COVID-19; Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment
As the novel coronavirus rapidly spreads across the globe, it is getting more important than ever to pay attention to our hygiene and health. Recently, WHO announced the official name for the virus previously known as simply Coronavirus as COVID-19. In the UAE alone, per February 12, there are 5 confirmed cases in total.
Health authorities have made some guidance to public healthcare as well as individuals to better prevent the infection. Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 symptoms, prevention, and treatment.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are very common, thus making it harder to identify the infection. The common flu-like symptoms are because the COVID-19 comes from the same family as coronavirus that was first identified in 1960.
There are four diagnoses preceding 2019 novel coronavirus that are found in human:
- Alpha coronavirus 229E
- Alpha coronavirus NL63
- Beta coronavirus OC43
- Beta coronavirus HKU1
The coronavirus diagnosis OC43 and 229E cause common cold and reinfection through life, while NL63 diagnosis is often found in children with bronchiolitis. The COVID-19 also has these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Cough and sore throat
- Runny nose
Symptoms may appear two to fourteen days after contact with the COVID-19 contact. However, currently, there is no certain way to self-identify the COVID-19 infection. Lab tests and further examinations are needed for a diagnosis.
COVID-19 Prevention & Treatment
To avoid the infection, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a few actions that can be done individually:
- Practice thorough hygiene when visiting wet market, live animal market, and animal product market
- Avoid the consumption of raw or uncooked meat
- Avoid close contact with people who currently have respiratory infections
- Wear protective gloves if contact with animals is necessary
- Wear a medical mask to minimize risks of infection
- Practice respiratory actions such as covering mouth while coughing or sneezing
- Avoid direct contact with bodily fluid
- Minimize exposure to closed crowded spaces
- Refrain from touching mouth and nose
Although according to health authorities, currently, there is still no certain antiviral medications to treat the virus, it is important to always seek medical attention if you are unsure about the symptoms.
Who are At Risk?
COVID-19 is considered a public health threat and according to the WHO, the risk of infection in China is currently very high, while globally and at the regional level, the risk remains high.
Additionally, people of all ages are at risk of coronavirus although older people and people with pre-existing conditions are more vulnerable to infection. However, WHO advises everyone to practice good hygiene.
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The spread and development of vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic herald its near end, but it will not happen overnight. In the meantime, continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others in everyday life and in travel.