Table of contents:
- Symptoms of new coronavirus
- When was COVID-19 considered an epidemic and a pandemic?
- How the transmission happens
- How to prevent COVID-19
The mysterious new coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 infection, emerged in 2019 in the city of Wuhan in China and the first cases of the infection seem to have happened from animals to people. This is because the viruses of the "coronavirus" family mainly affect animals, with almost 40 different types of this virus identified in animals and only 7 types in humans.
In addition, the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in a group of people who were at the same popular market in the city of Wuhan, where various types of live wild animals were sold, such as snakes, bats and beavers, which could have been sick and passed the virus to people.
After these first cases, other people were identified who had never been on the market, but who were also showing similar symptoms, supporting the hypothesis that the virus had adapted and was being transmitted between humans, possibly through the inhalation of droplets of saliva or respiratory secretions that were suspended in the air after the infected person coughed or sneezed.
Symptoms of new coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses known to cause diseases that can range from a simple flu to atypical pneumonia, with 7 types of coronavirus being known so far, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID -19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 infection are similar to the flu and therefore can be difficult to identify at home. So, if you think you might be infected, answer the questions to find out what the risk is:
- 1.Do you have a headache or general discomfort? Yes No
- 2.Do you feel generalized muscle pain? Yes No
- 3.Do you feel excessively tired? Yes No
- 4.Do you have nasal congestion or runny nose? Yes No
- 5.Have a severe cough, especially a dry one? Yes No
- 6.Do you feel intense pain or persistent pressure in your chest? Yes No
- 7.Do you have a fever above 38ºC? Yes No
- 8.Do you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath? Yes No
- 9.Are your lips or face slightly blue? Yes No
- 10.Have a sore throat? Yes No
- 11.Do you have loss of smell or taste? Yes No
- 12.Have you been to a place with a high number of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days? Yes No
- 13.Do you think you have had contact with someone who may have COVID-19 in the last 14 days? Yes No
Make an appointment with a specialist
In some cases, especially in people with weakened immune systems, the infection can progress to pneumonia, which can cause more intense symptoms and be life-threatening. Understand more about the symptoms of coronavirus and take our online test.
Can the virus kill?
Like any disease, COVID-19 can cause death, especially when it develops into severe pneumonia. However, death from COVID-19 is more frequent among older people who have chronic diseases, because they have a more compromised immune system.
In addition, people who have undergone transplants or surgery, who have cancer, or who are being treated with immunosuppressants are also at increased risk of complications.
See more about COVID-19 by watching the video below:
When was COVID-19 considered an epidemic and a pandemic?
The first cases of COVID-19 were identified at the end of 2019 and it was initially considered epidemiologically as an outbreak, as there was a higher than expected increase in cases of a disease in a specific area in a certain period.
However, due to the emergence of cases outside the initial area that concentrated the majority of cases, in January 2020 the World He alth Organization (WHO) declared a Public He alth Emergency of International Concern and, later, epidemic, which can be characterized by the rapid increase in the number of cases of the disease regardless of the time of year.
In March 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 pandemic situation, because in addition to an exponential increase in cases of the disease, it was possible to observe the occurrence of COVID-19 on all continents.
How the transmission happens
The transmission of COVID-19 occurs mainly through the coughing and sneezing of an infected person, and it can also happen through physical contact with contaminated objects and surfaces. Learn more about how COVID-19 is transmitted.
How to prevent COVID-19
As with preventing the transmission of other viruses, to protect yourself from COVID-19 it is important to adopt some measures, such as:
- Avoid close contact with people who appear to be sick;
- Wash your hands frequently and correctly, especially after direct contact with sick people;
- Avoid contact with animals;
- Avoid sharing objects such as cutlery, plates, glasses or bottles;
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, avoiding doing it with your hands.
In addition, it is still possible to prevent serious infections and hospitalization through vaccination, which may not fully protect against the development of infection, but which markedly reduces the number of serious infections. Understand how vaccines against COVID-19 work and when to take them.