Things You Don’t Know About Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)
We’ll be enlighting you on things you don’t know about coronavirus disease. This disease (COVID-19), as it’s popularly called was tagged a pandemic by the WHO, and has really affected the whole world since the start of this year to date. At first, we ask ourselves, what is this coronavirus disease or COVID-19? Coronavirus is simply a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. In early 2020, after a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of coronavirus. The outbreak quickly spread around the world. You’re definitely on the right site that will guide you in order to know about coronavirus disease.
A Chinese study of 103 COVID-19 cases suggests the virus that causes it has done just that. They found two strains, which they named L and S. The S type is older, but the L type was more common in the early stages of the outbreak. They think one may cause more cases of the disease than the other, but they’re still working on what it all means. More than 100 vaccine candidates are in various stages of development and testing. This process usually takes years. Researchers are speeding it up as much as they can, but it still might take 12 to 18 months to find a vaccine that works and is safe. It’s too soon to tell how long the pandemic will continue. It depends on many things, including researchers’ work to learn more about the virus, their search for a treatment and a vaccine, and the public’s efforts to slow the spread.
Another thing to know about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is that it is caused by SARS-CoV-2 that can trigger what doctors call a respiratory tract infection. It can affect your upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, and throat) or lower respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs). SARS-CoV-2 is one of seven types of coronavirus, including the ones that cause severe diseases like the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The other coronaviruses cause most of the colds that affect us during the year but aren’t a serious threat to otherwise healthy people. It spreads the same way other coronaviruses do, mainly through person-to-person contact. Infections range from mild to deadly. Now read further below so as to still know about coronavirus disease.
Key Facts You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease
What you should know about coronavirus disease is that there’s no vaccine for it now, but intense research to create one has been underway around the world since scientists shared the virus’s genetic makeup in January 2020. Vaccine testing in humans started with record speed in March 2020. More than 100 vaccine projects are in various phases of development.
Everything you need to know about coronavirus disease has been properly detailed for you below:
- Researchers aren’t sure what caused it. There’s more than one type of coronavirus. They’re common in people and in animals including bats, camels, cats, and cattle. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is similar to MERS and SARS. They all came from bats.
- The coronavirus also appears to cause higher rates of severe illness and death than the flu. But the symptoms themselves can vary widely from person to person.
- Unlike the flu, a lot of people aren’t immune to the coronavirus because it’s so new. If you do catch it, the virus triggers your body to make things called antibodies. Researchers are looking at whether they give you protection against catching it again.
- This virus can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, septic shock, and death. Many COVID-19 complications may be caused by a condition known as cytokine release syndrome or a cytokine storm. This is when an infection triggers your immune system to flood your bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. They can kill tissue and damage your organs.
- Some dogs and cats have tested positive for the virus. A few have shown signs of illness. But there’s no evidence that humans can catch this coronavirus from an animal.
- The transmission rate of this virus is relatively high. Early research has estimated that one person who has it can spread it to between 2 and 2.5 others. One study found that the rate was higher, with one case spreading to between 4.7 and 6.6 other people. By comparison, one person who has the seasonal flu will pass it to between 1.1 and 2.3 others.
- Some people who are hospitalized for COVID-19 have dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries.
- A swab test is the most common method. It looks for signs of the virus in your upper respiratory tract. The person giving the test puts a swab up your nose to get a sample from the back of your nose and throat. That sample usually goes to a lab that looks for viral material, but some areas may have rapid tests that give results in as little as 15 minutes.
- If there are signs of the virus, the test is positive. A negative test could mean there is no virus or there wasn’t enough to measure. That can happen early in an infection. It usually takes 24 hours to get results, but the tests must be collected, stored, shipped to a lab, and processed.
- A swab test can only tell whether you have the virus in your body at that moment. But an antibody test can show whether you’ve ever been exposed to the virus, even if you didn’t have symptoms. This is important in officials’ efforts to learn how widespread COVID-19 is. In time, it might also help them figure out who’s immune to the virus.
- The FDA is granting emergency use authorizations for tests that don’t have full approval yet. These include a home nasal swab test, a home saliva test, and tests that check your blood for things called antibodies. Your immune system makes antibodies in response to an infection.
- The CDC recommends that you wear a cloth face mask if you go out in public. This is an added layer of protection for everyone, on top of social distancing efforts. You can spread the virus when you talk or cough, even if you don’t know that you have it or if you aren’t showing signs of infection.
- Crowded places can raise your chances of getting COVID-19. The CDC recommends against international or cruise ship travel during the pandemic.
- Most of the time, it spreads when a sick person coughs or sneezes. They can spray droplets as far as 6 feet away. If you breathe them in or swallow them, the virus can get into your body. Some people who have the virus don’t have symptoms, but they can still spread the virus.
- You can also get the virus from touching a surface or object the virus is on, then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. Most viruses can live for several hours on a surface that they land on. A study shows that SARS-CoV-2 can last for several hours on various types of surfaces.
