COVID-19 is the first pandemic known to be caused by the emergence of a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses causing a range of illnesses from the common cold to more serious infections such as those caused by;

  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). 

Coronavirus can also cause a variety of diseases in farm animals and domesticated pets.

The change is rapid

People infected by the disease continue to change every single day. There are now 20 million people infected by the virus and almost 800 thousand deaths worldwide according to the latest statistics update. 

Strict measures are critical for slowing the spread of the disease

Flattening the curve. It means that there would be fewer patients during that period. The hospitals as well would be able to manage the demands of patients who are sick with COVID-19 and other illnesses. Meanwhile, communities have been ramping up contact tracer does not mean you have the disease. But, it may be a reason to self-isolate and get tested. 

The prevention of the infection is the key

There are a lot of things you can do to protect yourself and the people you interact with. People can easily get the virus when other people sneeze or cough or when touching a common surface and after going to the bathroom. Avoiding also other people who have flu-like symptoms are the best strategy you can do at this point. Still, studies have shown that a significant portion of people with coronavirus have no symptoms or have symptoms so mild they may go undetected. Even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, the longer than interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. 

The following are the preventive measure you need to take action:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap is not available, you may use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Stay at home if you feel ill. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. To cover your cough or sneeze, use a tissue. Dispose it in the trash properly after. 
  • Use a household wipe or spray to disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched. 
  • Create a household plan of action in case someone in your house gets sick with COVID-19. 
  • Plan visit with friends and family outdoors if possible. If you must visit them indoors, make sure that space can accommodate social distancing and make sure the space is well-ventilated. 
  • If you are going out in public, make sure to have your face mask and alcohol or hand sanitizer. 

Things to do if you feel ill 

The symptoms of COVID-19 can appear anywhere between 2-14 days after exposure and may include:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea 

You should call your doctor or call for medical help if you experience those symptoms especially if you have been in close contact with a person infected. Most people will have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Seek medical attention right away if you are at home and experience emergency warning signs.