Covid-19 Coronavirus: symptoms, safety tips, and updated numbers

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Covid-19 Coronavirus: wash your hands and wear a mask | Photo: www.vperemen.com / Creative Commons

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses, consisting of a core of genetic material surrounded by an envelope of proteins spikes, which gives it the appearance of a crown.

In Latin, the word crown is called "corona" - that's how these viruses get their name.

There are different types of coronaviruses that cause respiratory and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms.

Respiratory symptoms can range from the common cold to pneumonia, but, in most people, the symptoms tend to be mild.

However, some types of coronaviruses can cause severe disease. These include SARS-Coronavirus (China, 2003) and MERS-Coronavirus (Saudi Arabia, 2012).

The 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) was first identified in 2019, in China, with a group of people with pneumonia, who'd been associated with seafood and animal markets in Wuhan.

The disease has since spread from the sick to others, including family members and healthcare staff.

There are many cases at present and has spread within China and other countries. Covid-19 already is one of the 20 worst pandemics in recorded history.

The Origin of Covid-19 Coronavirus

It's known that the coronaviruses circulate in a range of animals and, sometimes, they can make the jump from animals to humans.

This is called a spillover that can be caused by mutations in the virus or increased interaction between humans and animals, like MERS from dromedary camels and SARS from civet cats.

The animal reservoir of the 2019 coronavirus is not known yet.

Covid-19 Coronavirus: a core of genetic material surrounded by an envelope of proteins spikes

The Transmission of Covid-19

The exact dynamic of how the virus is transmitted is yet to be determined.

But we know know that it is spread from person to person, mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes.

These tiny droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

But they are also too heavy to travel far in the air, so they only travel approximately one meter and quickly settle on surfaces.

This is the reason person-to-person spread is happening mainly between close contacts.

The exact time that the virus can survive on surfaces is not yet known, so it is wise to clean surfaces regularly, particularly in the vicinity of people infected with Covid-19.

Hands touch many surfaces that can be contaminated with the virus.

You should, therefore, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth since contaminated hands can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

The Covid-19 Symptoms

The current official estimated range for the novel coronavirus incubation period is of 2-14 days.

There could be a wide number of symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

They include fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia in both lungs, sore throat, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms.

In some patients - particularly the elderly and others with chronic health conditions - these symptoms can develop into pneumonia, with chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and kidney failure.

Nevertheless, 80 percent of cases are mild and can recover at home.

The symptoms last from approximately two-to-six weeks, depending on whether it's a mild case or critical disease.

The death rate is higher in men than in women.

The Covid-19 Diagnosis

The infection can be diagnosed with a test known as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). This test identifies the virus-based off its genetic fingerprint.

There's currently no known medication for the virus, and treatment is supportive care. There is currently no vaccine to protect from the virus.

Treatments and vaccines are in development.

Protection from Covid-19

There are several measures you can adopt to protect yourself and others from getting the new Coronavirus.

The Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak has been spreading all over the world, so it is recommended the adoption of a few standard hygiene practices to protect against infection.

The most effective way to protect yourself from the new Coronavirus is to  wash your hands frequently with soap and running water or rub your hands with an alcohol-based hand gel.

This will eliminate the virus. Do it when your hands are visibly dirty. If your hands are not visibly dirty, wash your hands:

a) after coughing or sneezing;
b) when caring for the sick;
c) before, during and after you prepare food;
d) before eating;
e) after toilet use;
f) when hands are visibly dirty;
g) after handling animals or animal waste;

Also, avoid close contact with those who are not feeling well.

It is also important to protect others from getting sick.

If you just have mild respiratory symptoms and no specific travel history, carefully follow the precautions and make sure you stay home until recovery.

It's important to stay home if you're feeling unwell, but if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with the bend of your elbow or use the disposable tissue.

If a tissue is used discarded, immediately throw it into a closed bin.

Medical masks and the Covid-19 Coronavirus: you must combine them with hand hygiene and other preventive measures | Photo: Creative Commons

Can Masks Protect Against the New Covid-19 Coronavirus Infection?

Simple medical masks cannot protect against the new coronavirus when used alone. When you wear them, you must combine them with hand hygiene and other preventive measures.

The World Health Organization (WHO) only recommends the use of masks in specific cases.

If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, you should wear a mask and seek medical care.

If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to wear masks because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick.

However, if you are healthy, but you are taking care of a person who may be infected with the novel coronavirus Covid-19, then you should wear a mask whenever you are in the same room with that person.

