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What is the coronavirus? what are the coronavirus symptoms?

Author: Chetan Pawar
by Chetan Pawar
Posted: Feb 21, 2020
respiratory syndrome

Coronavirus are a family of viruses, quite large, that cause ailment ranging from the mild common cold to severe conditions such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Presently, there is a novel coronavirus (nCoV) that has not been identified in humans before. It is a new strain of the virus.

The coronavirus is zoonotic. This means that it is transmitted from animals to humans. Comprehensive investigations carried out on this virus found that civet cats served as the source of SARS-CoV from where it was transmitted to humans. On the other hand, MERS-CoV was transmitted from dromedary camels to humans. There are still several unknown coronary viruses still circulating in animals but yet to affect humans.

Coronavirus is characterized by symptoms such as fever, respiratory symptoms, breathing difficulties, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and cough. In extreme cases, the infection may trigger severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death.

Standard measures that help to prevent infection include covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, regular washing of the hands, cooking all eggs and meat thoroughly. Do not maintain close contact with anyone who appears to have manifest symptoms of respiratory problems such as sneezing and coughing.

The first human coronaviruses were discovered in the 1960s in patients who had a common cold. A large percentage of the common cold experienced by humans can be attributed to the OC43 and 229E strains of Human Coronavirus (HCoV).

Coronaviruses have a projection on their surfaces that looks like a crown. This happens to be the origin of its name. "Corona" is a Latin word for "crown" or "halo."

Humans are most prone to infection with the coronaviruses during the chilly months of winter as well as early spring. People who are affected by the virus usually catch a cold with a recurrence coming about four months later.

The reason for this is that the coronavirus has a short lifespan. They do not last long. It is also worth noting that the antibodies for a particular strain of the virus may be useless against another strain.

Symptoms of the coronavirus

An infected person will experience cold or flu-like symptoms barely 2-4 days after contracting the virus. These symptoms are typically mild. But then, the symptoms vary among individuals. It is also worth noting that some forms of the coronavirus can be fatal.

Common symptoms of the coronavirus include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (in rare cases)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Exacerbated asthma

It is important to note that culturing the human coronavirus in the laboratory is a very difficult process, compared to the rhinovirus. This explains why it is hard to contain the impact of the virus on public health and national economies.

As of the time of writing, there is no cure to infection by the virus, so the best you can do to prevent or treat the condition include taking proper care of yourself, and using over-the-counter medication:

  • Do not overexert yourself. Rest adequately
  • Drink enough water.
  • Stay away from smoky areas and also, avoid smoking
  • Combat the fever and pain with ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen.
  • Use clean cool mist vaporizer and clean humidifier

Diagnosis may be done by taking a small sample of blood, or mucus from the nose.

Types of coronavirus

There are various forms of human coronavirus. The illness caused by each varies in severity and the extent of transmission.

The types of coronavirus that can infect humans include:

  • NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
  • 229E (alpha coronavirus)
  • HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
  • OC43 (beta coronavirus)

Other dangerous and rare types of coronavirus include MERS-CoV, responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), & SARS-CoV, the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The 2019 strain is referred to as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov).

Spread and transmission

Not much research has been done on the spread and transmission of human coronavirus.

However, we understand that the transmission of the virus occurs through fluid secreted from the respiratory system.

Major ways by which coronavirus can spread include:

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About the Author

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around India Asia. I have a passion for design, technology, health care, adventure, & creativity.I love sharing meaningful content that educates and inspires people to bring their dreams into reality.

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Author: Chetan Pawar

Chetan Pawar

Member since: Feb 15, 2020
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