Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. The recently identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now as called COVID-19.
How does the new coronavirus spread?
As of now, researchers know that the new coronavirus is spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets generally do not travel more than a few feet, and they fall to the ground (or onto surfaces) in a few seconds — this is why social and physical distancing and wearing masks is effective in preventing the spread.
How did this new coronavirus spread to humans?
COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Although health officials are still tracing the exact source of this new coronavirus, early hypotheses thought it may be linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus. A study that came out on Jan. 25, 2020, notes that the individual with the first reported case became ill on Dec. 1, 2019, and had no link to the seafood market. Investigations are ongoing as to how this virus originated and spread.
What is the incubation period for COVID-19?
It appears that symptoms are showing up in people within 14 days of exposure to the virus.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Unexplained loss of taste or smell
In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure, or death.
If you have a fever or any kind of respiratory difficulties such as coughing or shortness of breath, call your doctor or a health care provider and explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, urgent care facility or emergency room.
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
Diagnosis may be difficult with only a physical exam because mild cases of COVID-19 may appear similar to the flu or a bad cold. A nasal or throat swab can be performed at our clinic and the test sent to a laboratory for confirmation.
How is COVID-19 treated?
As of now, there is not a specific treatment for the virus. People who become sick from COVID-19 should be treated with supportive measures: those that relieve symptoms. For severe cases, there may be additional options for treatment, including research drugs and therapeutics. At our clinic have recently begun administering a mega-dose vitamin infusion therapy which has yielded relief of certain symptoms for patients.
Does COVID-19 cause death?
As of April 07, over 73,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. However, over 270,000 people have recovered from the virus.
Is this coronavirus different from SARS?
SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome. In 2003, an outbreak of SARS started in China and spread to other countries before ending in 2004. The virus that causes COVID-19 is similar to the one that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak: both are types of coronaviruses. Much is still unknown, but COVID-19 seems to spread faster than the 2003 SARS and also may cause less severe illness.
How do you protect yourself from this coronavirus?
It’s crucial to practice good hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social and physical distancing.