All you need to know about novel corona virus – COVID-19
A-Z about COVID-19
1.What is corona virus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.
Seven strains of human coronaviruses are known:
- Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)
- Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43)
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
- Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63, New Haven coronavirus)
- Human coronavirus HKU1
- Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), previously known as novel coronavirus 2012 and HCoV-EMC
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously known as 2019-nCoV or “novel coronavirus 2019”
The coronaviruses HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1 continually circulate in the human population and cause respiratory infections in adults and children world-wide.
2. What is name name of virus and disease caused by novel corona virus?
severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
WHO announced “COVID-19” as the name of this new disease on 11 February 2020.
To avoid fear using name SARS, WHO uses name “the virus responsible for COVID-19” or “the COVID-19 virus” when communicating with the public
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
3. What is the source of the virus? How does it spread?
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market. The virus has a 96% similarity to a bat coronavirus, so it is widely suspected to originate from bats as well.
But the virus is now spreading from person-to-person through small droplets (droplet transmission) from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
From what experts know so far, COVID-19 seems to spread most easily when people are showing symptoms. It is possible to spread it without having symptoms, too, but experts don’t know how often this happens.
Airborne transmission, distinct from droplet infection, is characterized by viruses that drift through the air. It is unclear if airborne transmission occurs with COVID-19 infection. The possibility of airborne transmission requires the use of additional protective measures, including N95 masks.
4. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
5. Who should be tested for COVID-19?
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area – including Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, Germany, UAE etc, you should stay at home & call your health care provider.
6. What is incubation period of COVID-19?
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease.
The incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days, with an estimated median incubation period of five to six days, according to the WHO.
7. What is the mortality rate for COVID-19?
2-3% (which is lesser compared to SARS), more in elderly and immunocompromised patients.
8. How to protect yourself from COVID-19?
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue (rather than hands) when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of
viruses and other infections.
Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
9. Are there any medicines to prevent it?
While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.
10. Who should wear facemask?
WHO & CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.
11. Which mask should I wear? How to put on face mask?
Simple three layere mask is sufficient. N-95 mask is required only when Aerosol-generating procedures like tracheal intubation, noninvasive ventilation, tracheotomy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, manual ventilation before intubation, and bronchoscopy.
Nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal specimen collection is not considered an aerosol-generating procedure.
A medical mask, if properly worn, will be effective for 8 hours. If it gets wet in between, it needs to be changed immediately.
- Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
- Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
- Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
- Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
- Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
- After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
- Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
- Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.
11. How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
12. Is it safe to receive product/parcel from china/affected country?
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
13. What is the duration for qurantine?
14. What is pandemic and why COVID-19 declared as pandemic?
A pandemic (from Greek pan “all” and demos “people”) is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide. A pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic.
Once a pandemic is declared, it becomes more likely that community spread will eventually happen, and governments and health systems need to ensure they are prepared for that.
An epidemic, on the other hand, is a sudden increase in cases of an illness or disease that can be unique to one country or community.
COVID-19 is recognised as a pandemic by the WHO on 11 March 2020.
As of 15 March, over 160,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in around 140 countries and territories; more than 6,000 people have died from the disease and around 75,000 have recovered. Regions affected by major outbreaks include mainland China, Europe, Iran, South Korea, and the United States. On 13 March 2020, the WHO stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.
Other notable pandemics include the 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) and the 2009 flu pandemic (H1N1). Apart from COVID-19, HIV-AIDS is also currently a pandemic, with infection rates as high as 25% in southern and eastern Africa.