The coronavirus outbreak took the world by storm and unfortunately, most people do not know much about it. We are looking at a pandemic that affects hundreds of countries and already led to tens of thousands of deaths.
Because projections are not at all positive, let’s quickly take a look at everything that people need to know about the covid-19 disease and how to protect oneself against it.
Coronavirus – What Is It?
The WHO (World Health Organization) states that the coronavirus is a family of viruses. They cause different illnesses from serious ones (like SARS – severe acute respiratory syndrome) to the common cold. These are viruses that appeared in animals and were transmitted to people. Numerous coronaviruses are seen in animals but did not infect humans. However, some did, like SARS and MERS.
The new coronavirus that is affecting the world was officially identified in January 2020 and is named SARS-CoV-2, being a new coronavirus strain that was not seen in humans before.
COVID-19 – What Is It?
Covid-19 is practically the disease that is caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Its name means:
- CO – Corona
- VI – Virus
- D – Disease
- 19 – Marks the year when it was initially identified, 2019
Covid-19 is an infectious disease. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2. In 80% of patients, according to current data that might change as new cases appear, it is mild. In 13% of cases it is severe and in 6% of cases it is critical.
The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
Other symptoms that might appear are:
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
When the disease is critical, it can lead to severe pneumonia. Even multiple organ failures can appear, both potentially leading to death.
It needs to be added that infected patients can be asymptomatic. This means that they do not display symptoms even if they are infected.
How Deadly Is The Virus?
The seriousness of the pandemic is instantly visible in the fact that fatality numbers are much higher than with the SARS outbreak that happened in 2002-2003. While SARS killed under 1,000 people around the world, those affected by the novel coronavirus and that died went over 70,000 on April 6, 2020.
It needs to be added that over 1,300,000 people are now infected.
How Can The Spread Of Covid-19 Be Stopped?
The most effective way to fight a virus of any kind is to develop a vaccine. Scientists work hard to do that but this would only be available for people around 2021. Because of this, prevention becomes the only available way to fight the spread of the virus.
Numerous countries already introduced strict measures to slow the spread. This includes:
- Gatherings being banned.
- Schools closed.
- Restaurants closed.
- Mandatory work at home decrees.
- Nationwide lockdowns.
Major airlines cancelled most of their international flights. There are also countries that banned the entrance of non-citizens.
How To Protect Yourself From The Coronavirus
The best thing you can do is to avoid exposure, as much as you can. This virus spreads mostly from one person to the other, in the following cases:
- People being in close contact.
- Respiratory droplets from an infected person reaches another through talking, sneezing or coughing.
- Droplets from infected people without symptoms.
Because of how easy it is to become infected, protecting yourself from the coronavirus involves actions like the following:
- Clean Hands Often
You have to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. This is especially the case after visiting public spaces, sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. When you do not have access to soap and water, hand sanitizers with a minimum alcohol content of 60% can be used. Also, when your hands are unwashed, avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
- Avoid Contact with Others
You need to avoid all close contact with people that are sick and you should stay in your home as much as you can. Distance should be put between you and all others. There are people that do not show symptoms and can spread the virus. Be particularly careful with those that show signs of the disease and that are at high-risk, like the elderly.
- Use A Cloth Face Cover To Cover Your Nose And Mouth
Even if you do not show any sign of the disease, you might be spreading it to others. This is why a cloth face cover needs to be worn at all times as you go out in public. This includes going to the store to buy groceries. Also, maintain your distance, a minimum of 6 feet.
- Cover Sneezes And Coughs
When your face is not covered, still use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth as you sneeze or cough. Alternatively, use the elbow’s inside area. All used tissues should be thrown away in the trash and wash your hands every single time you sneeze or cough.
- Disinfect And Clean
Always disinfect and clean the surfaces that you frequently touch and do it daily. Some examples of such surfaces are doorknobs, tables, countertops, light switches, phones, desks, sinks, faucets, toilets and computer keyboards. Whenever you see that a surface is dirty, clean it with soap and water. Then, disinfect it.