And remember if you choose to wear a mask, use it and discard it properly and clean your hands with alcohol hand rub or soap and water.

Wearing and Disposing of Masks

If you decide to wear a simple medical mask that is pleated and flat, it is important to wear and discard it correctly.

Otherwise, instead of protecting you, the mask becomes a source of infection because of the germs that may stay on it.

To wear it correctly, you should locate the metal strip at the top of the mask, place over your nose bridge, secure the elastics around your ears, or tie the strings behind your head.

Make sure it covers your nose mouth and chin.

While in use, do not touch the front of your mask. To remove the mask, take the elastics from around your ears or untie the strings behind your head.

Do not touch the front of the mask as it may be contaminated.

Remove the mask and discard it in a closed bin. Cleanse your hands with alcohol hand rub or soap and water.

Hand hygiene should be done if you accidentally touch the front of your mask while wearing.

If your mask becomes damp or humid, replace it with a new dry mask.

Never reuse single-use masks and discard them immediately into closed bins after each use.

Novel coronavirus Covid-19: the pandemic started in China and spread quickly across the world | Photo: Creative Commons

Avoid Close Contact With Anyone Who Has Fever and Cough

The new Coronavirus can spread through respiratory droplets, which are liquids that may come out when we cough or sneeze.

For this reason, it's very important to avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough, or other respiratory symptoms.

In practical terms, we recommend keeping at least one meter distance from a sick person. Also, you should avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing people with these symptoms.

If you need to take care of a person who has fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, do not forget to wear a mask and, in particular, to practice hand hygiene.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak | Confirmed Cases and Deaths (24/12/2021)

Cases: 278,613,506
Deaths: 5,403,176
Recovered: 249,382,872

Country

USA
India
Brazil
UK
Russia
Turkey
France
Germany
Iran
Spain
Italy
Argentina
Colombia
Indonesia
Poland
Mexico
Ukraine
South Africa
Netherlands
Philippines
Malaysia
Czechia
Peru
Thailand
Iraq
Belgium
Canada
Romania
Chile
Japan
Vietnam
Bangladesh
Israel
Pakistan
Serbia
Sweden
Austria
Portugal
Hungary
Switzerland
Greece
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Cuba
Morocco
Georgia
Nepal
Slovakia
UAE
Bulgaria
Tunisia
Lebanon
Belarus
Croatia
Ireland
Denmark
Guatemala
Azerbaijan
S. Korea
Sri Lanka
Bolivia
Costa Rica
Saudi Arabia
Ecuador
Myanmar
Lithuania
Panama
Paraguay
Slovenia
Venezuela
Palestine
Kuwait
Dominican Republic
Uruguay
Mongolia
Ethiopia
Libya
Honduras
Egypt
Moldova
Norway
Armenia
Oman
Bosnia & Herzegov.
Australia
Bahrain
Singapore
Kenya
Latvia
Qatar
Estonia
Nigeria
Finland
Zambia
North Macedonia
Algeria
Botswana
Albania
Zimbabwe
Uzbekistan
Kyrgyzstan
Mozambique
Montenegro
Afghanistan
Cyprus
Namibia
Ghana
Uganda
El Salvador
Cambodia
Cameroon
Rwanda
Laos
China
Luxembourg
Maldives
Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobago
Senegal
Réunion
DRC
Malawi
Angola
Eswatini
Ivory Coast
Guadeloupe
Fiji
Suriname
Syria
Martinique
Madagascar
French Guiana
French Polynesia
Sudan
Malta
Mauritania
Guyana
Cabo Verde
Gabon
Papua New Guinea
Belize
Guinea
Barbados
Togo
Tanzania
Lesotho
Haiti
Benin
Seychelles
Burundi
Somalia
Bahamas
Channel Islands
Mauritius
Iceland
Andorra
Mayotte
Timor-Leste
Mali
Congo
Curaçao
Nicaragua
Aruba
Tajikistan
Burkina Faso
Taiwan
Brunei
South Sudan
New Zealand
Equatorial Guinea
Djibouti
Isle of Man
Saint Lucia
New Caledonia
Hong Kong
CAR
Yemen
Gambia
Cayman Islands
Gibraltar
Eritrea
Niger
San Marino
Sierra Leone
Dominica
Guinea-Bissau
Bermuda
Grenada
Liberia
Liechtenstein
St. Vinc. Grenadines
Chad
Comoros
Faeroe Islands
Sint Maarten
Monaco
Antigua & Barbuda
Saint Martin
S. Tome & Principe
Carib. Netherlands
Turks and Caicos
British Virgin Islands
St. Kitts & Nevis
Bhutan
Greenland
Anguilla
St. Barth
Diamond Princess
Wallis and Futuna
St. Pierre Miquelon
Falkland Islands
Macao
Montserrat
Vatican City
Solomon Islands
Western Sahara
MS Zaandam
Palau
Vanuatu
Marshall Islands
Samoa
Saint Helena
Micronesia
Tonga

