Coronavirus: What is it?

Coronavirus: What is it?

A group of coronaviruses can make people sick with respiratory conditions. Because the virus’s surface is covered in spikes that resemble crowns, they are known as “corona.” Examples of coronaviruses that affect people include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory disease (MERS), and the common cold.

SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus strain, was initially discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, it has spread to every nation on earth.

What is the origin of coronaviruses?

Bats, cats, and camels are frequently the hosts of coronaviruses. The viruses exist in the animals but do not infect them. These viruses can occasionally spread to affect several animal species. As they spread to other species, viruses have the potential to evolve (mutate). The virus eventually can spread from animals to the human species. The initial SARS-CoV-19 infections are believed to have occurred in a food market that sold meat, fish, and live animals.

How may one obtain COVID-19?

SARS-CoV-2, often called COVID-19, enters the body by the mouth, nose, or eyes (directly from the airborne droplets or from the transfer of the virus from your hands to your face). It then travels to the mucous membrane at the back of your throat and the back of your nasal passages. After attaching to those cells, it begins to increase before invading lung tissue. From there, the virus might spread to other bodily tissues.

How can the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus travel from one person to another?

Most likely, coronavirus will spread:

  • The virus is transferred through respiratory droplets thrown into the air when an infected person is close to you and coughs, sneezes, talks, sings, or breathes. These droplets could contaminate you if you inhale them.
  • Coronavirus can also spread by handshaking or close contact with an infected individual before touching your face.

How long is the COVID-19 infection contagious?

Even though it may take you a few days to experience symptoms if you have COVID-19, you are still contagious throughout this period. Ten days following the onset of your symptoms, you are no longer contagious.

The greatest strategy to stop others from contracting COVID-19 is to:

  • Aim to keep your distance of 6 feet from other people.
  • When around people, put on a cotton mask that covers your mouth and nose.
  • Regularly wash your hands. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap is unavailable.
  • Do not enter busy indoor areas. Open windows to let in as much fresh air as you can.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms that could be COVID-19 or if the COVID-19 test results in a positive result, isolate yourself at home.
  • Surfaces that are touched frequently need to be cleaned and sanitized.

Who is most susceptible to COVID-19?

The following groups of people are most at risk of developing COVID-19:

  • Reside in a region where the spread is still active or have just visited one.
  • Having, in a proven or suspected case as determined by a lab, had close contact with someone infected with the COVID-19 virus. Close contact is spending 15 minutes or more close to an infected person over 24 hours.
  • They are older than 60 and have compromised immune systems or pre-existing medical issues.

How soon after contracting SARS-CoV-2 will I start to experience COVID-19 symptoms?

The incubation period (the interval between becoming infected and exhibiting symptoms) can last between two and 14 days. Five days on the average pass before symptoms appear. The degree of the symptoms might range from extremely minor to severe. About 80% of persons with COVID-19 only experience minor symptoms, though this may alter when more variants are discovered.

Can I get COVID-19 again if I recover from a case of it?

Three months after your previous positive test, you are believed to have contracted SARS-CoV-2 again. Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 before the omicron version was uncommon but not impossible.

In November 2021, Omicron (B.1.1.529) was initially discovered in South Africa and immediately spread worldwide. Omicron could avoid immune systems thanks to several mutations, and we had more reinfections than ever before.

Reinfection is still a possibility because the virus that causes COVID-19 is continually evolving. The best defense against serious disease is vaccination, including a booster dose.