What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. It is transmitted mainly by airborne droplets through inhalation of droplets released from an infected person’s respiratory tract, for example through coughing or sneezing, as well as droplets of saliva or snot. It may also spread when the patient touches any contaminated surface, such as a door handle. In this case, infection occurs by touching the mouth, nose or eyes with dirty hands.
Basic symptoms of the coronavirus include increased body temperature, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, loss of the senses of smell and taste.
In the vast majority of cases though these symptoms are not related to coronavirus, but to an ordinary flu.
There are two main ways of contacting the virus.
Ways of transmission:
- Airborne droplets (virus shedding occurs when coughing, sneezing, talking)
- Household contact (through household items)
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to observe personal hygiene rules and to avoid visiting public places.
Keep your hands clean and wash them often with soap and water or use a disinfectant. Try to not touch your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands (this is usually done unconsciously about 15 times per hour). At work, clean surfaces and devices you touch regularly (computer keyboard, various equipment panels, smartphone screens, remote controls, door handles and handrails). Carry disposable wipes and always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Do not eat food (nuts, chips, cookies, and other snacks) from shared packages or dishes if other people have put their fingers in them. If you have symptoms similar to those caused by coronavirus, stay home and call a doctor.
The use of a disposable medical mask reduces the risk of airborne viral infections through coughing and sneezing. For patients with acute respiratory infections, wearing the mask should be mandatory and the mask should be changed several times a day.
It takes up to 14 days after contacting COVID-19 for the symptoms to appear. The exprerts say that the incubative stage is usually about 5-6 days long though.
The new coronavirus infection is similar to acute respiratory viral infections and its complications may be the same as those of other viral infections - pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis and others.
Among the complications, viral pneumonia is the most dangerous one. Deterioration of the patient’s health is rapid and many patients develop respiratory failure within 24 hours, requiring immediate respiratory support with artificial ventilation of the lungs. The rapid onset of treatment helps to alleviate the severity of the disease.