BACKGROUND: Corona viruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel corona virus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. . It was named as COVID-19 by WHO and the virus as SARS-CoV-2.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from cats to humans and MERS-CoV from camels to humans. Several known Coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
As Covid-19 is a new virus, experts are still working to understand it.
However, health officials say the most common symptoms of coronavirus infection usually include:
1. A dry cough
2. A high temperature
3. Shortness of breath
4. Muscle pain
Some people will not develop all of these symptoms – and some might not even show symptoms at all, experts say.
Around one out of every six who gets Covid-19 become seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing, according to the WHO.
Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are at most risk developing serious illness.
This can include pneumonia and swelling in the lungs, which can make it hard for the lungs to pass oxygen into the bloodstream – leading to organ failure and death.
Severe pneumonia can kill people by causing them to “drown” in the fluid flooding their lungs.
People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention, the WHO says.
How can I protect myself?
The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene, health experts say.
In order to reduce your risk of infection, you should:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
• Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Social distancing
• Stay home
• Use mask while steeping out
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.
You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.