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 (25/06)

Cases: 9,560,816
Deaths: 485,622 (9 percent)
Recovered: 5,200,697 (91 percent)

Country

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

Cases

2,463,438
1,193,609
613,994
474,585
306,862
294,166
264,689
254,416
239,410
215,096
196,847
193,281
192,970
191,657
167,267
161,348
126,606
111,796
102,242
91,838
83,449
77,113
62,324
61,007
60,382
59,561
51,643
50,187
49,851
49,804
46,563
42,788
42,736
40,415
40,008
36,702
34,902
33,119
33,069
31,428
30,175
28,631
28,030
27,487
25,396
25,286
23,570
22,488
22,139
22,020
19,285
18,024
17,477
15,078
15,013
14,819
14,571
14,305
13,235
12,615
12,592
12,563
12,248
11,279
11,162
10,780
8,889
8,788
8,600
8,164
7,558
7,172
6,990
6,233
6,213
5,630
5,445
5,429
5,336
5,206
5,174
5,034
4,956
4,630
4,366
4,242
4,140
4,123
3,954
3,676
3,519
3,310
3,158
3,099
2,835
2,827
2,515
2,483
2,467
2,319
2,261
2,192
2,170
2,007
2,005
1,984
1,942
1,829
1,824
1,806
1,664
1,644
1,630
1,556
1,547
1,528
1,519
1,497
1,362
1,354
1,194
1,160
1,111
1,087
1,071
1,051
1,017
1,015
999
991
941
934
917
902
860
855
830
805
762
712
710
698
690
678
670
668
662
583
571
530
509
508
447
389
357
352
341
336
293
265
242
236
216
209
197
196
187
176
174
146
144
144
141
130
123
104
102
101
97
92
90
82
77
70
65
60
45
42
42
29
24
23
23
23
21
19
19
18
18
17
15
15
13
13
12
11
11
10
10
9
8
7
6
3
1

Deaths

124,294
53,895
8,605
14,915
43,081
28,327
8,586
4,731
34,644
10,130
24,324
9,003
3,903
5,025
1,387
29,731
1,621
2,205
8,484
106
4,634
2,491
5,209
9,726
367
2,450
4,274
2,620
1,116
6,097
308
339
26
1,549
1,067
1,330
144
1,412
1,212
1,958
675
691
547
876
1,726
1,565
69
397
308
542
136
963
698
502
95
601
417
174
263
603
313
282
869
216
26
344
548
249
121
58
104
327
19
94
142
52
259
92
126
130
29
78
39
52
38
209
110
577
43
173
116
190
58
38
90
9
12
107
32
85
8
48
74
11
112
69
36
16
10
78
32
33
28
19
109
13
22
18
3
55
7
50
30
37
9
67
14
274
8
19
11
53
14
26
74
52
2
0
5
13
13
42
7
10
18
9
34
14
47
6
21
1
7
9
10
0
10
24
6
7
7
14
0
12
10
1
0
0
14
9
1
0
3
0
8
11
4
3
7
1
0
1
15
0
3
0
0
3
2
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
2
1
0
0
0
0

Last update: June 25, 2020 (12:05 GMT)

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