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 (15/02/2021)

Cases: 109,467,458
Deaths: 2,413,029 (3 percent)
Recovered: 81,558,825 (97 percent)

Country

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

Cases

28,262,656
10,919,616
9,834,513
4,086,090
4,038,078
3,465,163
3,056,035
2,721,879
2,586,183
2,342,198
2,195,039
2,025,798
1,992,794
1,591,497
1,526,023
1,491,807
1,273,475
1,235,298
1,223,930
1,090,860
1,029,284
825,785
785,756
776,209
763,294
738,631
727,485
646,650
608,411
564,077
550,860
543,207
541,038
478,474
434,712
422,210
415,782
388,799
373,046
351,895
349,562
339,129
332,179
278,254
272,840
269,787
267,223
266,445
265,722
237,725
236,732
232,123
229,768
229,679
223,244
209,582
204,799
202,573
199,187
190,937
179,726
177,701
173,813
172,128
170,549
169,255
168,444
167,279
160,171
158,132
147,092
146,184
144,042
141,601
137,592
133,218
127,705
126,139
112,742
110,711
103,014
97,101
93,075
89,772
85,516
83,869
79,442
76,984
75,965
75,836
70,248
68,921
66,666
59,809
57,428
55,518
52,884
52,827
50,662
50,265
48,909
40,055
38,289
35,952
35,172
32,513
32,098
31,275
31,140
29,035
28,900
27,820
24,926
24,714
24,295
20,366
19,945
19,598
19,035
18,263
17,828
17,343
16,974
16,535
16,456
14,967
14,863
14,741
13,535
13,308
12,577
12,145
12,143
11,588
10,907
10,789
10,503
9,965
9,351
8,803
8,419
8,311
8,231
8,229
7,642
7,413
6,553
6,347
6,039
5,971
5,874
5,694
5,413
5,183
4,996
4,695
4,650
4,560
4,414
4,223
3,999
3,821
3,645
3,334
3,317
2,924
2,539
2,519
2,429
2,383
2,336
2,269
2,145
2,061
1,998
1,956
1,892
1,873
1,824
1,760
1,482
1,418
1,408
937
914
866
712
694
657
595
509
479
455
436
427
416
360
184
148
121
114
102
56
53
52
48
45
41
30
27
24
20
18
18
10
9
9
4
3
1
1

Deaths

497,177
155,789
239,294
80,520
117,166
81,814
64,747
93,577
27,471
65,580
57,605
50,236
174,207
40,832
59,028
47,899
24,392
43,703
33,367
18,250
14,816
21,293
15,321
19,541
19,445
21,662
5,403
13,185
12,428
12,333
11,517
9,776
8,285
8,477
8,221
4,245
6,952
13,752
6,438
1,027
4,473
3,993
5,636
5,952
2,055
1,858
15,321
975
3,363
5,339
11,202
3,180
2,944
9,624
7,544
3,948
2,301
2,540
2,714
3,080
3,728
1,003
9,994
6,126
3,661
3,147
1,936
6,124
3,866
255
2,194
1,752
2,936
3,189
1,543
1,279
2,042
4,916
403
2,939
1,795
2,998
1,555
4,636
1,442
1,527
622
1,468
397
533
959
890
592
29
1,742
2,428
607
501
716
535
535
328
266
388
1,400
221
479
754
174
952
909
1,849
202
82
693
492
295
292
374
135
58
239
430
630
80
85
978
139
78
90
73
313
247
138
47
193
107
230
156
166
123
178
186
342
138
68
45
171
29
63
81
87
74
152
63
169
22
56
138
87
83
79
129
129
72
46
52
23
7
2
25
35
617
23
27
84
8
13
3
21
19
6
12
9
9
1
13
12
1
10
21
0
1
25
9
2
3
3
1
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0

Last update: February 15, 2021 (15:25 GMT)

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