COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by SARS and originating from the region of Wuhan, China. It originated in China but due to the extensive travelling back and forth from this country and the contagious nature of the virus, it has spread from China to nearly every part of the world. This has resulted in the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.
The disease is caused by the coronavirus or more accurately Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Coronavirus is a large family of viruses and its spread is zoonotic, which means it spreads from animals to human beings. This disease spread from a bat to a human; and by early January, it was spreading because of human-to-human contact.
How does the virus spread?
The virus is said to spread by close contact between the people and through respiratory droplets produced during coughing or sneezing. It can also spread through coming in contact with surfaces that a person with the virus touched with their mouth or eyes. The latter, however, is not how the virus mainly spreads but still carries its risks.
Those diagnosed with COVID-19 might be asymptomatic but a majority developed symptoms of flu including dry cough, shortness of breath, and fever. The lesser-seen symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The carrier may also develop pain in muscles or joints. The development of systems can take up to 14 days during which the carrier also risks spreading it to others.
As of right now, there are two main ways to test for COVID-19. The standard testing includes a nasopharyngeal swab or taking a sputum sample. The results become available either in a few or in around two days. The other method is taking a blood sample but they must be taken two weeks apart, but with the demand for immediate results, this falls short.
The COVID- 19 can affect people differently and the prevention for it is better than a cure. The safety precautions include avoiding large gatherings because it is spread through close physical contact. The vulnerable should be kept separate from the others in a house. Meetings should be conducted through videoconferencing; but if it's not possible to do so, then they must be conducted in open spaces. The surfaces that come in contact with people should be disinfected regularly. For commercial establishments, online transactions, booking and scheduling to stagger the influx of customers is an excellent precautionary measure.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic and seems to be worsening considering the number of infected has crossed 2500 in Italy alone by 18 March and increasing. More areas are reporting cases day by day and if necessary precautions are not taken to stop the virus and limit its spread than it will prove even more fatal than it has as of now. The efforts to create a vaccine are underway and until the vaccine is created, the most that public can do is try not to let it spread by exercising precaution to the best they can.