Everything You Should Know About the 2019 Coronavirus and COVID-19
- The disease caused by an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is called COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
What are the symptoms?
- Some common symptoms that have been specifically linked to COVID-19 include:
having a cough that gets more severe over time
a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature
- These symptoms may become more severe in some people. Call emergency medical services if you or someone you care for have any of the following symptoms:
- trouble breathing
blue lips or face
persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Loss of the senses of smell and taste
- Here are some common symptoms of the flu:
runny or stuffy nose
What causes coronaviruses?
- Coronaviruses are zoonotic. This means they first develop in animals before developing in humans.
- For the virus to pass from animal to humans, a person has to come into close contact with an animal that carries the infection.
- Once the virus develops in people, coronaviruses can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. This is a technical name for the wet stuff that moves through the air when you cough or sneeze.
- The viral material hangs out in these droplets and can be breathed into the respiratory tract (your windpipe and lungs), where the virus can then lead to an infection.
- The 2019 coronavirus hasn’t been definitively linked to a specific animal.
- Researchers believe that the virus may have been passed from bats to another animal — either snakes or pangolins — and then transmitted to humans. This transmission likely occurred in the open food market in Wuhan, China.
- Without taking proper prevention measures, you’re also at high risk if you:
- live with someone who has contracted the virus
are providing home care for someone who has contracted the virus
have an intimate partner who has contracted the virus
Handwashing is key
- lung conditions, such as COPD and asthma
certain heart conditions
immune system conditions, such as HIV
cancer that requires treatment
- other health conditions, if not well-controlled, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease.
How are coronaviruses diagnosed?
What treatments are available?
- There’s currently no treatment specifically approved for COVID-19, and no cure for an infection, although treatments and vaccines are currently under study. Instead, treatment focuses on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course.
- Seek immediate medical help if you think you have COVID-19. Your doctor will recommend treatment for any symptoms or complications that develop.
- Other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS are also treated by managing symptoms. In some cases, experimental treatments are tested to see how effective they are. Examples of therapies used for these illnesses include:
- antiviral or retroviral medications
breathing support, such as mechanical ventilation
steroids to reduce lung swelling
blood plasma transfusions
- About 4.3 percent of these people who were admitted to the ICU died from this type of pneumonia. It should be noted that people who were admitted to the ICU were on average older and had more underlying health conditions than people who didn’t go to the ICU.
- So far, NCIP is the only complication specifically linked to the 2019 coronavirus. Researchers have seen the following complications in people who have developed COVID-19:
- acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)
severe muscle pain (myalgia)
heart damage or heart attack
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time with warm water and soap. How long is 20 seconds? About as long as it takes to sing your “ABCs.”Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth when your hands are dirty. Don’t go out if you’re feeling sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.Stay at least 3 feetTrusted Source (1 meter) away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow whenever you sneeze or cough. Throw away any tissues you use right away.
- Clean any objects you touch a lot. Use disinfectants on objects like phones, computers, utensils, dishware, and doorknobs.
- A coronavirus gets its name from the way it looks under a microscope.
COVID-19 vs. SARS
- This isn’t the first time a coronavirus has made news — the 2003 SARS outbreak was also caused by a coronavirus.As with the 2019 virus, the SARS virus was first found in animals before it spread to humans.
- The SARS virus is thought toTrusted Source have come from bats and then transferred to another animal, and then to humans.Once transmitted to humans, the SARS virus began spreading quickly among people.
What’s the outlook?
- The 2019 coronavirus probably seems scary when you read the news about new deaths, quarantines, and travel bans.
Stay calm and follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 so you can recover and help prevent it from spreading.
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