Corona viruses are a group of related viruses that infect mammals and birds.
In humans, such as the common cold, SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 can cause illnesses that can range from mild to lethal. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they may cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they may cause diarrhea. There are as yet no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections. There are some methods to help treat patients who are in hospital.
Why are we asked to wash our hand, do not touch your face and to keep away from other people?
In simple terms the virus needs to get into your mouth, or your nose, or your mouth. Once inside it begins to double and each new one doubles and so on until there are millions of them. Very soon some of these corona viruses escape when you cough or sneeze and even when you talk or shout, We explain more about this below. At the same time the virus gets into your lungs as you breathe in. The virus also floats in the air and eventually fall down or hits a wall, or you, or another person or just falls on the floor. When we are outside our house everything we touch may have germs and viruses or just dirt and all of us have a habit of touching our face. We have been touching our face ever since we were born. without thinking or knowing (until now) you have been picking up germs, dirt and viruses and putting them on our face or in our nose or in our mouth. Example: your hands are infected and you start to eat an ice cream cone and also eat the cone.
HOW DOES COVID-19 INFECT YOU?
Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens – which means that they can only reproduce within a living host cell.
COVID-19 is one of the corona viruses and is new to humans – there is currently no herd immunity in the human population and the virus can spread quickly from person to person. Infection can occur a few ways. The primary way it can get in easily is when you breathe in viral particles through your nose or your mouth. It can also get in through your eyes (the tear duct will carry the virus when it drains into your mouth). The virus may also enter through your nose, mouth or eyes if they are touched with anything covered with the virus.
When someone is infected by COVID 19 it starts to live in their nose and the upper tube connecting to your lungs. It starts there but symptoms will not appear for at least 5 days. Some people do not develop symptoms at all; however, they are still infectious without symptoms.
When infected people cough or sneeze, the corona viruses travels through the air like a big cloud and it can stay there for a long time. It may also land on any nearby surfaces. Some virus is also released through breathing.
If you are in this cloud or walk into it you can breathe in any virus that is there.
This is why keeping at least 1.5m distance from other people is important.
Face protection helps prevent breathing in airborne viruses. However, the outside of the face protection will still have the virus on it if you have come into contact with it.
NOTE: If somebody coughs near you, stop breathing, close your eyes and turn around, then open your eyes and walk away at least 10 metres or leave the area (outside or into another room behind a door.) DO NOT WASTE TIME TO TALK TO THE PERSON. If you need to cough or sneeze, make sure you are away from other people and cough/sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. Discard the tissue if used, and wash your hands as soon as you can (immediately if possible).
Do not stand face to face in a crowded area
If you touch any surface that the virus is on, it will be transferred onto you. For example, if you pick up something that has the corona viruses on it, your hands will have the virus stuck to them. Then if you touch your face without washing your hands properly, especially your mouth, nose or eyes you may allow the virus to get in.
Also, if you are infected (even if you have no symptoms – i.e. you do not feel sick) and touch your mouth or nose, then touch something, you may transfer virus onto that surface which can infect someone else.
By now you should understand why everyone needs to keep away from other people and to not touch our face. This protects you from being infected, but also prevents you from infecting others.
NOTE: This is hard to do because we all touch our face without thinking about it.
HOW LONG DOES THE VIRUS SURVIVE ON SURFACES?
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that they may persist on surfaces for a few hours and up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment) They live longer in your refrigerator because the conditions there are favourable to viruses.
The Coronavirus is just 0.1 micrometre (micron). It is 5 times smaller than bacteria. A sheet of printer paper is about 70 microns thick (which is equal to 700 viruses).
You must use a mask that is made correctly. That is, it will cover your mouth and nose and the filter is small enough to remove all viruses and provide you with clean air. Homemade masks and some others might not filter all viruses; however, they will offer some protection from larger droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes – both by preventing you from breathing in any, and by catching any droplets produced when you cough or sneeze.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
There are hundreds of different infections of our respiratory system and illnesses generally fall into two categories:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Lower respiratory tract infections.
The new virus COVID-19 appears to be a different because it can eventually lead to lung infections (lower respiratory illnesses, like pneumonia), the virus starts replicating in the upper respiratory tract, even before the person has any symptoms or just begins to feel sick.
It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, but some people will get them much later, or never.
This means that even if there are no visual symptoms the virus in the nose and upper respiratory tract can come out by a cough or sneeze or just breathing out and at the same time can be taken into the lungs while breathing in.
When COVID-19 first arrived, they found its symptoms were similar to the old list of symptoms of other coronavirus, that is a dry cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.
Medical and scientific people are working very hard to list all of the symptoms of this new virus and we now know more, after research has been done.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
This is what we know so far with symptoms comparisons
|Fever (*cold, hot or shivering cold)||Common||Rare||Common||Sometimes|
|Shortness of breath||Common||No||No||Common|
|Aches & Pains||Sometimes||Common||Common||No|
|*Loss of taster or smell||Sometimes|
From the above chart we can see that a runny nose and a sore throat are typical signs of an upper respiratory tract infection therefore, if you have bouts of sneezing and get the sniffles you are more likely have the flu or an allergy or a common cold.
The two main symptoms are a fever, or a dry cough, which will lead to breathing problems.
The cough to look out for is a new, continuous cough with nothing to cough up. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If this happens and you also have a high temperature and you also have a trouble breathing you need to get medical help because these three combines to reduce the amount of oxygen in your body.
CAN YOU BE INFECTED BY PEOPLE WITH NO SYMPTOMS?
People have many viruses in their bodies before they have any symptoms
Respiratory illnesses generally fall into two categories: upper respiratory infections in the nose, pharynx, or larynx, like the common cold and seasonal influenza; and which infect the lungs.
The new virus COVID-19 appears to be a different: While it also can eventually lead to lung infections (lower respiratory illnesses, like pneumonia), the virus starts replicating in the upper respiratory tract, even when people don’t have any symptoms or just begin to feel sick.
This means that even if there are no symptoms the virus in the nose and upper respiratory tract can come with the breathing out of air and can be taken into the lungs while breathing in.
IS THERE ANY CURE FOR COVID-19?
There’s no cure yet but specific treatments for coronavirus (COVID-19) helps to relieve the symptoms until you recover. Simple measures like do not touch your face or eyes and washing your hands with soap and water can help stop viruses like coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading.
Worldwide many laboratories are working on finding a cure and some drugs are already helping.