Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus not previously identified in humans.
Novel Coronavirus causes respiratory disease (like the flu) with fever, cough, and in more severe cases, pneumonia-like symptoms. You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face, nose, and mouth.
In this article, we will tell you about coronavirus infection and the symptoms, causes, standard precautions and preventive measures of COVID-19.
|Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus not previously identified in humans.|
Coronavirus Disease: Symptoms, Causes and Preventive Measures of COVID-19
What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is a virus found in animals and can be transmitted from animals to humans and then spread from one person to another.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause diseases such as the runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, the common cold, severe acute respiratory symptoms (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
In 2019, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of epidemic disease in China. The coronavirus is now known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS-CoV-2 causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
An increasing number of cases of COVID-19 have been reported in various countries, the virus causing acute lung disease in China has now spread to more than 100 countries.
The coronavirus has infected more than a million people in the world so far and more than 3600 people have died.
International health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are monitoring the situation and posting information about COVID-19 on their websites.
These organizations have also issued suggestions and guidelines for the prevention and treatment of the disease.
What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Pneumonia (severe cases)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
The severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms may range from very mild to severe. You may not develop symptoms after exposure to COVID-19.
What are the Causes of Coronavirus Infection?
It is not clear exactly how infectious the new coronavirus is. Human first obtains a coronavirus by contact with animals. Then, it can spread from human to human. Health officials do not know which animal caused COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus can also spread through exposure to certain bodily fluids, it can be spread by respiratory droplets when a person suffering from the virus coughs or sneezes.
It appears to be spread by close contact between people. It can also be caused by touching an infected person and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with your hand.
People with weakened immune systems may develop more severe symptoms, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
People who are older or suffering from existing medical conditions, (such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease), may be at higher risk of serious illness.
So far, most confirmed cases are in adults, but it can also infect some children.
There is no evidence that children are at greater risk of getting the virus.
Recent travel or residence in an area with an ongoing prevalence of COVID-19 determined by CDC or WHO may also increase the risk factors for disease.
How can Coronavirus Be Prevented or Avoided?
Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with new coronaviruses, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of infection.
The WHO and CDC recommend the following standard precautions to avoid respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after coming from the bathroom, and after runny nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to reduce germs on your hands if soap and water are not available. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are dirty in appearance.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue.
- If your hands are not clean then avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid coming in close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with anyone who is ill (anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms)
- Take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.
- Use a room humidifier.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Avoid sharing kitchenware, glasses, bedding and other household items if you are ill.
- Make the surfaces clean that you touch frequently.
- If you are ill, do not go to work, school and public areas and stay at home.
The CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Wear a mask only if a health care provider asks you to do so.
The WHO also recommends that you:
Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal parts.
Avoid coming into contact with live animals and the surfaces they have touched if you have recently been visiting areas with new coronovirus cases.
The CDC has issued travel advisories for several affected countries. If you are traveling to an area where COVID-19 is present, talk to your doctor.