What is Coronavirus?
CoV (coronavirus) comes from a large family of viruses that causes diseases as mild as the common cold to severe health conditions like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). This virus is zoonotic, which means it can transmit between animals and humans. The new strain of this virus that is in the news lately is known as Novel Coronavirus or nCoV. The official name of this virus is COVID-19. It is a new strain of the coronavirus, as there are no previous recorded incidents of COVID-19 in humans.
People who recently went to China or those who come in direct contact with someone traveling to China are at higher risk of getting the infection. The symptoms usually show up in 14 days. So if a person feels sick with fever, has difficulty breathing, or has a cough, then they should seek out medical help.
How Does It Spread?
Based on what we know about similar coronavirus, we assume that COVID-19 can typically spread from person to person, infected surfaces and objects, etc.
Person to person spread
- It spread between those who came in close contact with each other, usually within 6 feet.
- One can also become infected if one come in contact with respiratory droplets produced by an infected person by sneezing or coughing.
- The droplet might land in the noses or mouths of nearby people, or they can inhale these droplets into their lungs from the contaminated air.
The efficiency by which this virus can spread from person to person varies quite significantly. Some infections can spread quickly, while some take much longer. The ability to spread over multiple generations of people also affects the speed of at which a virus can travel. The novel coronavirus, which is the cause of the current outbreak, is spreading quickly and sustainably in China’s Hubei province. In the US, the same virus is not spreading from person to person except for a few cases of close contact.
COVID-19 is still a new disease, and we know very little about it. So, people should take proper caution and keep them up to date with the latest information that is coming out about this virus.
How is Coronavirus Tested?
To test for the coronavirus, doctors look for the signs of infection in the blood, nasal secretions, and other body fluids. These are the type of viruses that infect the respiratory system of a person. If the doctor believes that a patient of theirs might have a chance of getting affected with the COVID-19, then they will ask them to go through a test. The doctor will contact the CDC or local health department for the instructions on testing, or they might send the patient to a special lab that is allowed for the COVID-19 examination.
The lab can take a sample for testing in following ways:
They can take samples from the nose or throat using a special swab.
It is the thick mucus that a person coughs up. Thye can ask the patient to provide a sample of Sputum in a special cup.
They might put a thin, lighted tube down the mouth into the lungs to collect samples.
They can inject a saline solution into the patient’s nose and remove it via gentle suction.
The healthcare professional can take a blood sample from the vein in the patient’s arm.
All the CDC-approved labs across the country are now performing the COVID-19 test, which uses samples from the throat, lungs, or nose. It helps in the fast and accurate diagnosis of the virus
What Steps Should I Take To Avoid Getting Infected?
The center for diseases control (CDC) recommends several cautions that one should take to avoid getting infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Do not get in close contact with an infected person.
- Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after touching an unclean surface.
- A person should stay at home if they become sick.
- Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue while sneezing or coughing. Throw the tissue in the trash.
- Frequently disinfect and clean the touched surfaces and objects with regular household cleaning items.
- People who show the symptoms of COVID-19 should ware facemasks to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Healthcare professionals and people taking care of an infected individual should also wear the facemask.
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and especially after going to the bathroom can help prevent the spread of this infection.
What Are The Treatments Available For Coronavirus?
Till now, there are no medications for treating the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Various organizations, including CDC, are looking into the possible cure for this disease, but none have gotten any success yet. Though there is no cure for COVID-19, those who are infected should get proper medical attention for the treatment of the symptoms that they are showing.
WHO is helping to coordinate effects towards developing medications for the treatment of COVID-19. Experts are discussing several which are to undergo clinical trials soon. Meanwhile, people should take proper steps to keep themselves out of harm’s way by following the guidelines issued by the WHO and CDC.
What To Do If I Become Sick?
People who are sick with novel coronavirus can pose a danger to the health of people around them. As COVID-19 can spread from person to person, the infected individual should take caution to avoid the risk of spreading this disease to others.
- They should stay at home and only come out to seek medical help.
- Avoid going to school, work, or public areas.
- Do not use public transportation or ride-sharing services.
- They should also separate themselves from animals and people in their home
- Inform the doctor ahead of visiting, to help them take proper steps to keep others from getting infected or exposed to this virus.
- Ware a facemask while going out or meeting people.
- While sneezing or coughing, cover the nose and mouth with tissue paper.
- Discard the tissue in the trash.
- Wash the hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds, or if they are not visibly dirty, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing personal items like eating utensils, towels, bedding, or drinking glasses with anyone.
- Frequently clean the regularly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, mobile phones, tabletops, etc. with disinfecting spray or wipes to decrease the chances of the COVID-19 surviving on the surface.
What Are The Symptoms Of Coronavirus?
The symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe illness that might even result in death. People who recently traveled to China or came in contact with someone who had gone to China and exhibiting the following symptoms should get tested for the coronavirus infection.
- Shortness of breath
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can someone who has COVID-19 spread it to others
Yes, infection people are at risk of spreading this disease to others.
Q. Is there a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19)?
No, there is no known cure for the COVID-19.
Q. What is the source of COVID-19?
Experts believe that COVID-19 has spread from animals to humans, but the evidence for this is inconclusive at best.
Q. How dangerous is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The infection begins as a mild respiratory illness, which can soon become severe. This virus can prove to be fatal in the absence of proper medical assistance.
Q. How does coronavirus spread?
The primary source for the spread of COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected person.
Q. How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?
People suspected of having COVID-19 can take from 1 to 13 days in showing the signs of the infection—the WHO recommends an incubation of 14 days to determine if a person has COVID-19.