The world is experiencing a global pandemic caused by an infectious disease that is spread by a virus. The COVID-19, which stands for what kind of virus it is and the year it was discovered (coronavirus disease, 2019), has now spread over 200 countries across the globe. Its first strain was detected in Wuhan, China after a pneumonia outbreak that was without an obvious case and was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020.
In this situation where our health is at stake, it’s only right to be in the know. We have to be aware of what is happening in the present and what occurred in the past, so we know how to move forward with the proper actions in the future. And especially in these times where facts are being manipulated to serve selfish gains, we have to search thoroughly through the available sources of information and verify which ones are legitimate and which ones are fake.
A global pandemic like the coronavirus can be defeated with the right knowledge and how much of it we have. To stay safe, we have to stay vigilant. Here is everything you need to know about today’s COVID-19 pandemic.
What are coronaviruses?
Unbeknownst to many, the coronavirus has been existing since as early as 2003. Today’s pandemic is caused by the SARS-CoV-2, which is now named COVID-19, and is the newest strain of the coronavirus.
SARS-CoV-2 belongs to a family of single-stranded RNA viruses known as coronaviridae, a common type of virus that affects mammals, reptiles, and birds. In humans, it commonly causes mild infections, similar to the common cold. It’s incubation period varies but is generally up to two weeks.
Previous coronavirus outbreaks happened to include the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) which was first reported in September of 2012, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which was identified in Southern China back in 2003.
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
As this coronavirus affects the respiratory tract, its common symptoms include fever and dry cough, with some patients presenting respiratory symptoms or even struggling for breath. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.
Diagnosis is suspected in patients requiring hospital admission with signs and symptoms of pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or influenza, and in those with a new, continuous cough or fever who are well enough to stay in the community. A diagnostic test has been developed and countries are subjecting those suspected cases to a mandatory quarantine protocol.
How does it spread?
The virus spreads from person-to-person. People who were in close contact with someone who is already infected can get the virus. It is also probable that it spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, it produces droplets that can go into another person’s eyes, mouth, or nose. This is why countries suspended public travel and mass gatherings to promote social distancing to prevent spreading the virus even more.
Is there a cure for COVID-19?
Any kind of medicine or vaccine that can cure COVID-19 is yet to be made. Researchers in the field of medicine are still working hard on finding a cure. For now, doctors are testing other procedures and alternatives that can possibly help treat the virus such as plasma treatment, where people who have tested negative of the virus after contracting it are encouraged to donate their blood which contains antibodies that their bodies developed while being a carrier.
The plasma from fully-healed patients will then be transfused to the patients currently sick with the virus to boost their immune system to fight it. This is a procedure that is advocated by doctors and medical facilities around the world like KC Medical, and one that has been around since 1890.
What can I do to keep myself safe and protect others?
Stay home as much as possible, especially if you’re feeling under the weather. Wear protective masks or face coverings to avoid spreading droplets when you cough, sneeze, or talk. Wash your hands at least twenty seconds regularly, and practice proper hygiene.
Clean the most touched surfaces in your household and boost your immune system by drinking vitamins and eating well. Mostly the simple stuff that we need to be practicing in our daily life can help save yourself and others from being infected.
We are experiencing difficult times because of this pandemic, but with our cooperative efforts of keeping ourselves safe and vigilant, we can help one another. Inform yourself with the current events to be aware of the developments of this ever-changing situation. There is still a lot of things to be discovered from the coronavirus, so keep yourself updated.