What is Covid-19?
It is caused by a member of the coronavirus family who has never been seen before. Like other coronaviruses, it comes from 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 contract Covid-19 suffer from a mild case – about as severe as an ordinary 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 like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, or chronic respiratory conditions are at increased risk for serious Covid-19-related illness.
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has identified the specific symptoms to look for as either:
- high temperature – you feel warm to the touch on your chest or back
- another cough continues – this means that you have started coughing several times
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 cough?
Medical advice varies around the world – many countries impose travel and residence bans to try to prevent the spread of the virus. In many places, people are told to stay at home rather than seeing a hospital doctor in person. Check with your local authorities.
In the UK, the NHS 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.
How many people have been affected?
The National Health Commission of China confirmed human-to-human transmission in January. As of March 31, more than one million people have been infected in more than 170 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
There have been more than 50,000 deaths worldwide. Just over 3,200 of these deaths occurred in mainland China. Italy was the most affected, with more than 13,900 dead and more than 10,000 dead in Spain. The United States now has more confirmed cases than any other country – more than 245,000. Many of those who died had underlying health conditions, which the coronavirus complicated.
More … than 210,000 people have recovered coronavirus.