Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a virus strand called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2). It is a single-stranded RNA virus that humans can contract. COVID-19 has been causing a pandemic since March 2020 and the World Health Organization (WHO) is considering is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It is assumed that this disease started occurring in humans in late 2019.
The first known case of COVID-19 was found in Wuhan, China. It is assumed that the virus started at Huanan Seafood Market, since that is where most cases seemed to originate from. At first, it was thought that the seafood market was having a high amount of cases of pneumonia. COVID-19 though is a coronavirus that is assumed to have a zoonotic origin, which means that the disease came from an animal and infected a human. The first case seems to come from a 55-year-old from Wuhan on November 17th, 2019. From there, the COVID-19 cases spread from Wuhan to the rest of China to the rest of the world.
Can COVID-19 be asymptomatic?
At this point, it is assumed that most cases are asymptomatic (no symptoms are shown) and tend to affect older people and the immunocompromised more. COVID-19 spreads between people that are close together(within 6 feet), through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. Surfaces and objects may also be contaminated with these droplets. These droplets can survive on surfaces from a few hours to day. There are several ways to protect yourselves and others from COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself to is stay at home. If you are able to stay at home, this will help you from infecting others if you are asymptomatic and protect yourself from anyone that may be infected.
If it is necessary to go out into public, it is important to social distance. Social distancing is keeping at least 6 feet between yourself and other people who you don’t live with. It is also to wear a mask in public, such as a cloth or surgical mask. Gloves can also be used. You should also wash your hands as much as possible or using hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol when out in public. It is also incredibly important that you also don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth, and face without washing your hands first. If you cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth and nose using tissues. Wash your hands before and after eating and after sneezing or coughing. Because these events can happen, it is also important to clean and disinfect any surfaces that are frequently touched. Household disinfectants, detergents, and soap can be used.
There are a few symptoms that can hint of COVID-19 in someone’s body. Some of these symptoms include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and lost of taste and/or smell. These symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19. Most of these symptoms can be mild but some can be incredibly severe. It is best to contact your local emergency department if you have trouble breathing, pain or pressure in your chest, confusion, and bluish lips or face. If you are infected or suspected to be infected with COVID-19, is it important to stay home. You can treat yourself by keeping yourself hydrated and by taking appropriate medications including Chloroquine, Zithromax and Ivermectin. Contact your primary care doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your symptoms.
As of April 20th, 2020, there has been about 2,467,519 COVID-19 cases around the world. There have been about 170,000 deaths. In the United States, there have been 784,201 cases and 41,837 deaths. These numbers may be a bit inaccurate though, since there have been many problems around the world with testing. Some of these problems include contaminated tests, small amount of testing sites, not enough testing labs, and not enough testing kits. Another issue is that many people seem to think that they have already been infected with COVID-19, but tests that test whether you have already had COVID-19 and not widespread. Overall, COVID-19 has provided a new reality and perspective to the rest of the world. Without us working together to protect ourselves and others, we will not get far.