Viruses and incurable diseases have taken us by storm, many times before in history. Again we, human race, are facing the threat of a new virus from a coronavirus family, called COVID-19. This virus emerged from nowhere and because it has no vaccine available right now, it is as dangerous as other incurable diseases, like cancer.
So, What is it all about? what should you have to keep in mind, what are the things that should be taken care of in order to be safe and to stop it (and rumors) from spreading?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus first founded and identified in a seafood market named Huanan in Wuhan, Hubei in china in 2019.
Health experts are paying more attention to the situation because this virus has potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia after a level in patients with lower immunity levels.
The origin of this virus is still unclear and patient zero yet to be identified, health experts assumed that it originated from bats, and passed down to humans somehow.
According to WHO, the first confirmed diagnosis of the patient was made on 8th December. It declared pandemic after it started spreading from human to human and crossed the boundaries of china.
The origin of this virus is still unclear and patient zero yet to be identified, health experts
31 DEC - First confirmed case
1 JAN - Wuhan market identified as outbreak hub
8 JAN - First suspect of 2019n-CoV in Thailand
11 JAN - First death from 2019n-CoV, a 61 year old in Wuhan, China
29 JAN - Death toll increases to 132 by spreading in UAE, Germany, US, Japan, Sri lanka, France, etc..
30 JAN - First confirmed case in India
1 FEB - Death toll increases to 259, infection reaches Russia, Spain, Sweden
11 FEB - WHO names the virus COVID-19
9 MAR - Cases in India rises to 43
11 MAR - WHO declares the outbreak to be a pandemic
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to any other flu and cold. These symptoms include,
- Fever - Cold - Sore Throat - Fatigue - Shortness of breath
Sometimes patients don’t feel any of the above or on a milder level symptoms and some patients feel severe levels of these symptoms.
If you are feeling any of the listed symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
* This list is inclusive, please seek medical help immediately when feeling these or any other symptoms that are severe and concerning.
There are many groups of people, which are affected in various severity levels by COVID-19.
A recent studyTrusted Source in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that children 10 and under accounted for just 1 percent of all COVID-19 cases, while those between the ages of 30 to 79 make up nearly 90 percent. The WHO Trusted Sources found that the mortality increased with age, with the highest mortality among people over 80 years of age and those with underlying health conditions.
"Older people and people with underlying health conditions, like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, were about twice as likely to develop serious outcomes versus otherwise younger, healthier people."
This can include strategies such as avoiding large public gatherings, staying home, and avoiding anyone who appears ill. Social distancing can help people most at risk avoid infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. Some of the tips the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with sick people. - Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. - Stay home when you are sick. - Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. - Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more instances of community spread.
In the coming months, most of the world population will be exposed to this virus. Widespread transmission of COVID-19 could translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time.
Schools, childcare centers, and workplaces, may experience more absent.
Mass gatherings may be dispersed attended or postponed. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths.
Other infrastructures, such as emergency medical services, and sectors of the transportation industry may also be affected.
At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.
The health community will be the most important response strategy and trying to delay the spread of the virus and reduce the impact of disease.