opposite to popular belief, corona viruses are actually very common. The term ‘corona virus’ itself refers to an extensive classification of viruses, which cause infections of the sinuses, nose and upper throat.
The name ‘corona virus’ derives from the fact that the virus has a similar appearance to a crown, when observed under a microscope.
While the vast majority of corona viruses pose little threat to human life, the newly identified COVID-19 can be deadly.
When corona Discovered?
Officially discovered in December 2019 in the midst of an outbreak in China, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2) was subsequently recognized as a new type of corona virus by the World Health Organization.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
What Is COVID-19?
Like all corona viruses, COVID-19 is characterized as a respiratory tract infection. This means COVID-19 can cause mild to severe symptoms affecting the throat, nose and sinuses (the upper respiratory tract) or the windpipe and lungs (the lower respiratory tract).
One of the most shocking characteristics of the new COVID-19 virus is the way in which it spreads with exceptional strength from person-to-person. While some of those affected experience extremely mild symptoms (or no symptoms whatsoever), others require immediate and general medical care.
This is where COVID-19 differs significantly from the vast majority of corona-viruses like the common cold, which despite being widespread throughout the year pose no major threat to healthy individuals.
What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
Understanding the symptoms of COVID-19 is a concern for both the global scientific community and the world at large. This is because some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 are similar to the common cold or flu, but many patients diagnosed with COVID-19 do not have any early symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, it is possible to take COVID-19 for anything, from 48 hours to 14 days before symptoms become visible.
Symptoms of COVID-19
New discoveries about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are being made on a daily basis, which is why it is necessary to keep up with the latest information from the WHO, CDC, NHS and so on. The most common indicative symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:
- A high temperature
- A new continuous cough
- Shortness of breath
- Some patients (though in significantly smaller numbers) have also reported the following symptoms, following their COVID-19 diagnosis:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of taste or smell
- Aches and pains
- Chronic fatigue
- However, no specific combination of any of the above symptoms confirms a case of COVID-19. The only way to accurately diagnose COVID-19 is by way of a special test, which is currently only offered to those presenting with more severe symptoms and front line medical workers.
Is it a Cold, the Flu or COVID-19?
The difference between the flu, the common cold and covid 19 is difficult to diagnose. This is because the initial symptoms of the three diseases are relatively similar to the same host, with most patients having completely different symptoms.
CoVID-19 is known for its easy-to-use health, your health. Several major tribal residences and the media have developed visual guides for corona virus symptoms.
Source: The Mirror UK
As there is a degree of crossover between the three illnesses, it is important to take sensible precautions if you suspect you may have COVID-19. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider if necessary, though it is worth remembering that most mild cases of COVID-19 can manage at home, without professional medical care.
Mild vs Severe Infection
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK estimates that around 80% of those infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms, similar to those of a regular cold. In which case, no special treatment or medical care is require.
However, approximately one in every six of those infected with COVID-19 will become seriously ill and require extensive treatment.
The highest risk brackets for serious illness or death due to COVID-19 are as follows:
Individuals aged 70 or over
People with compromised immune systems
Patients with underlying medical problems
Underlying medical issues that elevate the risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19 include chronic respiratory conditions, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.
Irrespective of your age and general state of health, authorities advise to seek immediate medical advice upon experiencing any of the following more severe symptoms:
Blue lips or face
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Call the emergency services immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
However, patients experiencing milder COVID-19 symptoms should not call the emergency services or travel to their local surgery. Instead, public health bodies advise calling your doctor’s office (or any special numbers/helplines) set up in your jurisdiction for further advice.
Travelling to a medical center while experiencing the initial symptoms of COVID-19 risks spreading the virus to other people.
How is the Coronavirus Transmitted?
The primary method of transmission for the newly identified COVID-19 is close person-to-person contact.
According to the World Health Organization, the virus that causes COVID-19 can transmit through the droplets produced when an individual carrying the infection speaks, sneezes or coughs. Each of these actions causes tiny droplets to project into the surrounding space, often travelling up to 6 feet through the air.
Should any of these droplets be inhale or swallow, the respective individual may develop the virus. Corona viruses can transmit from these microscopic droplets entering the body through the eyes.
Contrary to popular belief, COVID-19 is not currently recognized as an flying virus. Instead, the droplets emitted that spread the virus from person to person are too heavy to remain suspended in the air. Once produced, they quickly give way to gravity and settle on floors and surrounding surfaces.
This is precisely why public health authorities are currently advising people to keep a distance of at least two meters between themselves and others. In doing so, this significantly reduces their likelihood of being exposed to the droplets carrying the virus.
Is Surface Transmission Possible with COVID-19?
Both the National Health Service in the United Kingdom and the World Health Organization have stated that the likelihood of catching COVID-19 from a contaminated surface is comparatively low.
There is currently little to no evidence to support the theory that the surface transmission poses anywhere near as severe a threat as close person-to-person contact.
However, most health authorities also acknowledge the fact that COVID-19 can survive on a variety of surfaces for several hours. As a result, it is technically possible to catch corona virus by touching a surface or object that is contaminated, before touching your nose, your mouth or your eyes.
According to the latest COVID-19 research, the virus can survive the following periods of time on common everyday surfaces:
Copper: 4 hours
Cardboard: up to 24 hours
Plastic or stainless steel: 2 to 3 days
Public health groups are therefore advising a common-sense approach, which through simple everyday hygiene can remove the risk of surface transmission from the equation. Even if the risk of contracting COVID-19 from a contaminated surface is relatively low, it still represents a risk that is best avoided where possible.