As the novel coronavirus is still spreading around the world that keeps peoples’ businesses shuttered, it is something to be feared. COVID-19 could be about 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu. While this being deadly, it is thought to be about as contagious as the seasonal flu with one person infecting another 2 or 3. But, it is a virus that has never been seen in humans, so absolutely no one is immune to it. That added to the fact that it spreads as easily from person to person as influenza, and infects the upper respiratory system, is what makes it so dangerous. Plus there is no certain vaccine yet.
The COVID-19 is found in the upper airway including the nose and mouth. The infection can spread through coughs, sneezes, and likely even loud talking. COVID-19 can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms or before their symptoms start. Everyone can limit their exposure by staying home as much as possible.
COVID-19 is stickier than SARS-1
SARS was identified in 2003. It is thought to be an animal virus that spread to other animals. The virus that causes COVID-19 is similar to SARS. It is officially called SARS-CoV-2 and attaches to the same receptors as SARS-1. COVID-19 is stickier that allows the virus to enter cells more quickly. It also gets a firmer grasp and begins to spread more quickly throughout the body. The virus also attacks the lower respiratory tract where it can lead to pneumonia.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
People infected with the virus may have a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
When to seek emergency care?
If someone shows any of these signs seek emergency medical care right away:
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Trouble breathing
- Bluish lips or face
- Inability to wake or stay awake
What to do if you have been in close contact with a person infected?
If you had close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, self-quarantine and monitors your symptoms for 14 days after your last contact.
- Get tested
Contact your healthcare provider to ask about getting tested because of your exposure. If you tested negative, you will still need to complete the 14-day quarantines before being around with other people.
- Stay at home and stay away from others
Avoid contact with others to avoid spreading the infection. Do not go to work/school or take public transportations if possible.
- Monitor your health
Take your temperature two times a day and for fever. Watch for other signs and symptoms also.
If you start to feel sick, you should not go outside and call for emergency medical help right away.
Close contact may include:
- Living with a person who has COVID-19
- Providing care for a person who has COVID-19
- Being within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
- Having exposure to respiratory secretions