COVID-19 Overview: Cause, Symptoms, and Prevention

The spread of Covid-19 has become a great threat to humanity. Fear of this pandemic impact has rocked nations with economies scaling down in large percentages. Worse is that nobody knows when this respiratory infection will retreat or when vaccines and treatments will be available for everyone to access. Earlier in December 2019, the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Wuhan, China. By early March 2020, at least every nation across the globe had reported a case of this respiratory infection. Currently, the virus has infected over 70 million people and caused the deaths of over 2 million people worldwide. Nations such as Italy, Spain, and the USA witnessed massive infections accounting for almost 50% of the two million.

What is Covid-19?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that causes respiratory illnesses to human beings. The virus is likened to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), other forms of coronaviruses that cause respiratory disorders. The origin of Covid-19 is traced to a food market in Wuhan. The exact animal origin of this illness has not been traced despite efforts to establish a lead to its cure. 

How does Covid-19 spread?

Covid-19 is majorly spread from person to person via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks around an uninfected person within a radius of six feet. The virus enters the body through the entire body opening: eyes, nasal passages, and mouth. The lesser model of spreading is airborne transmission. In this case, if an infected person coughs in a room with people and is poorly ventilated, the people are then likely to contract the virus. It can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces then directing the hands to the body openings.

After the virus has entered the body, it travels and settles on mucous membranes along the respiratory tracts. The virus on the nasal area moves to the throat cells, where it begins to replicate as it moves to the windpipe and lungs.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The symptoms of Covid-19 are not noticeable in the first two to three days of infection. The first symptom is usually a sore throat with a cough. Within the first two days, an infected person experiences high fever with night sweats, chills accompanied by occasional body shaking, rashes, and a severe headache. After 3 days, one begins to experience nausea, diarrhea, a loss of taste and smell, fatigue, and muscle aches. If the person does not seek attention within the first week of infection, the symptoms become severe. One experiences difficulty in breathing, discoloration of fingers and toenails, and excessive drowsiness. 

It is advisable that when one experiences the first symptoms, he should seek medical attention. The symptoms of the virus, such as high fever and sore throat, can be controlled when reported early.

Who is at the risk of contracting Covid-19?

Everyone is at the risk of contracting Covid-19. The only difference is that in some people, the symptoms are severe and could easily cause death. People with underlying conditions, especially diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, are at a higher risk since the existing infections compromise their immune systems. The next category consists of people over the age of 60. Older people have weak immune systems, which make them vulnerable to contracting the virus.

People who have traveled to places prone to the virus are at risk since they may have been in close contact with those who have the virus.

How can Covid-19 be controlled and prevented?

There is no cure for Covid-19. We can avoid contracting the virus by covering our nasal passages and mouths with masks. The N95 masks should be reserved for medical workers who operate within critical areas within laboratories and hospitals. When pressed by the urge to cough in public areas with people, we should cover our mouths with a handkerchief or tissue or cough covering our mouths with our elbows.

The most critical prevention aspect that all people should adhere to is washing hands after touching any surface before touching our faces. If water and soap are not always available, sanitizers with a high percentage of alcohol could be used. In public areas, people should maintain a social distance of at least 1.5 meters to avoid contact with people having the infection. Public gatherings should be avoided, and if they must be done, open-aired places should be used to avoid crowding.

Health Organizations have been working round the clock to find vaccines that may aid in the prevention of the virus. Meanwhile, patients under critical conditions are given remdesivir together with steroids to help them improve their conditions. Supplementary oxygen is required for those people in the Intensive Care Unit with difficulty in breathing complications. 

Stay at home!! If it is not necessary to leave the house, then stay indoors. This can also help to reduce transmission.