What is Coronavirus? Origin, Spread, Prevention, Tips, Face Mask

What Is Coronavirus

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)is a new strain of coronaviruses that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. According to WHO Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The common signs of infection include; fever, cough, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

To prevent infection spread the standard recommendations include; regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

How Did The Coronavirus COVID-19 Start

Hopkinsmedicine.org reported that the COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. According to early hypotheses the virus may be linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China. It is alleged that some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus.

According to a study that came out on January 25, 2020 it notes that the individual with the first reported case became ill on Dec. 1, 2019, and had no link to the seafood market. Investigations are ongoing as to how this virus originated and spread.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person. This happens when droplets produced by an infected person coughs or sneezes land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into their lungs.

The virus can also be spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. A can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

It is not clear if the virus can be spread by an infected person through the food they have handled or prepared. The virus that causes COVID-19 has also been detected in the stool of certain people thereby the possibility of the infection being transmitted through food by an infected person who has not thoroughly washed their hands cannot be ruled out.

How Long Does Coronavirus Last?

According to a study which was published on March 11, 2020 the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 2 to 3 days. The study has however not yet been peer-reviewed.

Another study published in February, which analyzed several previously published papers on human coronaviruses concluded that if the new coronavirus resembles other human coronaviruses such as the ones that cause SARS and MERS, it can stay on surfaces — such as metal, glass or plastic — for as long as nine days. But some of them don’t remain active for as long at temperatures higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

What To Do To Prevent Coronavirus

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • When you cough or sneeze cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw it away in the trash or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick and are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.

Does Face Mask Help Prevent COVID-19

Face masks are not recommended for the people without respiratory illness as they do not fit tightly and this may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected.

Health care workers may however put on certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) to protect themselves as they care for infected patients. People with respiratory illness can also wear face masks to lessen their chance of infecting others.