What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a group of viruses that can cause illness to people with flu-like symptoms, and acute respiratory symptoms. In 2019 a more dangerous type of this virus originated in China causing an outbreak of worldwide diseases. This particular Coronavirus is called “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2” or SAR-COV-2. The disease or sickness caused by the virus is named Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19. Because there is a worldwide outbreak of the infection it’s regarded as a pandemic disease.
Signs and Symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of Coronavirus disease resembles that of the common cold or the flu. After a person contracts the virus the symptoms don’t appear until after 2 to 14 days incubation period. At this time the patient may not be aware but will be spreading the virus to other people through air droplets or contacts. The typical symptoms are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, tiredness, general body aches, sore throat and running nose. The symptoms could be mild, moderate or severe. If you experience any of the symptoms or has been in contact with anybody with a positive coronavirus test or have traveled to an area with an outbreak of the disease you need to contact your doctor and self-quarantine for at least 14 days.
This disease is transmitted from person to person who are in close contact, through respiratory droplets from someone who has the disease when they cough or sneeze. If any surface is tainted with the virus and you touch it and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes you will contract the disease. If you live in an area with outbreak of the infection you have a high chance of getting the Coronavirus infection.
Older people or any person with preexisting medical condition like diabetes, lung and heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema will suffer a more serious consequence. The complications of the disease are multiple organ failure, pneumonia and death.
The best thing we can do is to prevent the spread and contracting of the disease. Many government agencies, health departments and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has all advocated prevention strategies for coronavirus (COVID-19). The following are the preventive measures that everyone has to practice.
- Practice social distancing of staying away at least 6 feet from other people. Because it is difficult to determine who already have the virus, a person may have it and not have any signs of sickness but will still be spreading it around unknowingly.
- Avoid mass gathering of people as in social events, celebrations, festivities or any occasion with large crowd of people, 50 people or more is unacceptable.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes because you can get the virus in your hands and by touching your face it may gets into your mouth. The virus is known to last up to 72 hours on surfaces so can easily be picked up.
- Stop shaking hands and hugging people to avoid skin to skin spreading of infection.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing to avoid air droplets.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces with 60% alcohol-based disinfectants. This includes counter-tops, doorknobs, telephones, computers, laptops, and anything you use regularly.
- Self-quarantine if you’re sick with the symptoms, wear mask and gloves. Call your doctor for proper medical assessment and stay home if necessary. Do not go to work or in close contact with family members because you will be spreading the infection to people in close contact.
There is no official FDA approved drug for treating COVID-19. Supportive care is recommended, get enough rest and adequate sleep, drink plenty of fluid, keep warm, and the use humidifier. The FDA has given emergency authorization for doctors and Pharmacists to dispense hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with azithromycin since the benefits outweigh the risks.
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