The world is going through a pandemic due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and there are mass lockdowns all across the globe. It all started from a meat market in Wuhan, China, and spread like fire. The COVID-19 symptoms reflect as common fever and flu, but becomes as severe as breathlessness and fatigue. What’s most scary about this virus is that is spreads from one person to another via mere physical contact.
What is coronavirus?
As per WHO, coronavirus belongs to the family of viruses that range from the common cold to SARS and MERS Coronavirus. The virus circulates among animals and can be transmitted into the bodies of humans.
When one human comes in contact with someone who is infected and further touches his eyes, mouth, or nose with his infected hands, he automatically becomes susceptible to the infection. COVID-19 symptoms can be as mild as a fever but turn as fatal as death.
WHO recommends basic hand hygiene in order to keep the viruses away from your body. From using soap-water to keeping hand sanitizers handy, people have to take measures to keep their hands off their faces. Find all about the symptoms of coronavirus, treatments, causes, and most importantly prevention measures.
Coronavirus is still unclear to most parts of the world. It spreads from one person to another if they come in close contact with each other. It is spread by respiratory droplets released by one person while coughing or sneezing. People can also get infected by touching a surface and using the same hands to touch their nose or mouth.
- Traveling within an area that has an ongoing community spread of coronavirus as determined by WHO
- Coming in close contact with someone who has the virus. It can be a family member or a healthcare worker taking care of someone who is infected.
- Failure of one or more organ
- Pneumonia in both lungs
The reason that makes everyone scared to experience covid 19 symptoms is that it doesn’t have a definitive cure. There is no vaccine yet available for the infection of the virus. It is wise for everyone to take measures in order to reduce the infection. WHO recommends following some of the precautions that can help avoid the disease:
- Maintain social distancing by being at home with family members only. Don’t be a part of large gatherings
- Stay away by at least six feet from anyone who is either sick or has covid 19 symptoms
- Keep away from spreading the virus in your community and isolate yourself if you have symptoms of illness
- Wash your hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds and once every hour
- Keep a hand sanitizer handy with more than 60% alcohol content
- If you feel like sneezing use your elbow or take a tissue and discard the tissue once done
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose without cleaning your hand
- Don’t share dishes, bedding, glasses, and other home products with someone if you’re sick
- Disinfect surfaces that you touch regularly
- Stay away from public places if you’re sick and till you get medical treatment
- Don’t take public transport when you’re sick
According to CDC, healthy people don’t have to wear face masks for protecting themselves from respiratory illnesses. You need to wear a mask only when a healthcare provider tells you so.
When you touch people, objects or surfaces all through the day, it accumulates germs on the hands. It can lead to an infection when you touch the mouth or nose. You have to protect yourself using soap water for around 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that has more than 60% of alcohol content.
You can be infected the coronavirus right now, and not know about it until the next fortnight. This is because the COVID-19 symptoms need two to 14 days to reflect. The symptoms might include:
If you’re having continuous fever which isn’t subsiding by mere paracetamol tablets, it can be a symptom. This is probably one of the first symptoms that you will face but isn’t proof enough until you have two or more other symptoms listed below.
2. Dry cough
If you have dry cough and fever at the same time, these can be two clear indications that you have coronavirus. You will not notice any fluid coming out of your throat and it will feel dry. We recommend you to get a check-up done if you have persistent symptoms of fever and dry cough.
3. Breathing problems
If you’re already into the infection for a few days, you might also feel breathing difficult. COVID-19 symptoms are bad for your lungs. It reduces the capacity of our lungs to functions and that is why it can be fatal for people who have weaker lungs already. If you’re already facing any of these symptoms, you must consult a doctor.
Fatigue is another symptom of coronavirus. You will quickly feel tired and want to rest. Listen to your body if these are the signs it is giving you.
5. Body ache
If you have body ache, along with the other symptoms like dry cough and fever, you might need a medical check-up. This is especially for people who don’t have any reason to experience sudden pain in the body.
6. Sore throat
If you’re experiencing a sore throat along with dry cough and fever, it could be signs of coronavirus. You should get yourself checked and keep a distance from people around you.
7. Runny nose
The probability of having a runny nose is least when it comes to COVID-19 symptoms. About 5% of the total amount of people affected by now have experienced this symptom. Doctors and medical professionals are not counting runny nose as a symptom of coronavirus. Thus, if you’re having this problem it can be a common cold and flu.
