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

March 3, 2020 | Environment
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 (26/10)

Cases: 43,477,706
Deaths: 1,160,840 (4 percent)
Recovered: 31,972,252 (96 percent)

Country

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

Cases

8,897,114
7,913,073
5,394,128
1,531,224
1,138,507
1,110,372
1,090,589
1,015,885
891,160
888,715
873,800
715,868
574,856
525,782
503,598
455,398
441,861
400,251
392,934
371,630
361,801
348,924
345,232
328,602
321,031
310,254
301,597
263,929
258,097
216,955
212,492
197,481
161,635
159,830
140,853
131,432
129,200
126,234
124,527
122,317
121,133
121,093
113,354
110,594
110,542
106,540
104,894
103,088
97,074
93,707
93,343
93,214
89,565
85,810
83,267
80,255
78,810
71,503
71,390
65,577
61,992
61,563
59,594
57,973
57,223
57,128
56,170
56,143
55,055
52,399
50,952
50,486
49,997
47,690
46,200
45,155
41,596
40,937
40,356
39,827
37,889
37,208
32,925
30,782
30,303
27,805
27,528
26,954
25,955
24,080
21,570
20,470
19,157
17,909
16,968
16,797
16,200
15,565
14,970
14,204
13,742
12,660
11,986
11,635
11,557
11,505
11,174
10,949
10,819
10,376
9,381
9,026
8,919
8,749
8,396
8,276
8,152
7,664
7,329
6,595
6,410
5,923
5,890
5,859
5,854
5,578
5,541
5,511
5,434
5,408
5,304
5,253
5,170
5,149
5,079
5,066
4,862
4,757
4,504
4,428
4,420
4,321
4,038
4,023
3,941
3,743
3,660
3,545
3,490
3,145
2,883
2,851
2,557
2,451
2,403
2,346
2,257
2,200
2,060
1,940
1,940
1,437
1,393
1,215
1,169
940
858
819
796
784
712
701
670
588
557
550
538
517
509
490
461
435
402
348
342
339
306
287
239
227
190
153
150
148
124
77
73
71
54
46
38
33
29
28
27
27
24
19
17
16
13
13
10
9
4
3
1

Deaths

230,542
119,085
157,163
26,269
34,761
34,752
28,896
30,154
88,924
34,149
44,896
18,968
32,953
37,338
14,003
10,671
10,154
5,818
13,411
7,039
9,799
6,464
5,313
6,739
10,810
2,404
7,072
4,483
2,201
9,952
6,470
3,301
12,553
862
8,645
230
2,633
480
2,223
749
2,343
2,090
1,190
5,933
1,796
6,199
3,651
1,282
1,718
961
1,426
2,623
773
4,634
992
315
1,196
1,685
565
552
1,130
1,472
1,309
28
801
1,882
1,134
1,914
624
983
454
679
920
316
1,122
165
1,104
1,518
702
793
1,094
452
953
574
215
236
905
919
457
251
425
122
477
279
244
266
348
322
354
145
837
133
86
71
101
37
305
136
81
69
268
232
54
192
94
237
16
163
115
128
132
21
183
20
116
53
61
105
155
269
105
92
109
20
83
34
62
60
11
73
36
44
69
119
104
59
119
25
132
50
56
53
41
65
41
74
24
52
599
43
25
96
82
69
35
15
1
42
48
22
13
6
0
7
1
7
8
7
21
0
0
10
1
24
0
0
2
0
1
7
9
0
3
3
3
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
2
0
0
0

Last update: October 26, 2020 (15:25 GMT)

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