What is COVID-19 (coronavirus), symptoms and treatment

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease 2019, is an infection caused by a very specific virus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus, That actually first appeared in 2019 in the city of Wuhan China, has spread quickly not just to the other parts of china but also to many other regoins of the world. People with COVID-19 can have cough, fever and trouble breathing. Problems with breathing happen when the infection affects the lungs and causes pneumonia.
World Health Organization in the month of feruary 2020, designated the disease COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The COVID-19 is caused by a specific virus called SARS-CoV-2 ( severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 )

Coronaviruses are important pathogens that actually cause upto one-third of the community acquired upper respiratory tract infections. Coronaviruses are widespread among birds and mammals however bats host are the largest variety of genome types. Community-acquired coronaviruses are found almost everywhere. Respiratory coronaviruses spread
via direct contact with the aerosol droplets and infected secretions.

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person mostly when a sick person coughs or sneezes near other people. Experts also say that you may get the infection if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. COVID_19 can also spread when the infected person does not show any symptoms.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms usually start a few days after a person is infected with the virus. But in some people it can take even longer for symptoms to appear. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble breathing
  • Muscle aches

Most people have mild symptoms. But in other people, COVID-19 can lead to serious problems like pneumonia, not getting enough oxygen, or even death. This is more common in people who are older or have other health problems. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

How does the COVID-19 spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. You might have got infected if  

  1. You had close contact with a person who has the virus
  2. You lived in, or traveled to, an area where lots of people have the virus.
  3. You went to an event or location where there were known cases of COVID-19.

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

One modeling study from china estimated that symptoms would develop in 2.2 days for the 2.5 percent of infected patients and within 11.5 days for the 97.5 percent of infected patients. In this study the median incubation period was about 5.1 days.

Individuals of any age can acquire severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However adults of middle age and older people are most commonly affected.

Will I need tests?

If your doctor suspects you have COVID-19, they will take a sample of fluid from inside your nose, and possibly your mouth, and send it to a lab for testing. If you are coughing up mucus, they might also test a sample of the mucus.

How is COVID-19 treated?

While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials going on. We hope a vaccine will be developed soon to fight against the COVID-19.

The most effective ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands and maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from people who are coughing or sneezing.

Most people with COVID-19 have only mild illness and can rest at home until they get better. People with mild symptoms seem to get better after about 2 weeks, but it’s not the same for everyone. If you have COVID-19, it’s important to stay home from school or work until your doctor or nurse tells you it’s safe to go back.

If you have more severe illness, you might need to stay in the hospital, in isolation room. The doctors in hospital can monitor and support your breathing and other body functions and make you as comfortable as possible.

Can COVID-19 be prevented?

There are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19. These steps are a good idea for everyone, especially as the infection is spreading very quickly. To help slow the spread of infection:

  • Avoid touching your face with your hands, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often. Rub your hands for at-least 20 seconds, this is especially important after being in public and touching other people or surfaces. Dry your hands with paper towel and throw it.
  • Try to stay away from people who have any symptoms of the infection.
  • If you live in an area where there have been cases of COVID-19, try to stay home as much as you can.

Limit your contact with other people even if you are healthy .Social distancing in the best method to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Cancel the gatherings. Avoid handshakes and high fives. Recommend the above mentioned things to other people as well.