At the beginning of experiencing the COVID-19 symptoms, you might think it is a common cold or flu. The symptoms are pretty similar to regular fevers, headaches, and fatigue. However, dry cough and breathlessness are two powerful symptoms to assure that it could be COVID-19.
The symptoms of coronavirus can range from mild to severe. Some people did not have any symptoms but got themselves checked due to travel history and tested positive. Many people tested positive knowing someone close to them has been infected. So, there are chances you might take time to know you actually have it. Symptoms like influenza and respiratory illnesses are also signs of the probability of COVID-19 infection.
When to see a doctor?
If you’re facing COVID 19 symptoms, you must have been exposed to someone who has the infection or traveled from a place where the infection is spreading. You have to call a doctor immediately and ask them for help. You need to inform them about your possible exposure and travel history.
People who have respiratory symptoms and haven’t been in an area where there is community spread need further guidance from the doctor. You have to inform the medical staff about any medical condition you have already. As the pandemic is progressing it is essential to make health care available for people who need it critically.
If you’re planning to travel across the borders, you have to verify with WHO websites for updates. You need to also look into the health advisories that can be in a place where you travel to. You must consult with a doctor if you are facing any health condition to understand if you’re susceptible to a respiratory infection and complication.
Recommendations by WHO
- You should not have under-cooked or raw meat or other animal organs
- You should avoid surfaces with live animals and not touch such places; if you do you must wash your hand immediately.
- If you have chronic medical conditions you are at high risk of illnesses. You must check with your doctor and protect yourself.
How are coronaviruses diagnosed?
Coronavirus can be diagnosed like any viral infection. So, you have to give a sample of your blood or saliva for diagnosis. Most tests use a cotton swab to take the sample from the nostrils. The tests are being conducted by CDC and state health departments. Some commercial companies are also providing support for diagnosis and treatment. You need to check the health department of your state to know what is being offered near you.
If you think you have symptoms you should talk to your doctor right away. He/she will advise you to either stay at home and monitor the symptoms or get to the nearest hospital offering aid to Covid patients for urgent care.
There are still no definitive treatments approved for COVID 19 and no cure for the infection. All types of treatments and vaccines are under study. Most of the current treatments are ways to manage the symptoms while the virus runs its course. People must take immediate help from doctors before complications develop.
SARS and MERS are other types of coronaviruses that manage the symptoms. In some cases, there are experimental treatments tested to see how effective the results are. For examples, therapies like:
- Retroviral and antiviral medications
- Mechanical ventilation like breathing support
- Blood plasma transfusion
- Steroids to reduce swelling in the lungs
The most severe complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection is a form of pneumonia called 2019 novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia (NCIP). According to Trusted Source, 138 people were admitted to Wuhan hospitals and 26% of them were in ICU due to severity. Around 4.3% of these people died in the ICU and the reason was a type of pneumonia. Note that people in the ICU were mostly elderly and had other health conditions compared to people who weren’t in the ICU.
NCIP is linked with coronavirus and researchers have seen complications like:
- Irregular heart rate
- Muscle pain
- Heart damage
- acute respiratory distress syndrome
- cardiovascular shock
COVID-19 vs. SARS
Coronavirus first hit the news in 2003 – that was the time of the SARS outbreak, which is also one of the coronavirus types. As with 2019, the virus was first found in animals and then spread to humans. SARS virus came from bats and then got transmitted into humans. It started to spread quickly among people.
The novel coronavirus is deadly because the treatments haven’t been found but the number of cases is increasing rapidly. COVID 19 belongs to the same line of viruses as SARS and MERS. But it has spread like a pandemic and is affecting people rapidly across the globe. Since there is still no definitive cure, it is causing an incredible amount of destruction.
The outlook we need to have
The foremost thing we all need to do is not have panic. You don’t need to wear a mask or isolate yourself completely until you see symptoms or have a probability to be affected.
You have to keep washing your hands and maintain social distancing as ruled out by the authorities. The only way the world can stop the virus from spreading is social distancing.
It is definitely scary to hear or read the news about the number of people affected or dying. But also keep a check on the recovery rate. The death rate of coronavirus is around 2% but it does affect your lung capacity.
We must stay calm and follow the instructions laid down by the authorities to stop the disease from spreading. It is time we not only have to think about ourselves but also the people around us.
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