Coronavirus: What you need to know about COVID-19
Coronavirus, or what you need to know about the new COVID-19 virus, has been one of the most popular Internet queries since the beginning of 2020. This is not surprising, because the pandemic has become a source of mass psychosis in many countries.
Let’s see what everyone needs to know about the coronavirus. In this article, we will try to answer the most important questions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
What is coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a family of RNA viruses that infect humans and animals. They got their name due to their external similarity with the solar corona.
The purpose of the “corona” in coronaviruses is associated with their characteristic ability to penetrate the cell membrane by mimicking molecules that transmembrane receptors of cells respond to by “fake molecules”. The virus literally squeezes into a healthy cell, after which it infects it with its RNA.
What is COVID-19
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new type of coronavirus, which can occur in both a mild form of a respiratory viral infection and a severe one. In the latter case, a person begins to progress viral pneumonia, which can lead to his death.
As of March 2020, doctors have not yet been able to develop an effective vaccine against coronavirus, however, in the media and on television, you can repeatedly hear that doctors in a particular country were able to create a vaccine.
According to many reputable scientists, the vaccine will not appear earlier than in a year, since before launching it into mass production, it is necessary to conduct many observations and only then draw conclusions about its effectiveness.
How dangerous is COVID-19
In most children and healthy young adults, COVID-19 is mild. However, there is also a severe form of infection: approximately one in 5 people with coronavirus needs to be hospitalized.
It follows that it is imperative for people to adhere to quarantine, so that the spread of coronavirus can be contained. Otherwise, the disease in the shortest possible time will begin to spread exponentially.
How contagious is COVID-19 and how does it spread?
A person with coronavirus is able to infect 3-6 people around him, but this figure can be several times higher. COVID-19 is transmitted as follows:
by airborne droplets;
when shaking hands;
A person can become infected with the coronavirus from a sick person when they cough or sneeze. You can also catch COVID-19 by touching an infected person or an object that the patient has touched. An interesting fact is that in the air the virus can remain viable for several hours, while, for example, on plastic, up to 3 days!
When a person touches contaminated objects with his hands, he is essentially not yet infected. Infection occurs at the moment when he touches his eyes, nose or mouth with a “dirty” hand. Curiously, according to statistics, we somehow reflexively touch our mouth, nose and eyes at least 23 times per hour!
For this reason, you should wash your hands as often as possible and avoid touching your face, as well as keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from the sick or potentially sick.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19
The main symptoms of coronavirus infection:
Increased body temperature (fever) – in 88% of cases;
Dry cough with little sputum (67%);
Feeling of tightness behind the sternum (20%);
Shortness of breath (19%);
Pain in muscles or joints (15%);
Sore throat (14%);
According to statistics, 8 out of 10 people successfully recover from the coronavirus COVID-19, with little or no need for treatment. In about one in six cases, the patient develops a severe form of respiratory failure.
In the presence of fever, frequent and dry cough, as well as difficulty in breathing, you should immediately seek medical help.
Who is at risk
Chinese experts presented a large study of all cases of the disease until February 11, 2020, according to which:
overall mortality from coronavirus is 2.3%;
the highest mortality in people over 80 years of age – 14.8%;
in the group from 70 to 80 years – 8%;
death of children aged 0-9 years is extremely low (few cases);
in the group of 10-40 years, the mortality rate is 0.2%.
women die less frequently than men: 1.7% and 2.8% respectively.
According to the data presented, it can be concluded that at risk are people who are over 70 years old and especially those who have chronic diseases.
How to protect the elderly
First of all, older people should be away from crowded places. They need to stock up on medicines and food for as long as possible. Relatives, neighbors or social services can help them with this.
It is worth noting that the elderly often tolerate coronavirus without fever.