What is Covid-19?
It is caused by a member of the coronavirus family who has never been seen before. Like other coronaviruses, it has been transferred to humans by animals. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic.
What are the symptoms caused by this coronavirus?
According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, fatigue and a dry cough. Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, stuffy nose, and aches and pains or diarrhea. Some people report losing their taste and / or smell. About 80% of people who get Covid-19 have a mild case – about as severe as a common cold – and recover without needing special treatment.
According to the WHO, about one in six people fall seriously ill. Seniors and people with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, or chronic respiratory conditions are at higher risk for serious Covid-19 disease.
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has identified the specific symptoms to look for as either:
Since this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are useless. The antiviral drugs we have for the flu will not work and there is currently no vaccine. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system.
Should I go to the doctor if I have a temperature or a cough?
No. In the UK, the NHS now advises that anyone with symptoms stay at home for at least 7 days. If you live with other people, they must stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. This applies to everyone, whether they have traveled abroad or not.
In the UK, you should check the NHS 111 coronavirus website for more information. If your condition worsens or your symptoms last more than seven days, you should call NHS 111. People will no longer be tested for the virus unless they are hospitalized.
Many countries have imposed travel bans and lock-in conditions in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. You should check with your local authorities for the latest advice on seeking medical assistance.
How many people have been affected?
The National Health Commission of China confirmed human-to-human transmission in January.
As of April 6, more than 1.2 million people have been infected in 181 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
There have been more than 69,000 deaths worldwide. Just over 3,000 of these deaths occurred in mainland China, where the coronavirus was first registered in the city of Wuhan. Italy was the hardest hit, however, with more than 15,800 dead, and Spain killed more than 12,000. The United States now has more confirmed cases than any other country – more than 337,000. Many of those who died had underlying health conditions, which the coronavirus complicated.
More … than 262,000 people are said to have recovered coronavirus.
Why is it worse than normal flu and how worried are the experts?
We do not yet know how dangerous the new coronavirus is and we will not know until the data have arrived, but estimates of the mortality rate have varied from well below 1% in young to over 3% in the elderly. or have underlying health problems. Seasonal flu generally has a death rate of less than 1% and is said to cause around 400,000 deaths each year worldwide. Sars had a death rate of over 10%.
Another unknown key is the contagiousness of the coronavirus. A crucial difference is that, unlike the flu, there is no vaccine against the new coronavirus, which means that it is more difficult for vulnerable members of the population – the elderly or those with respiratory problems. or immune – to protect themselves. It is important to wash your hands and avoid other people if you feel unwell.
Were there other coronaviruses?
Both Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (SEA) are caused by animal-derived coronaviruses. In 2002, Sars spread virtually uncontrolled to 37 countries, causing worldwide panic, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750 people. Seas appears to be less easily transmitted from person to person, but has greater lethality, killing 35% of the approximately 2,500 people who have been infected.
- Due to the unprecedented and continuing nature of the coronavirus epidemic, this article is regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as of the date of publication. All major corrections to this version or to previous versions of the article will continue to be noted in accordance with Guardian editorial policy.