A coronavirus is a common family of viruses that cause infection in the nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses aren’t dangerous. Mild coronavirus illnesses include the common cold (which has other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a novel strain of coronavirus, which was first discovered in China but has spread throughout much of the world, therefore it is referred to as a pandemic.
The symptoms of COVID-19 can be diverse, but are commonly flu-like with dry cough and fever, tiredness and often loss of taste and smell. Some are asymptomatic altogether; many only get mild cold symptoms without a fever, but others experience extreme flu symptoms, breathlessness and very few may need hospitalisation. Older people and those with underlying conditions/ morbidities are more likely to suffer from complications as a result of COVID-19.
The risk of the coronavirus spreading is very high. All people who have symptoms of respiratory infection, even mild ones, are urged to refrain from social contacts to minimize the spread of infection.
APPOTEK can help you with Coronavirus.
In early 2020, after a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of coronavirus. The outbreak quickly spread around the world.
Details about how the disease is spread are still being determined. The WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it is primarily spread during close contact and by small droplets produced when people cough, sneeze or talk; with close contact being within 1–3 m. Both sputum and saliva can carry large viral loads. Loud talking releases more droplets than normal talking.
The virus survives for hours to days on surfaces. Specifically, the virus was found to be detectable for one day on cardboard, for up to three days on plastic and stainless steel, and for up to four hours on copper.
COVID-19 can cause problems similar to the common cold or flu. The most common symptoms are:
In some cases, you may also have the following problems:
- loss of taste and smell
- muscle aches
- sore throat
- stomach upset with diarrhea
- respiratory disorders
Symptoms vary in order and intensity from case to case. Some people only cough, others have only fever and some get a combination of different flu-like symptoms.
The development of symptoms may also vary during the illness period. Therefore, it is important to be observant with early symptoms. A few people have severe lower respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and difficulty breathing.
Prevention and protection
COVID-19 spreads the same way other coronaviruses do, mainly through person-to-person contact. To prevent the spread:
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- wear a mask and gloves when in public places
- If you have a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Call in advance.
- Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Avoiding non-essential visits to medical facilities allows healthcare systems to operate more effectively, therefore protecting you and others.
The CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that those who suspect they carry the virus to wear a face mask.
Personal hygiene and a healthy lifestyle and diet are recommended to improve immunity. Supportive treatments may be useful in those with mild symptoms at the early stage of infection.
As there is as yet no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, patients are advised to self isolate at home whenever symptoms are manageable.
Most cases resolve within 10-14 days, much like a regular flu virus. If you can manage your symptoms at home, it is recommended to self isolate and rest, supporting the body’s immune system in fighting the virus by staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest and maintaining a healthy balanced diet.
If you have a high fever, paracetamol is recommended over Ibuprofen, as some studies have shown that anti-inflammatories may worsen the virus. But always follow the advice of your local health authority.
In the case of severe respiratory difficulties, hospital care may be required for C-19. This will take the form of supportive care, which may include fluid therapy, oxygen support, and supporting other affected vital organs.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used to address the issue of respiratory failure, but its benefits are still under consideration.
When to consult a doctor
If you have difficulty breathing, you should seek emergency care.
However in milder cases, it is not advised to go into clinics, due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19. If you need to speak to a doctor, call your local health authority or you can always call an APPOTEK doctor for medical assistance.
How APPOTEK can help
You can contact us at APPOTEK for assistance in assessing and diagnosing your symptoms. Our nurses and physicians are on call 24/7 to advise you and refer you to a hospital if necessary. But if you have trouble breathing you should contact emergency services.