Right now the world is gripped by the outbreak of COVID-19, following its emergence in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The spread of the novel coronavirus (i.e. newly discovered coronavirus) has since been declared a pandemic. As of 21 April 2020, more than 2.49 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported, resulting in more than 171,000 deaths. But, there is a lot, and we mean A LOT of information out there. Our short brief on the coronavirus will give you everything you need to know, without any extras. So, here is all you need to know about the coronavirus in 140 words (well tbh each point is explained in 140 words or less).

Also Read: Go-To Resources About COVID-19 To Stop The Spread Of Misinformation

All You Need To Know About Coronavirus Explained And What You Should Do

What Is A Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that often cause respiratory infections. The new virus that everyone’s talking about has been named SARs-CoV-2, and the infectious disease caused by it is known as COVID-19. 

Where Did It Come From?

Cases were first reported in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, in Dec 2019. Many of the original cases had links to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market and so the virus is thought to have originated in animals, likely bats. 

How Does The Coronavirus Spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets may remain on floors or surfaces. Touching such contaminated areas and then your eyes, nose, or mouth can spread the virus. You can also be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of COVID-19?

Coronaviruses commonly affect the respiratory tract causing infection, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough

Some people may have the virus but show absolutely NO symptoms, while others may also experience:

  • Joint aches and pains
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea

On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can also take up to 14 days. People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate. However, if symptoms persist or become more acute, seek medical attention but remember to call ahead. 

How Can You Prevent COVID-19?

There are no fool-proof ways to prevent contracting the disease, but you can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitiser.
  • Maintain a safe distance of at least 1 metre from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Practice self-isolation if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call in advance.
  • Follow the directions of your local health authority, such as stay-at-home orders, social distancing, or avoiding all non-essential travel.

What Are The Treatments For Coronavirus?

To date, there are no specific vaccines or medicines for COVID-19. Those affected by the virus receive care to relieve symptoms, or are hospitalised based on the severity of symptoms. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.

What Else Can You Do? 

Right now the best thing you can do to stop the spread of the virus is: stay at home so that you avoid getting infected/inadvertently infecting others. By doing so, you’ll avoid overburdening health care systems. Maintain a healthy diet, sleep, stay active, and make social contact with loved ones through the phone or internet. It is normal to feel sad, stressed, or confused during a crisis. Talking to people you trust, such as friends, family, or a counsellor can help greatly.

Also Read: A Coronavirus Travel Advisory And Guide

What’s Next For Us And For The Coronavirus?

We hope this helped you with all you need to know about the coronavirus. Remember to stay aware of the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak, using verified sources like the WHO website. While counties around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen major outbreaks, there is a silver lining. Some (like China or South Korea) seem to have succeeded in slowing down the spread of the virus. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news. Our short brief on the coronavirus is for information purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for more information and advice.

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