COVID-19: The Coronavirus Disease 2019

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The Coronavirus 2019 is a strain of coronavirus that has not been identified. This virus is unlike the common coronavirus that circulates among humans. This does not cause light illnesses such as a common cold. The new strain of the coronavirus cause severe illness and may result in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The diagnosis of the previous coronavirus case is not the same as the COVID-19. It ranges from a common cold or flu-like symptoms to severe diseases such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. The 2019 strain of coronavirus started in the province of Wuhan, Hubei, China. In the period of 3 months, the virus becomes pandemic and spread in most country around the globe including the US.

Why the disease is called Coronavirus disease or COVID -19?

The virologist and other scientific individuals are the ones that do the naming of a certain virus. The purpose of naming the virus is for international concern. This is to be able to discuss the cure, preventive measure and even study on how it spreads. The name also determines the severity and treatment of the virus. The Coronavirus 2019 was first called as the “Novel Corona Virus”. “Novel” means new, this pinpoints the new strain of the virus. On February 22, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the final name of the virus. It is then called the COVID-19 or the coronavirus disease in 2019. Corona stands for a crown. It is because the microscopic structure or the appearance of the virus is like a crown.

How COVID-19 Spreads?

The main method of transmitting or acquiring the virus is through person to person contact. This spreads in close proximity, similar to other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu. It is through an infected person’s respiratory droplets that dispersed in the surfaces. This is also spread because of coughing or sneezing. This can infect those who pick or hold those object or surfaces and your face.

What are the symptoms of the COVID-19?

Most of the symptoms occur in 2 weeks after the exposure. That is why self-isolation is very important. The common symptoms of the COVID-19 are:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Headache

Inform your doctor in case there are mild or serious side effects especially to those who have a travel history from most infected places. Other early symptoms to watch for are:

  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Severe Muscle pain

How to Protect Yourself from the COVID-19?

There is no vaccine yet or any medicine for the COVID-19. This is why you have to be careful especially when you are in the outbreak area. In terms of protecting yourself, it has been widely known that proper handwashing can protect you from the virus. You also have to cover your nose or mouth when you are in public places. You also have to wear a facemask when you are in public places or if you are taking care of a sick person. Disinfect your place from time to time to kill viruses.

What will you do in case there is an outbreak due to COVID-19?

An outbreak means there are growing numbers of infected people in your area. To be able to avoid the plague or the pandemic you have to:

  • Stay at home and plane with your family members about the preventive measures
  • See to it that you have enough supply of medicine, food and other basic needs
  • Avoid going out if there is no emergency concern
  • Keep our children safe by teaching them the basic preventive measures
  • If your household has an elderly or has an underlying condition, you have to be extra careful
  • Let the elderly member of the family member that has underlying condition stay in a separate room with others. This is for them to avoid the possible spread of diseases
  • Stay connected to the new updates in magazines, social media or television.
  • Trust only those legitimate news portals or source and be aware of the circulating fake news.
  • Make sure that you have the contact list of the emergency hotlines such as hospitals and other healthcare providers
  • Have a room in your house for someone who might get sick or may show light symptoms of the Virus. In case of such a situation, inform your doctor right away or implement the self-quarantine period for 2 weeks

How will you protect others from the virus?

  • Wash your hands regularly especially if you been outside or any public places
  • In case there is no hand sanitizer or alcohol you can also dilute disinfecting bleach with water. You can also mist it around to be able to disinfect your house 
  • Cover your face or mouth when you sneeze, blow or cough
  • Avoid touching surfaces, your mouth, use and eyes with an unwashed hands
  • Distance yourself from others if you are sick and you must stay at home
  • If you experience most of the symptoms you have to go to emergency right away

Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

This is a period for isolation for someone who has arrived from somewhere or has been exposed to infectious diseases. The purpose of this is to stop the virus from spreading and infecting other people. This is also a period where you are isolated and you undergo treatment. The quarantine period shows the occurrence of the symptoms and how long the virus stays in your body. Quarantine is just a way to incubate the infected person and allowing the disease or virus to die

If you are in a quarantine unit, it does not mean that the virus is already weak. You can still spread it to others if you are not yet cured. The COVID-19 patient must be quarantined for a period of 2 weeks. In this period, the infected patient undergoes observation, treatment and proper care. Accomplish the entire quarantine duration and wait until you are being cleared from the virus.

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through food?

Coronavirus can only be spread through respiratory droplets. It is only from person to person. Currently, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. However, before preparing your foods, you have to clean your hands with soap and water. This is not only for food safety but also for general safety. The virus has poor survivability in surfaces which mean that there is a low risk of spreading it from foods.