Cases

52,788,451
34,772,657
22,226,573
11,767,262
10,343,353
9,247,606
8,889,636
6,954,549
6,179,817
5,718,007
5,517,054
5,428,957
5,115,194
4,261,412
4,032,796
3,943,764
3,637,038
3,374,262
3,028,137
2,838,032
2,731,713
2,442,600
2,271,549
2,204,672
2,091,834
2,030,878
1,945,754
1,801,081
1,796,232
1,730,905
1,604,712
1,582,368
1,361,886
1,292,728
1,287,202
1,273,313
1,260,751
1,253,094
1,237,330
1,221,424
1,056,583
1,047,953
985,016
964,406
954,199
920,617
826,901
824,172
746,557
732,106
722,123
707,123
691,072
686,590
680,375
665,142
624,866
613,059
596,209
582,149
570,876
568,860
551,749
538,218
529,114
509,497
485,512
465,028
454,298
442,757
437,326
414,591
412,685
406,127
388,063
386,164
384,005
379,073
378,843
373,752
367,866
344,261
304,984
286,792
282,584
279,056
277,042
274,645
270,158
247,269
235,668
233,353
230,392
225,260
222,333
215,723
208,994
206,935
201,344
197,918
184,395
167,307
161,944
157,887
148,663
142,270
134,555
131,981
121,741
120,440
108,451
103,170
101,865
100,731
98,440
94,444
92,279
87,980
74,256
71,795
70,059
68,470
68,362
63,440
62,960
56,035
52,815
51,542
49,961
47,300
47,295
47,129
46,376
46,100
44,761
40,308
38,998
38,751
38,039
36,110
31,444
30,938
27,486
27,405
26,483
26,004
25,945
24,935
24,047
23,657
23,532
23,380
23,188
23,077
22,087
21,571
21,288
19,833
19,758
19,490
18,299
17,442
17,165
17,095
17,040
16,873
15,429
14,275
13,719
13,623
13,555
13,401
13,248
12,581
12,556
11,961
10,105
10,087
8,386
8,014
7,829
7,242
7,160
6,610
6,520
6,458
6,014
5,948
5,929
5,854
5,810
5,701
5,336
5,039
4,748
4,606
4,216
4,008
3,741
3,245
3,219
3,016
2,815
2,659
2,249
1,629
1,621
712
454
98
83
77
45
27
20
10
9
8
7
4
3
2
1
1

Deaths

834,455
479,133
618,228
147,720
302,269
81,125
122,295
110,636
131,262
89,019
136,245
116,979
129,640
144,047
94,041
298,508
94,432
90,662
20,621
51,050
31,265
35,640
202,424
21,528
24,108
28,110
30,131
58,463
38,954
18,386
30,531
28,054
8,241
28,898
12,518
15,229
13,617
18,840
38,307
12,128
20,198
12,372
12,960
8,317
14,823
13,367
11,582
16,290
2,154
30,436
25,509
8,996
5,466
12,179
5,890
3,173
16,089
8,257
5,071
14,832
19,496
7,343
8,868
33,624
19,242
7,249
7,406
16,596
5,529
5,310
4,616
2,467
4,228
6,159
2,053
6,885
5,635
10,430
21,510
9,575
1,257
7,939
4,113
13,243
2,182
1,394
820
5,356
4,489
614
1,907
2,991
1,504
3,688
7,868
6,213
2,427
3,181
4,855
1,475
2,790
1,961
2,385
7,348
625
3,597
1,269
3,274
3,815
3,007
1,851
1,345
288
4,636
907
261
2,461
2,681
1,890
401
1,126
2,319
1,743
1,269
707
750
697
1,186
2,863
769
996
337
636
3,298
473
860
1,042
351
286
589
592
389
259
246
734
665
765
161
131
38
1,333
713
112
762
37
139
185
122
652
367
186
211
181
124
317
850
98
135
49
175
189
67
295
280
213
101
1,981
342
11
100
72
273
96
123
44
149
106
200
287
69
79
181
153
13
75
38
118
56
57
22
26
39
28
3
0
5
6
13
7
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0

Last update: December 24, 2021 (11:38 GMT)

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