The whole world was just preparing to celebrate a new year, a new decade. At that time in the city of Wuhan in The People’s Republic of China first reported a new type of pneumonia-like disease(covid-19) caused by an unknown virus called SARS COV-2 on 31 December 2019.
By the time scientists were trying to get some idea about this virus, it had already spread across all over the world.
Later, next year the Director-General of WHO (World Health Organization) on 30 January 2020 declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Which is WHO’s the highest level of alarm.
Before covid-19, some people might have been thinking that the new year will be a starting point of their career or life, and for some, a new business opportunity.
But the virus came into our life like an enemy. Everyone is somehow affected by the virus, whether you tested positive or not. Many people have lost their lives, lost their businesses, and lost their jobs.
Let’s understand in detail about this virus.
What is covid-19 and how it is related to coronavirus?
You might be thinking Covid19 and corona virus are the same things, well… Not exactly.
Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA (Ribonucleic acid) viruses that causes disease in both mammals and birds. In humans, this virus causes respiratory tract infections.
The name coronavirus is derived from a Latin word called “corona”, meaning “crown” in English. And these crowns are none other than spikes which are made up of proteins. There are many types of coronaviruses that affect both humans and animals. Within those 7 of them affect humans.
More lethal types of coronaviruses are
- SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1
- MERS-coronavirus( MERS-CoV)
1- SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1 is a virus that causes SARS(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and was responsible for the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak. Later in 2017, the Chinese scientists traced the virus through the intermediary of Asian palm civets to bats in Yunnan.
2- MERS-coronavirus( MERS-CoV) is a virus that causes MERS(Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or Camel flu. It is believed to be originally from Bats, Humans are typically infected from Camel.
3- SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that causes COVID-19 (CoronaVirus Disease 2019).
It may sound confusing about this nomenclature, let me just give you an idea that, “Common Cold” or simply “cold” is a disease, but the cause for that disease is a virus (predominantly Rhinoviruses) and AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ) is a disease, but the name of the virus that causes this disease is HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) Just like that, COVID-19 is a disease, and the name of the virus that causes this disease is called SARS-CoV-2.
How do you know if you have COVID-19 or not?
This disease (COVID-19) affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and they recover without hospitalization.
The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough.
Less common symptoms are:
- pains and aches.
- sore throat.
- loss of taste or smell.
- a rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.
Serious symptoms are:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- loss of speech or movement.
- chest pain or pressure.
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.
If you have serious symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. Call the emergency contact number given by the respective government officials or hospitals before visiting.
How do you prevent yourself from getting infected by the Virus?
You have to follow these instructions to prevent infection and to slow down the transmission.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain at least a 1-meter distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
- Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.