What is it?
A new disease – COVID-19 – was first detected in China, Wuhan, at the end of 2019. It is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.
Even though SARS-CoV-2 belongs to a family of viruses that risk the respiratory system not so much, in some cases, it can be more serious. The coronavirus might lead to severer health consequences. Before December 2019, the disease did not use to be found in humans. The virus is now being observed at all levels, from global monitoring by the WHO to local observation in public health departments.
How to distinguish COVID-19?
The majority of patients (~80%) show mild symptoms. The main of them include:
- Body temperature above 38°C / 100.4°F
- Difficulty with breathing
These symptoms are the most common ones. A sore throat, diarrhea, and vomiting are considered less usual.
In more serious cases, the virus might cause pneumonitis, renal insufficiency, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and death.
People with respiratory and kidney insufficiencies are at high risk for harsh complications.
The expansion of the virus
Coronaviruses are a branch of viruses normally observed in different animal species, which include bats, cats, and camels. In some rare cases, coronaviruses can affect them as well.
The time from contamination to the first signs of illness is called an incubation period, which can last from two to seven days, but it can also be fourteen days. It means that symptoms like fever and cough will develop only after some time, and an infected person will be tested only after being ill for that number of days. While feeling and looking healthy, an infected person can pass on the disease to others.
The primary source of transmission is respiratory droplets produced by a sick person. Moreover, the virus can be transmitted through bowel movements.
The latest reports state that, in some cases, an infected person can transmit the virus for a couple of days prior to the symptoms. Generally, it is believed that the risk of transmission is the highest when a person already shows signs like fever and cough. The data about how COVID-19 can be spread among people is continuously researched and updated.Get Help
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