What is covid-19?
towardbrightspark; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2), a virus closely related to the SARS virus. The disease was discovered and named during the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak.Those affected may develop a fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath.A sore throat, runny nose or sneezing is less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some can progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). As of 7 March 2020, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Ireland and the United States are areas having evidence of community transmission of the disease.
Signs and symptoms
Those infected may either be asymptomatic or develop symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Diarrhea or upper respiratory symptoms (e.g. sneezing, runny nose, sore throat) are less frequent. Cases can progress to pneumonia, multi-organ failure, and death in the most vulnerable.
The incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days with an estimated median incubation period of 5 to 6 days according to the World Health Organization.
The disease is caused by the virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously referred to as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It is primarily spread between people via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes.
The virus is thought to have an animal origin. Τhere has been a “continuous common source” of the outbreak in December 2019, which would imply that several animal-to-human zoonotic events occurred at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. The primary source of infection became human-to-human transmission in early January 2020.
No drug has yet been approved to treat coronavirus infections in humans. Research into potential treatments for the disease was initiated in January 2020, and several antiviral drugs are already in clinical trials. Although completely new drugs may take until 2021 to develop, several of the drugs being tested are already approved for other antiviral indications, or are already in advanced testing.
The process of naming the disease has been called “chaotic”.
The World Health Organization announced on 11 February 2020 that “COVID-19” will be the official name of the disease. World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”, while “19” was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on 31 December 2019. Tedros said the name had been chosen to avoid references to a specific geographical location (i.e. China), animal species, or group of people in line with international recommendations for naming aimed at preventing stigmatization.