known. The virus has since spread to various parts of the world including, U.S, U.K, Italy and Africa.
The virus is known as severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2. A coronavirus is a virus that is mainly found in animals and can be transmitted though rarely, from the animals to human beings and then from person to person. Coronaviruses are a series of viruses that can cause illnesses such as a common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The Effects of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on people
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease and affects different people differently. Some will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover quickly without requiring any special treatment or attention of the doctor. So far, most confirmed cases are in adults, but some children have been infected with covid-19. There is no particular evidence to show that children are at a greater risk of getting infected with the virus. However, very old people that is those above the age of 60 years and those that have underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are at a higher risk of contracting the disease and experiencing severe symptoms.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus and its spread
Some of the symptoms of covid-19 include; fever, coughing (dry cough), sneezing, running nose, sore throat and tiredness. These are mild symptoms and one does not necessarily require the attention of a doctor. However severe symptoms include difficulty in breathing and when one is experiencing such, one should seek medical attention.
Prevention of the Coronavirus and Covid-19
So far there is no vaccine that has been developed for the disease or even a cure for that matter. The symptoms appear within two to fourteen days after infection. The methods or ways of prevention so far include;
- Washing hands regularly with soap and water or wiping hands for at least twenty seconds with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol especially after coughing or sneezing, visiting the toilet, blowing your nose and before eating,
- Sneezing or coughing into a flexed elbow,
- Avoid touching your face that is eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay at home when you feel unwell,
- Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs,
- Avoiding crowded places,
- Practising physical distancing to avoid coming into contact with other people,
- Drinking a lot of hot fluids and eating a lot of fruits to boost the immune system,
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch often and on a daily basis.
How the Coronavirus Covid-19 spreads
The virus is spread from contact between one person to another. It spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also spread when a person touches a surface that has the virus and then touches their face, mouth, nose or eyes. The virus is not airborne and is only spread through contact with the virus or a person with the virus.
Diagnosis of the Coronavirus
One can be tested for covid-19 using a laboratory test. The doctor collects samples from a person suspected to have the virus. The samples may include a sample of saliva (sputum), a nasal swab and a throat swab, to send to a lab for testing. The doctor then runs the tests to confirm whether the virus is present or not. Physical observation of symptoms such as high fever, coughing or sneezing are not necessarily positive indicators of the presence or absence of the coronavirus. Therefore, laboratory tests are the only tests that can confirm that indeed one has the virus or not.
When one notices that they have the mild symptoms, they are advised to stay home and self-isolate and let the symptoms play out and limit contact with family members and other members of the public until the symptoms pass. However, if the symptoms are severe, they are advised to call the doctor to get advice and also to make arrangements to visit the doctor so as to be tested for the virus. Depending on the severity of the symptoms the doctor may prescribe to the patient over the counter drugs that the patient may take in cases where the test for the virus is negative and the patient has symptoms suggesting that they have the virus.
Risk factors that could lead to Coronavirus infections
Risk factors for covid-19 appear to include;
- Recent travel from an area with an ongoing community spread of the coronavirus or being a resident of a community with an ongoing spread of the covid-19 disease
- Taking care of an infected person for example a nurse taking care of a patient without a protective mask or a family member taking care of a fellow family member who is infected with the coronavirus.
Complications that can arise from the disease may include;
- Pneumonia in both lungs; this can especially happen for people who already have respiratory problems such as bronchitis or asthma.
- Organ failure in several body organs such as the kidney or liver
- Death may also be as a result of the covid-19. So far there has been a number of deaths that have been registered by affected countries for example in Italy, the U.S and in China.
Treatment of the Coronavirus and Covid-19
Currently, there has not been any breakthrough made on a cure for the covid-19. However, the treatment is directed at relieving the symptoms for the disease and may include;
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen
- Cough syrup or medication
- A lot of rest and
- Fluids intake especially the hot fluids.
Conclusion on the Causes, Spread, Symptoms and Treatment of Coronavirus
To conclude, it is clear that covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus called coronavirus 2. The virus spreads at a very high rate as a result of only coming into contact with an infected person or when you touch a surface that has the coronavirus 2. There has not been a breakthrough of the vaccine for the virus and the only known prevention thus far is observing high standards of hygiene; washing hands with soap regularly or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, taking a lot of hot fluids and minimizing contact with people who are infected.
The virus can only be diagnosed and confirmed using laboratory tests; samples from suspected patient are taken and then the tests are run to confirm the presence or absence of the virus. It is best to stay at home and avoid crowded places and mass gatherings to reduce the risk of infection. Also, one should limit travelling and only travel only if they must and even then, should avoid travelling to areas that have a high spread of the virus. Employees should work from home and not go into the workplace as advised by the government. This however has impacts on economy.
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