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While the human population across the world was forced to unlearn all the norms of socializing in a very swift and nonchalant manner, COVID-19 became every search engine's nightmare. Guilty? Relax, for you are not the only one who wants to know more about it.
In spite of the profound media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are still curious about the disease and its implications on our health. Since the virus is deadly and looks in the mood to spare none, it can't hurt to know more in the interest of safety. On that note, let's scoop out some of the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus pandemic.
1. What Is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus comes from a huge family of viruses that are accountable for causing flu or serious respiratory disorders such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
2. What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19, or popularly known as the novel coronavirus, is the most recently discovered coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. The highly contagious virus that evolved after a series of genetic mutations was previously unidentified in the human race.
3. What Are the Most Common Symptoms of COVID-19?
In the majority of the COVID-19 cases, the initial symptoms are similar to that of flu. They may experience mild fever, body ache, dry cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, etc.
What sets the coronavirus apart from the ordinary flu is that the symptoms may become elaborate after 4-5 days (case-specific). As such, there are relatively high chances of diarrhoea and severe acute respiratory disorders. In the most extreme cases, patients have experienced kidney failures and finally death.
4. Who Are the People More Likely to Succumb to the Coronavirus?
As per the report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 80% of people affected by COVID-19 can recover on their own without the aid of special treatment. The chances of developing a serious illness after contracting the virus are 1 out 6. The elderly and those battling an underlying medical condition such as blood pressure, kidney malfunctioning, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases should be extra cautious during the pandemic and seek medical help immediately after the first visible signs of the disease.
5. How Does the COVID-19 Infection Spread?
The COVID-19 infection spreads from one person to another when someone who has already contracted the disease coughs, sneezes, or exhales. A healthy person can be infected in many ways. This includes via the droplets from a patient's nose or mouth or by coming into contact with objects and surfaces that the patient may have touched.
Although the disease is transmitted through contact, the chances of its transmission through the air haven't been completely ruled out. Therefore, health practitioners across the globe are emphasizing social distancing and isolation.
6. Is There Any Treatment Available for COVID-19?
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 available currently, and the infected patients are solely at the mercy of supportive care. Antibiotics and other OTC medications have proved to be ineffective against the virus. The possibility of vaccination for the disease is still a beacon of hope in the distant horizon, and none of the countries have come up with a crisp finding on the same.
7. What Is the Incubation Period for the Novel Coronavirus?
A person exposed to the coronavirus may start developing the symptoms within a period of two to fourteen days. In most of the confirmed cases, the symptoms became quite pronounced in 5-6 days. However, there have been some instances of asymptomatic coronavirus infections wherein the patient shows no signs of the disease despite being infected.
8. Can Animals Transmit Coronavirus to Humans?
Some viruses from the coronavirus family such as SARS-Cov and SARS-Cov1 that were responsible for the outbreak of the SARS pandemic in 2002-2004 are said to infect humans, bats, and other mammals. However, the possibility of an animal source in the case of COVID-19 is yet unknown.
Whether pets can spread the disease is still questionable despite some instances of the pets of COVID-19 patients being infected. The World Organization for Animal Health has issued technical guidance for topics related to animal health during the quarantine. It is also suggested to avoid trips to live animal markets to prevent contamination.
9. What Is the Life Span of the Novel Coronavirus on Surfaces?
The lifespan of a COVID-19 virus on surfaces is in line with the other viruses of the family. An infected surface may retain the traces of the virus from a few hours up to several days. That said, there are other factors such as surface type, climate (temperature and humidity) that have a massive impact on these stats.
Any rarest possibility of coronavirus contamination should be immediately ruled out by cleaning the exposed surface with the help of a disinfectant or soap water. Steer away from touching your eyes, mouth, and nose in the process.
10. How Can I Protect Myself From COVID-19?
The number of coronavirus cases is quickly soaring worldwide. But, with the help of certain precautions, you can significantly reduce your chances of contracting the disease:
It seems like social distancing and maintaining hygiene have proved to be the biggest saviours in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. But we still have a long way to go in winning the fight against this global curse.
In the words of Nobel laureate Michael Levitt, hopefully, the "end is near for the coronavirus pandemic."