COVID-19: How Deadly Is It and How Does It Spread?

COVID-19: How Deadly Is It and How Does It Spread?

Ever since December 2019, when the first case of coronavirus was reported, scientists all over the world are racing to understand the coronavirus disease, Covid-19. As of now, the number of infected cases is well over 200,000, with confirmed 8,000 plus deaths globally.

Currently, the confirmed cases are over ten times more than the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that infected over 8,000 people and claimed over 700 lives. The pandemic is slowly bringing the world to grinding halt with the number of cases in some places doubling weekly.

The World Health Organization is trying to avoid a repeat of the Spanish Flu that hit the world in 1918-1919. We all have the responsibility of taking precautions and preventing further spread of the disease by first arming yourself with the right information.

Coronavirus Facts

The coronavirus does not refer to a specific virus but is a term used to encapsulate certain viruses that attack mammals’ respiratory systems. Scientists have ascertained that the virus can infect pigs, birds, cattle, dogs, horses, rats, and cattle.

The virus’ halo-like projections or “crowns” that protrude from its surface are known as corona in Latin, hence the name coronavirus.

It is a zoonotic virus, which means that it can be spread between man and animals. Scientists were able to discover the zoonotic nature of this virus when cats infected with the SARS-CoV transmitted the virus to man. Also, the MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) was transmitted to man after interacting with infected camels.

The coronavirus is known to cause the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), pneumonia and can affect the digestive system. The interesting thing is that the coronavirus causes about 30% of the common colds.

How Deadly Is Covid-19?

Covid-19, as compared to other coronaviruses like SARS, is transmitted much faster in humans but seems to be less virulent thus far. Why coronavirus is deadly is because it spreads much faster, that is why social distancing is essential.

At the moment, the virus has caused severe respiratory disease in approximately 20% of the patients and has claimed roughly more than 3% of all the confirmed cases. However, the mortality rate is still lower than SARS, which claimed 9%.

People who have been known to be at risk thus far are the older people, and the ones who have other diseases or their immunity is compromised.

But it will be impossible to estimate the fatality rates at this moment because it still the early stages of the outbreak and will also depend on the medical care given to the patients.

How Does Covid-19 Spread?

Covid-19 is transmitted fast and through physical contact with someone who is carrying the virus even though someone is asymptomatic (showing no symptoms).

Primarily, the disease is spread through respiratory fluids secreted from infected people. Here are some of the ways the disease can be spread:

  • Inhaling droplets from someone who is coughing and sneezing without covering his or her mouth.
  • Coming into contact with someone who is infected without wearing the proper protective gear. Primarily through shaking hands and other forms of contact social greetings.
  • After you touch a surface that has the virus, then you touch your face without disinfecting your hands.

The Common Symptoms of Covid-19

The symptoms (in humans) of Covid-19 are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Consistent new cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sneezing

In severe cases:

  • Pneumonia
  • Multiple organ failure

According to the WHO, the incubation period between infection and symptoms range from 2 to 14 days. It is vital to know that there are people who are asymptomatic, which means that there will be people who do will not show any symptoms even though they have the virus.

Prevention

Some of the precautions that you can take are as follows:

  • Cultivate the habit of washing your hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Where soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, and nose) with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect and clean surfaces that people frequently touch.
  • Practice social distancing
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading the droplets that have the virus.
  • Stay at home when you are sick. Only leave when you are going to seek medical attention. Treatment

At the moment, there is no treatment or vaccine for Covid-19. Symptoms might go away on their own, but in severe cases, contact our doctor in Express ER (San Antonio) to get assistance. However, close to 80,000 have recovered from Covid-19.

Currently, healthcare that you will receive will help alleviate the symptoms like fever and the use of supportive care. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

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