What is COVID-19? Definition & Symptoms

March 17, 2020

What is Coronavirus COVID-19?

 

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19.

 

In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

 

So there are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice guide for naming of new human infectious diseases.

 

What are COVID-19 symptoms?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

 

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

 

 

 

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

 

Most people show symptoms 5 days after exposure but can be as long as 12 days. Hence the 14 day self quarantine precautions.

 

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Current advisement I’ve seen states to stay home unless you have a fever of 103/104.

 

If you have symptoms call your GP who can work with the health department to get a test set up for you.

 

 

Trusted Sources for Information:

 

CDC - Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

WHO - World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

 

 

 

 

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