Coronavirus Disease: The basic things you need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus. It was first identified in Wuhan, China and was reported to WHO by 31 December 2019 and following its spread to other regions of the world, it was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. On 11 February 2020, WHO announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19. CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, ‘D’ for disease, and ’19’ for 2019. Following its spread to other regions of the world, It was formerly declared a pandemic 11 March 2020

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory symptoms and recover without needing special treatment. However, older people, and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respirat ory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious symptoms when infected with the virus.

How coronavirus spread
Data from epidemiology and virologic studies provide evidence that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted from symptomatic people to others who are in close contact through respiratory droplets, by direct contact with infected persons, or by contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.
When an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes the droplets from them form in a wide range of sizes, but the tiniest ones, called aerosols, can easily slip through the openings between certain cloth fibers. In other words, respiratory droplets can be of various sizes and are commonly classified as aerosols (made of droplets that are <5 μm) and droplets that are greater than 5 μm. The fate of these droplets largely depends on environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, etc. While the larger droplets settle due to gravity and do not travel distances more than 1–2 m, aerosols remain suspended in the air for longer durations due to their small size and play a key role in spreading infection.

Symptoms of Coronavorus
The symptoms of COVID-19 might not be very specific and may manifest as follows;

Most common symptoms:
dry cough

Less common symptoms:
aches and pains
sore throat
loss of taste or smell
a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms:
difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
chest pain or pressure
loss of speech or movement

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you may be infected, self quarantine for at least 14 days

Self isolate and call for immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. You can call NCDC toll free number ( 0800 970000 10)if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19

Prevention of spread of coronavirus

Washing hands frequently with water and soap or using hand-sanitizer
Maintaining social distancing (keeping a distance of 1 metre (3 feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing);
Avoid crowded places
Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth;
Correct and appropriate use of facemask when in public places and when attending to a sick person
Following respiratory hygiene (covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, then disposing of the used tissue immediately);
Seeking medical care early if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing; and
Staying informed and following advice given by your health-care provider, national and local public health authority, or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19
Spread the message and not the virus
Remember, facts not fear