- If you choose to travel, stay away from sick people. Wash your hands often, and try not to touch your face. Wear a cloth face mask when you’ll be around other people. Some airlines require all customers to use them.
- Because the virus spreads from person to person, it’s important to limit your contact with other people as much as possible.
- You might have heard that you shouldn’t take ibuprofen to treat COVID-19 symptoms. But the National Institutes of Health says people who have the virus can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen as usual.
- Antibiotics won’t help because they treat bacteria, not viruses. If you hear about people with COVID-19 getting antibiotics, it’s for an infection that came along with the disease.
- People with severe symptoms need to be cared for in the hospital.
- Many clinical trials are underway to explore treatments used for other conditions that could fight COVID-19 and to develop new ones.
- Several studies are focused on an antiviral medication called remdesivir, which was created to fight Ebola. An emergency FDA ruling lets doctors use it for people hospitalized with COVID-19 and in clinical trials. Researchers in the U.S. say remdesivir helped patients in one study recover from the disease 31% faster.
- Clinical trials are also underway for tocilizumab, another medication used to treat autoimmune conditions. And the FDA is also allowing clinical trials and hospital use of blood plasma from people who’ve had COVID-19 and recovered to help others build immunity. You’ll hear this called convalescent plasma.
- The FDA had issued an emergency use ruling for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which treat malaria and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. But the ruling was removed because studies didn’t show that the drugs worked against COVID-19 or that their benefits outweigh the risks.
- Scientists and researchers are constantly tracking COVID-19 infections and recoveries. But they don’t have information about the outcome of every infection. Early estimates predict that the overall COVID-19 recovery rate will be between 97% and 99.75%.
- Doctors aren’t sure if you can get reinfected after you’ve had it. With other coronaviruses that only cause colds, you have a period that you’re immune, but that goes away over time.
- The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including a runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won’t know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus. You treat this kind of coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold.
- Some children and teens who are in the hospital with COVID-19 have an inflammatory condition that doctors are calling multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Doctors think it may be linked to the virus. It causes symptoms similar to those of toxic shock and of Kawasaki disease, a condition that causes inflammation in kids’ blood vessels.
- A few lab studies have found that higher temperatures and humidity levels might help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But experts advise caution and say weather changes won’t matter without thorough public health efforts. Also, past flu pandemics have happened year-round.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease?
According to researchers in China, these were the most common symptoms among people who had COVID-19. They include:
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Chills, sometimes with shaking
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of smell or taste
Severe symptoms includes:
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Ongoing chest pain or pressure
- Can’t wake up fully
- Bluish lips or face
What to do If You Feel the Symptoms
There’s no specific treatment for COVID-19. People who get a mild case need the care to ease their symptoms, like rest, fluids, and fever control. Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat, body aches, and fever. But don’t give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19.
- If you don’t feel well, stay home. Even if you have mild symptoms like a headache and runny nose, stay in until you’re better. This lets doctors focus on people who are more seriously ill and protects health care workers and people you might meet along the way. You might hear this called self-quarantine. Try to stay in a separate room away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if you can.
- Call the doctor if you have trouble breathing. You need to get medical help as soon as possible. Calling ahead (rather than showing up) will let the doctor direct you to the proper place, which may not be your doctor’s office. If you don’t have a regular doctor, call your local board of health. They can tell you where to go for testing and treatment.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and keep up with the news on COVID-19. Between your doctor and health care authorities, you’ll get the care you need and information on how to prevent the virus from spreading.
Those that are Vulnerable to the Disease
You’ll have higher chance of serious illness if you have one of these health conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- A weakened immune system because of an organ transplant
- Serious heart conditions such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Conditions that could lead to severe COVID-19 illness include:
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Diseases that affect your blood vessels and blood flow to your brain
- Cystic fibrosis
- High blood pressure
- A weakened immune system because of a blood or bone marrow transplant, HIV, or medications like corticosteroids
- Liver disease
- Damaged or scarred lung tissue (pulmonary fibrosis)
- Type 1 diabetes
How to Prevent the Spread of the Virus
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based sanitizer. This kills viruses on your hands.
- You need to practice social distancing. This is because you can have and spread the virus without knowing it, you should stay home as much as possible. Just stay at least 6 feet away from others even though you go out.
- Cover your nose and mouth in public. If you have COVID-19, you can spread it even if you don’t feel sick. Wear a cloth face covering to protect others. Don’t use a face mask meant for health care workers. And don’t put a face covering on anyone who is under 2 years old, having trouble breathing, unconscious or can’t remove the mask on their own for other reasons.
- Don’t touch your face. Coronaviruses can live on surfaces you touch for several hours. If they get on your hands and you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, they can get into your body.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you touch often, like tables, doorknobs, light switches, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Use a mix of household bleach and water (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) or a household cleaner that’s approved to treat SARS-CoV-2. And also wear gloves when you clean and throw them away when you’re done.