Coronavirus is a unique virus that causes an infection in the nose and upper throat. The large family of viruses cause illness ranging from common cold to more severe dangerous coughs. Coronaviruses are zoonotic. This means that this virus can be transmitted between animals and people. Studies have shown that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was transmitted from cats to humans.
Do you know that there are several coronaviruses circulating in animals? These viruses are yet to be transmitted to humans. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous. Some types are serious and they require immediate medical and preventative measures after being detected. At least 900 people have died since the virus was reported in 2012.
In May 2015, the first case outside the Arabian Peninsula was reported. The Korean case was the largest. While many people thought that the deadly virus had vanished, an outbreak was reported in China. This time a new type namely 2019 novel coronavirus was reported by The World Health Organization.
Usually, a coronavirus causes respiratory infection with symptoms like cough and severe throat infection. In most cases, doctors recommend rest and other over-the-counter medications. In addition, this disease can cause middle ear infections.
Coronaviruses were first identified in 1960 although it was a mystery where they came from. The deadly viruses are named from the crown-like spikes on their surfaces. Most of these viruses spread in the same way other cold-causing viruses do. Infected people can pass the viruses through coughing, sneezing and also touching other people’s hands
Do you know that almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection once in their life? This happens in childhood. In the United States, these viruses are common, especially during the winter and fall. But that does not mean that you can’t get coronavirus at any time. Coronavirus has been causing fear all over the world for the last couple of days. Since it was first reported in China, it has been spreading steadily across many countries with a high level of alert being placed on prevention and immediate medical attention.
With that in mind, you may want to know more about this infection. In this article, we have analyzed types, symptoms, treatment and prevention. Let’s go into details and know more about the virus that has caused many deaths in 2020.
Types of coronaviruses
There are several types of coronaviruses. Here are the most popular viruses that have been reported.
2019 Novel Coronavirus – This virus was reported in January 2020. It first came into public limelight a few days after being reported by The World Health Organization. For the last couple of weeks, this virus has been associated with an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City in China.
SARS-COV – The acute respiratory infection was first reported in China in November 2002. A worldwide coronavirus outbreak was later experienced in 2003. From there, the virus spread to more than 15 countries. The most affected regions were South America and Asia. The disease was later contained in 2003. Since 2004, there have not been known cases of this virus reported anywhere in the world.
MERS-COV – The less popular virus was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. From then, this virus has caused illnesses in many countries. This virus is more common in Arabian countries. The World Health Organization is working very closely to monitor the spread of this virus and prevent it from occurring again in the future. In addition, we have witnessed many non-governmental organizations intensifying their research on how this disease spread.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main signs of infection according to The World Health Organization include:
Fever – This is simply the elevation in body temperature or high body temperature. The type of infection determines how often you will experience fever. It is consoling to know that fever resulting from viruses can last for as little as two days. Fever can result in convulsions and death. There will be a sudden increase in white blood cells. This will greatly affect your hypothalamus. As a result, your body will heat up causing fever. You can agree with me that in the early stages of fever, you started feeling cold and shivering.
Breathing difficulties – There are numerous causes of breathing problems. The most common breathing problems include asthma and alleges. Breathing problems can result in a host of problems. You will often experience chest congestion and wheezing. You should seek medical attention in case your breathing problem is chronic.
Cough – A cough is also known as Tussis. This is an act of clearing the throat and breathing passage of foreign particles. Coughing involves a rapid expulsion from the lungs. You might be aware that coughing can either be done deliberately or as a part of the reflex. So, what causes you to cough? Muscle drips down and prevents breathing. Postnasal breathing is a symptom of colds and flu. Cough is mostly caused by exposure to environmental irritants such as dust and pollen.
Shortness of breath – Shortness of breath can sometimes be harmless. Shortness of breath can be as a result of regular exercises or nasal congestion. Many people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus have experienced shortness of breath.
How does the coronavirus spread?
As for now, scientists are still assessing how this virus spreads from person to person and how it can be better treated. Coronavirus spreads through the following ways.
You are in a great risk of being infected with coronavirus when an infected person coughs or sneezes very close to you. In such situations, they will sneeze droplets of saliva and mucus. These droplets can fall of people within extreme vicinity. You can either inhale them or pick them up when someone touches your face. There are more chances of being infected with this virus if you stay within six feet when infected person sneezes.
Through droplets. You might have heard that coronaviruses can be spread when the droplets land on the surface. Trains, desks and seats are the common surfaces in that case. The main transmission route depends on how long this virus survives on surfaces. It can either vary from hours to months.
Coronavirus can be spread by people before they have symptoms. It is the main reason why it is quite hard to control this virus.
Treatment of coronavirus
There is no specific treatment that has been approved to treat coronavirus. What should you do in case you have been diagnosed with this virus? You are required to receive supportive care. This will help you relieve symptoms. What if there are severe cases? Treatment should include care. This is very important when it comes to supporting vital organ functions.
You should contact your healthcare provider if you think that you have been exposed to this virus. No vaccine or even specific treatment is available; care is supportive.
Prevention of coronavirus
From a clear look, the best way to prevent this infection is to avoid being exposed to coronavirus. It is recommendable to take everyday preventive actions. This will prevent the spread of coronavirus. Kindly look at the tips below. They have been used to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Wash your hands with soap. You should consider wetting your hands with clean and running water. Lather your hands thoroughly. You should not forget to clean the backs of your hands. Using a clean cloth, rinse between your fingers and under your nails. This process will take at least 20 minutes. Most people prefer using alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can use alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Cover your mouth with a tissue. Coughing is a common symptom with coronavirus patients. You can use a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Afterwards, you should throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands thoroughly. If you don’t have a tissue, you can cough into your elbow rather than doing it on your hands.
Face masks offer some protection. Are you aware that face masks block liquid droplets? Unfortunately, they don’t block smaller aerosol particles. Such particles can pass through the material of the mask. In addition, these masks will leave your eyes exposed. It has been proved that coronavirus can be passed through eye infection.
Seek early medical help. This is applicable if you have fever, cough and difficulties in breathing. Therefore, you should share your travel history with your local healthcare providers.
Avoid direct contact with live animals. Coronavirus originated from animals. You should avoid direct contact with animals if you visit live animal markets.
Avoid raw and under-cooked animal products. This is the right time to exercise extreme care when handling raw meat.
Numerous coronaviruses cases are being reported every day. From China to the United States of America, this virus is becoming a global epidemy. It has taken many people’s lives in 2020 alone and there is an urgent need to control the spread and prevent many people from contracting the disease. It is advisable to apply the preemptive measures outlined in this article and to seek immediate medical attention if you notice you are having the symptoms of coronavirus.
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