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Coronavirus: The Virus Capturing the Attention of People Around The World

Coronavirus: The Virus Capturing the Attention of People Around The World

Are you at risk of contracting a Coronavirus? Learn why it is important to understand its transmission, signs, symptoms, complications, & treatment.

coronavirus

2019-nCoV. China pathogen respiratory coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Flu spreading of world, China map, arrows, floating influenza virus cells. Dangerous chinese ncov corona virus, SARS pandemic risk alert. (Image via Shutterstock By Tetiana Yurchenko)

*This article is for informational purposes only. The current coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing event and certain details may change as new information comes to light.

*None of the information here should be taken as medical advice. If you suspect you may have any kind of infection, seek medical help immediately.

 

  • The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus that was identified as the cause of an outbreak of a respiratory illness that was first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019.
  • Learn why It is important to understand the transmission of the virus, the signs, symptoms, complications, prevention, treatment, and what to do if you are diagnosed with the 2019-nCoV.
  • We also have identified frequently asked questions.

 

Are you at risk of contracting this virus?

The Coronavirus has received noticeable attention over the past three months, because of the unknown strain of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)[1], it’s important to know that the number of incubation days can vary among patients. The Coronavirus can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

The COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, which is why there are many questions on the transmission of the virus and ongoing investigations to learn more about the strain.

 

Signs and Symptoms

The following are signs and symptoms that have been reported by people who have been diagnosed with the 2019-nCoV by investigators and healthcare professionals.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and/or have traveled to parts of the world that are considered high risk for disease transmission.

The WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, which indicates there will be community spread.

 

Prevention and Treatment

Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine to prevent the spread of the 2019-nCov virus.

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.[2]

It is always recommended that people practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses that include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Source: who.int

As of today (March 14th, 2020), there is no specific antiviral treatment for the 2019-nCoV infection.

People who are infected and diagnosed can receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

If there are severe cases, treatment should include receiving care to support vital organ functions.[2]

NOTE – For further treatment options seek medical attention from medical professionals and go to the CDC Website or the World Health Organization (WHO) website to find out more information on how to protect yourself and others.
 

Complications

It is important to know and understand the complications that can occur from the 2019-nCoV virus.

As of now, health professionals are letting the public know the signs, symptoms, prevention methods, treatment, and transmission of the virus.

It is important to note, that anyone is at risk of contracting the virus. It has been reported that people who have been diagnosed with the virus are experiencing respiratory distress.

As this is a pandemic, you’re unlikely to contract COVID-19 unless you have been in contact with someone who’s confirmed to have the virus.

 

Important:

  • Given the current spread of the virus, the number of cases is likely to continue to climb. Fortunately, public health officials in many countries have put measures in place to help prevent further spread of the virus.
  • Some measures that have taken place are screenings at major airports, travel bans to and from specific countries, isolation and quarantining populations of people who have had contact or have been diagnosed with the COVID-19.
  • Other countries are putting measures in place, but the virus has spread too quickly to get control. For this reason, the WHO has determined the COIVD-19 is a pandemic.
  • It is important not to panic, even though this is a serious pathogen. It will be important to continue to protect yourself through prevention practices. We will update information as it becomes available in the coming days, weeks, and months.
coronavirus infographic

(Image credit: Live Science. Ross Toro/Future)

 

FAQ’S

Q: What is COVID-19?

A: The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

These are different viruses and patients with 2019-nCoV will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnoses.

Q: What is the source of COVID-19?

A: Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats.

Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus.

SARS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civet cats, while MERS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from camels.

Q: How does the virus spread?

A: This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum.

Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.

Q: Is COVID-19 the same as the MERS-CoV or SARS virus?

A: No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats.

The recently emerged COVID-19 is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Q: What are the symptoms of the common flu virus vs COVID-19 symptoms?

A: Here are some common symptoms of the common seasonal flu:

  • Couch
  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Body aches

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough

Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. (WHO)

Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. (WHO)

Q: Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?

A: No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work.

Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
 

The Bottom Line

If you do have or suspect to have serious symptoms of COVID-19 you should seek medical care.

It is important to remember you have several options for obtaining medical care, including being seen by your primary care physician.

Keep you and your family safe by following proper cleaning protocols and disinfecting frequently used surfaces. It will be important to distance yourself from large crowds and frequently clean your hands for at least 20 seconds.

If you have a medical emergency, call your local number for emergency services to notify the operator that you have COVID-19 or suspect exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 symptoms.

Help and information

Coronavirus advisory information – World Health Organization
who.int/emergencies

Coronavirus condition overview – World Health Organization
who.int/health-topics

Coronavirus Q&A – World Health Organization
who.int/news-room

Feedback:

References

1. Coronavirus. The World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus. February 2nd, 2020.
2. Prevention and Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. for Disease Control and Prevention. February 2nd, 2020.
3. Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html. February 2nd, 2020.sssxcs
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Anita Jalloh, MS

Anita is a nutrition expert with a Master's in Nutrition and Dietetics. Founder and CEO of Comprehensive Medical Nutrition Solutions, a...

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