What Does Corona Virus Exactly Do To The Body? How can it be prevented? It’s Symptoms and Preventions in detail. Let’s proceed.
The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11th, 2020. As of today, approximately 200,000 cases have been reported all around the world, with about 8000 deaths. Therefore, it is crucial to follow safety procedures to protect yourself and your family from acquiring the infection. Additionally, you must inform yourself of the COVID-19 and its safety protocols.
Coronavirus or COVID-19
Coronaviruses are an extensive group of viruses that produce acute health conditions in animals, such as birds and mammals. There are many types of coronavirus, but currently, only seven strains are able to infect humans, These strains primarily produce acute respiratory infections, that range from mild symptoms to life-threatening infections. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have cause pandemics, such as the SARS-CoV in 2003 and the MERS-CoV in 2012.
The current coronavirus outbreak is caused by a new strain that originated in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. Therefore, it is called COVID-19 (meaning coronavirus disease 2019). COVID-19 causes an acute respiratory disease, that ranges from a cold to pneumonia and it can be lethal. It is highly contagious because it can be transmitted through respiratory droplets that infected people produce when they sneeze or cough. Additionally, it can also be spread if an infected person touches a surface or object that came in contact with his or her saliva or nasal discharge. For this reason, this virus has spread rapidly all over the world.
A coronavirus infection produces similar symptoms as a common cold or the flu, however, the intensity and severity of these may vary. These symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Muscle pain
- Breathing difficulty
- Yellow or greenish phlegm
Other cases have reported digestive symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The majority of the cases have mild symptoms and can be treated at home with symptom-relieving medication, like acetaminophen. Nonetheless, the symptoms may worsen and lead to severe health conditions, such as pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, and death, if not treated appropriately.
Statistics reveal that the coronavirus infection will produce a flu-like disease in 80% of the cases. 15% of the cases will require hospital care, and 5% may result in death. However, there are certain health conditions that might increase the chances of developing a more severe infection, such as:
- Old age (65 years and older)
- Weakened immune system (cancer, chemotherapy, malnourishment)
- Pre-existing medical conditions (hypertensiÃ³n, diabetes, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases)
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have established protocols regarding safety precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These measures include:
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough with a tissue or handkerchief. After using the tissue, you must dispose of it properly in a trashcan. If you do not have a tissue available, you can cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds frequently. This is one of the most important aspects to prevent contamination. If you do not have water and soap handy, you may use alcohol gel with at least 75% as an alternative.
- Health care providers, such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics must wear gloves and face masks to reduce the probability of acquiring the virus from potential and confirmed patients.
- Reduce direct contact with people who have acute respiratory infections.
- If you are sick and have flu-like symptoms, it is best to stay at home and rest. However, you must be cautious of the symptoms and seek medical assistance if symptoms become worse.
- Face masks are only recommended for people who are sick since the purpose of the face masks is to prevent the spread of microbes when they cough or sneeze. However, you can utilize N95 or N99 face masks that have the ability to filter airborne droplets more efficiently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times when touching a surface or if you are wearing gloves.
- Disinfect any surface and objects, such as countertops, tables, doorknobs, and lights switches, that are in direct contact with other people. You can use a cleaning product, such as chlorine and soap, to clean the surfaces with a towel or a disinfecting spray. Remember that the surface must be thoroughly dry before you come in contact with it.
- Remain at home and avoid visiting public places.
- Remain calm and follow the safety codes provided by your health institutions.
Try to take all the safety precautions necessary to avoid infecting yourself and your family. China has proved that it can be fought and so can we if we follow instructions. The most important thing you must do is remain calm and reduce the spreading of the disease. It may be deadly, but it’s not unstoppable.