Will warm temperature stop the outbreak of the COVID-19?

It is not yet known if the weather or the temperature has an impact on the spread of the virus. There are viral diseases that spread no matter what the temperature is. There is also no record that the COVID-19 virus dies on warm weather. The transmission and spread of this new strain of coronavirus are still under observation. Hence, the most common way of spreading this virus is through direct contact because of the respiratory droplets from an infected individual. It also has poor survivability on surfaces and other objects. However, you have to be careful and cautious.

What if you are at high risk of the virus?

You will be at risk of the virus if you do not practice the basic preventive measure. If you are high risk of the virus you can observe the following preventive measures:

  • Keep space between yourself and others especially if you go out in public places
  • Stay at home if there is already an outbreak in your community
  • Practice self-isolation if you have been exposed to infected people or in a community where there is an outbreak
  • Check your body temperature from time to time or watch for any symptoms
  • Take the recommendation and advice of your doctor seriously
  • Take a bath before going to bed especially if you are taking care of sick people
  • Always wear a facemask especially if you work in a hospital or other healthcare facilities

What will you do if you have close contact with someone who is infected by the COVID-19?

  • Inform your doctor right away and do the self-quarantine
  • Distance yourself from other people
  • You can wear a facemask and cover your mouth every time you sneeze and cough
  • Monitor yourself within 14 days and tell your doctor if symptoms are already occurring
  • Stay in a separate room in your house if you are doing a self-quarantine
  • Use separate utensils used for eating and even other things for hygiene
  • Wash your hands very often or every time you touch something
  • Do not allow visitors from coming especially if it is not important

How will people prevent or stop the COVID-19 stigma?

  • Listen to healthcare professionals

Health workers and other individuals in the front line against COVID-19 know what is best. They implement rules and preventive measure to be followed by the fellow citizen. Following the rules and preventive measures helps in stopping the stigma. It also gives light work to those who are in the battle against COVID-19.

  • Listen to instruction

You do not have to panic while believing the circulating fake new around you. Listen to instructions instead of reacting. Follow the advice from the authority and beware of fake news. You can empower people through words. Encourage your family members to support the front liners and inspire others as well.

  • Take responsibility

Small steps give a big impact in countering the spread of the virus. Stay calm and follow the rules, prohibition and implementation from the people in the authority. Spread the basic preventive steps to others through social media. Be part of the solution and not of the problem.  The COVID-19 is not just a problem for the health workers to defeat. It is a pandemic which requires the responsibility of every individual.

  • Start with a healthy lifestyle

The target of the COVID-19 is those that have weak immune system. Practice a healthy lifestyle to boost your immune system. Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Opt to load on the foods that are rich in vitamin C. You also have to stop your vices such as smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages.

Who are at high risk of the COVID-19?

Aside from being exposed to those infected people and living in the center of the outbreak, there are also other people who are at risk. These are the people who have underlying conditions and the elderly population. If you have a family member that has an existing medical condition you have to keep them safe. This is because it has been recorded that most of the affected patients are those that have underlying conditions and elderly whose immune system are weak. There are also no valid proofs that people with disability are a high risk of the virus. Be responsible enough to follow the guidelines. Promote lifesaving actions and spread it all over your community. People that are at high risk of the virus must stay at home.

COVID-19 and pregnant women

The data of COVID-19 to pregnant women are limited. However, at present, there is no record yet that pregnant women are the risk to the virus. Pregnant women must take care because there are cases that respiratory diseases affect the Fetus inside. The pregnant and breastfeeding woman must eat healthy foods to boost your immune system. A strong immune system can fight against free radicals and other diseases.

COVID-19 and children

Children do not appear to be at risk than the elderly population. Let them practice preventive measures such as handwashing habits. Avoid bringing your kids outside especially doing grocery shopping. Clean and disinfect your house especially on surfaces where your children are usually playing. You also have to implement a constant checking of body temperature. Notify your doctor right away if there are symptoms occurring to any member of your family.

COVID-19 and Animals

Animals and pets do not have high risk from the spread of the Coronavirus 2019. Although, they have different coronavirus it does not give a high risk in acquiring the COVID-19. Set boundaries from your pets. Stay away from your pets especially if you are showing symptoms of the COVID-19.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/how-to-help-fight-coronavirus-COVID-19/
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2020/03/17/fighting-against-the-stigma-of-covid-19
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/25/coronavirus-symptoms-what-are-they-should-i-call-doctor-covid-19
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it