Given the rapid worldwide increase in the confirmed cases, and after the death of several thousand people, the World Health Organisation has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. In this article, we present the medical conditions surrounding the disease. The effects on economies and businesses worldwide are to be discussed in a nother article.
Coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.Coronaviruses are known to be zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. For example, detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
A new strain of these viruses was discovered atthe end of 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. However, it is not confirmed yet how this coronavirus developed and what are the origins of its development. Scientists chose the name COVID-19 for the novel coronavirus which was discovered in China before it transferred to over 130 countries.Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Regardless of how it started, this pandemic disease caused havoc all over the world where many countries announced emergency and lockdown status and remained unable to stop the widespread of the COVID-19, not to speak about identify the right medicine or vaccine to protect people. In several countries, people did not take the warnings about the rapid spread of the COVID-19 seriously until and this made the situation worse than anyone could imagine. For instance, on 9 March 2020, the Government of Italy imposed a national quarantine, restricting the movement of half the population, in response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
Doctors classify the cases infected by COVID-19 into three categories. First, those who are infected and show obvious symptoms that require them to be quarantined and receive intensive care. Second, people who show mild symptoms but are not very sick, and those are advised to get tested and isolate themselves until they are sure they are clean of the virus. Third, people who are infected by the virus but do not show any symptoms. This last one is the most dangerous group because while they seem to be healthy they may be the source of transferring the pandemic virus to the people they interact with. For instance, researchers found that two-thirds of Covid-19 infections could be spread by people whose own infections are undetected.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing (preferably with hand sanitiser), covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. The most important advice doctors give is to avoid touching mouth, nose or eyes. That is why wearing a mask—which people continue to adjust on their faces using their hands—may not be the best prevention of getting the infection, but it is more important for show showing symptoms than others.
Older people and those suffering chronic diseases are more vulnerable to be affected by the COVID-19, special care should be provided to those people to protect them from getting infected in the first place. Since there is not any vaccine to prevent the infectious COVID-19, and because developing such a vaccine may take several months, the only effective way to slow down the spread of the virus is to restrict the movement of people expect for when it is necessary and stop mass gatherings. Only through this way the containment of the pandemic COVID-19 can be achieved.
Panic of Pacify?
There are many reasons for people to panic as the scary outbreak of COVID-19 moves from one country to another. But the question to ask ourselves is: will panicking be helpful? Perhaps some people are more careful and can be safer when they panic, but there is no need to instill fear which may increase other people’s anxiety and have more harmful effects than those caused by COVID-19. In fact, other coronaviruses had much worse fatality rates than COVID-19. For example, about 10% of the people who were infected by SARS-CoVdied while nearly 30% of those infected by MERS-CoV lost their lives because of that virus. For COVID-19, however, the fatality rate is about 3.4% as announced by the World Health Organisation.
While these rates do not mean we should feel relaxed and not worry about the spread of COVID-19, they give us an understanding of how important it is to contain the virus before the situation gets worse. Reports say that the novel coronavirus spread from contact with infected people or with contaminated surfaces or objects.It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Unfortunately, the virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably. Therefore, create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.
Terms to Know
It is important to be familiar with the terminology used by health officials when they describe certain conditions to understand the seriousness of the situation and be able to deal with it effectively. The following are the common terms used to describe the intensity and danger of disease. First, when more cases of a disease than expected are recorded in one area an outbreak is declared.Endemic is a disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. On the other hand, an epidemic is an outbreak of disease that attacks many peoples at about the same time and may spread through one or several communities. Pandemic, the case of CONID-19, happens when an epidemic spreads throughout the world.