On 11 March 2020, WHO declared Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic and reiterated the call for countries to take immediate actions and scale up the response to treat, detect and reduce transmission to save people’s lives.
Coronavirus cases top 390,000 worldwide. Also, the World Health Organization warns USA could become the next epicenter of global coronavirus crisis, citing ‘very large acceleration’ in infections.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses constitute an extensive family of viruses with proven pathogenic properties in relation to humans or animals.
It is known that a number of coronaviruses can cause respiratory infections in humans ranging from the common cold to more serious conditions, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The last of the recently discovered coronaviruses cause COVID – 19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID – 19 is an infectious disease caused by the last of the recently discovered coronaviruses. Prior to the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, nothing was known about the new virus and disease.
What are the symptoms of COVID – 19?
The most common symptoms of COVID – 19 include fever, fatigue, and dry cough. Some patients may experience various pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, pharyngitis, or diarrhea.
As a rule, these symptoms develop gradually and are mild. Some infected individuals do not experience any symptoms or feel unwell.
In most people (about 80%), the disease ends in recovery, with no specific therapeutic measures required. In about one in six cases of COVID-19, severe symptoms occur with the development of respiratory failure.
In older people, as well as people with existing somatic diseases, such as arterial hypertension, heart disease or diabetes, the likelihood of a severe course of the disease is higher.
How does the Coronavirus spread?
You can get 2019 nCoV from other people if they are infected with the virus. The disease can be transmitted from person to person through small drops released from the nose or mouth of a COVID-19 patient by coughing or sneezing.
These drops fall on objects and surfaces surrounding a person. Other people may become infected by touching such objects or surfaces first and then with their eyes, nose, or mouth.
In addition, the infection can occur by inhalation of the small drops that are released when a person coughs or sneezes with COVID – 19. For this reason, it is important to stay away from a sick person at a distance of more than 1 meter.
WHO is monitoring the progress of studies on the route of transmission of COVID-19 and will publish information as it is updated.
Is the virus causing COVID-19 transmitted through the air?
According to current scientific data, it is precisely the small drops released from the airways that are a more significant transmission factor than air. See the answer to the previous question “How does the virus spread?”
Can I get COVID-19 from someone who has no symptoms?
The virus mainly spreads through droplets secreted from the human respiratory tract by coughing or sneezing. The risk of infection from a person who does not have any symptoms is extremely low. On the other hand, in many people, the symptoms of COVID-19 are very mild.
This is especially true in the early stages of the disease. Thus, the risk of transmitting COVID-19 from a person who does not feel sick and has only a mild cough exists. WHO is monitoring ongoing research on the time interval during which a sick person remains contagious and will publish information as it updates.
How to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the coronaviruses?
By following simple safety precautions, you can reduce the risk of becoming infected or spreading COVID – 19:
The World Health Organization is advising people to follow five simple steps to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
1. Wash your hands
Regularly wash your hands with alcohol-based products/hand sanitizers or wash them with soap.
2. Cough/sneeze into your elbow
Cover your mouth or nose with an elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. The used tissue should be discarded immediately.
3. Don’t touch your face
If possible, do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
4. Stay more than 3ft (1m) away from others
Keep at least one meter away from coughing or sneezing people.
5. Stay home if you feel sick
If you feel unwell, stay home. If you have a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Follow directions from your local health authority.
Also Follow this step.
Avoid travelling COVID-19 High-Risk Areas or City
Keep up to date with the COVID-19 High-Risk Areas list (cities or areas where COVID-19 is widespread). Take extra care if you are an elderly person or suffer from diabetes, heart or lung diseases.
Do Masks Help?
They might. Use proper surgical masks in fitting from slide through the gaps. The N95 surgical mask is probably the most effective.