Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause different illnesses and diseases. These are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. COVID-19 is a strain of the virus found in 2019, which had not been seen before and is a pandemic since March 2020, which has spread to over 20 countries and territories all over the world.
This virus is transmitted from person to person in close contact or from respiratory droplets from an infected person. Signs of the infection are respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. The virus can also cause infection, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death in more severe cases.
It is recommended to take preventive measures against the Coronavirus like:
- Regularly wash your hands thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with your bent elbow or tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. The virus can spread by touching a surface of an object that has been infected and touching your eyes, face or mouth.
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid crowded places and maintain three feet of distance between yourself and others.
The most important recommendation is to stay home even if you feel well and have no symptoms. Even though people are most contagious when they show symptoms, the virus can be spread without showing symptoms, it takes an estimated 2-14 days of incubation. People are asked to maintain at least six feet of distance from one another, even if neither one of you are showing symptoms. Seek medical attention (call first) if you have a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing.
- You only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of someone who suspects they are infected and coughing or sneezing. If you wear a mask remember you must still clean your hands with alcohol based hand rub or soap and water.
- The mask should cover your mouth and nose and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Always avoid touching the mask.
- Replace the mask when it is damp and don’t re-use single-use masks.
- Remove the mask from behind, discard it immediately in a closed bin and clean hands.
Countries around the world are advising against any non essential international travel, they have revised their entry policy and all cruise travel worldwide has been suspended. The CDC made a list of destinations worldwide, designating them into different levels, each level depending on the situation in each destination:
- Warning Level 3: CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to these destinations.
- Alert Level 2: CDC recommends older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel.
- Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with, but it is important to take steps to prevent getting and spreading diseases during travel.
Even though this is a new virus with no vaccine or medication available yet, health insurers are not charging their clients for the COVID-19 test, which is now available. Health insurance that includes hospitalization because of a virus, will also cover hospitalization for COVID-19. The price for testing and hospitalization for uninsured patients are not known yet.
This virus can affect anyone, whether they are young or old, healthy or not, however the mortality rate is higher for people over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular, diabetes, respiratory disease, and high blood pressure.
Coronavirus affects all of us, rich and poor, young and old and we depend on each other to end this. Everyone must take the necessary precautions and follow the recommendations to stop the spread so stay home, stay safe and help flatten the curve.