COVID-19, or A novel coronavirus, Unforgettable .July 12, 2020
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
In December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China. On 31 December 2019, the outbreak was traced to a novel strain of coronavirus, which was given the interim name 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO), later renamed SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
Common signs of COVID-19 include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s necessary that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for ex.: by coughing into a flexed elbow).
How can one protect themselves from coronaviruses?
The best way to protect yourself from reducing coronaviruses is by using the same daily habits that help prevent the spread of many viruses, including the common cold and flu. To help the spread of this disease always follow:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Keep children away from sick people.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into a flexed elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.
There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections. Treatment is only supportive. A number of antiviral targets have been identified such as viral proteases, polymerases, and entry proteins. Drugs are in development which target these proteins and the different steps of viral replication. A number of vaccines using different methods are also under development for different human coronaviruses.