Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus particle

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Coronavirus around the world, also known as:

  • 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease;
  • Novel coronavirus pneumonia;
  • Wuhan pneumonia;
  • Wuhan coronavirus;
  • Misspelled like corona virus, corona-virus, corono virus, coronovirus or coronavairus.

Coronavirus Disease Symptoms

COVID-19 symptoms

The COVID19 virus affects different people in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate coronavirus disease symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

Common coronavirus disease symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses) and include:

Protective measures against COVID-19

Flattening the curve

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub;
  • Maintain at least 2 meter distance between you and other people;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Stay home if you feel unwell;
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

Treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019

rRT-PCR test kit for COVID-19

Treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019 is mainly supportive care, which may include fluid, oxygen support, and supporting other affected vital organs. The WHO and CDC recommend that those who suspect they carry the virus wear a simple face mask. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used to address the issue of respiratory failure, but its benefits are still under consideration.

Some medical professionals recommend paracetamol (acetaminophen) over ibuprofen for first-line use. The WHO does not oppose the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for symptoms; currently there is no evidence that NSAIDs worsen COVID-19 symptoms. Steroids such as methylprednisolone are not recommended unless the disease is complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Coronavirus research

SARS-CoV-2

Vaccine

There is no available vaccine, but coronavirus research into developing a vaccine has been undertaken by various agencies. There are three vaccination strategies being investigated:

  • First, researchers aim to build a whole virus vaccine. The use of such a virus (inactive or dead) aims to elicit a prompt immune response of the human body to a new infection with COVID-19.
  • A second strategy, subunit vaccines, aims to create a vaccine that sensitises the immune system to certain subunits of the virus. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, such research focuses on the S-spike protein that helps the virus intrude the ACE2 enzyme receptor.
  • A third strategy is that of the nucleic acid vaccines (DNA or RNA vaccines, a novel technique for creating a vaccination).

COVID-19 F.A.Q.

This Questions and Answers page will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide.

For more information, check back regularly on Get Vaccination pages.

COVID-19’s Best Analog Is the 1930s Dust Bowl, Not the 1918 Flu

Young women model masks worn during America’s Dust Bowl disaster, circa 1935.

COVID-19 is a precedent-shattering monster of a pandemic. There’s never been anything quite like it.

Historians of public health have struggled mightily to find apt comparisons to our current pandemic. They’ve landed most often on the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918. On the surface, their reasoning makes sense: A lethal virus quickly spreads globally and infects millions.

2 Vaccines: So Far, So Good

Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial

It’s still early days for 2 coronavirus vaccine candidates, but trial results published yesterday in The Lancet earned promising (though qualified) results.

The first vaccine, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and sporting the catchy name of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, safely generated strong immune responses in a trial involving 1,000+ patients, according to a Lancet article reported on by The Washington Post.

Larger phase 3 trials of the vaccine are already underway in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa with results expected sometime this fall, STAT reports.

The Fight for PPE Persists

Protective masks

Frontline health workers report a frustrating return to shortages of protective gear.

The White House’s suggestion? Reuse their face masks and personal protective equipment, reports Fox News, citing Vice President Mike Pence’s comments yesterday.

National Nurses United expressed alarm over the persistent shortages and message to reuse their gear. "We’re five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks," says its president, Deborah Burger.

Scientists Press WHO on Airborne Transmission

N95 mask

Evidence is mounting that tiny, infectious COVID-19 droplets linger in the air longer than once thought, according to a group of scientists urging the WHO to update its guidance, The Washington Post reports.

200+ scientists from 30 countries collaborated on an open letter—set to be published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease—directed at the agency, which has maintained that SARS-CoV-2 is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that quickly sink to the floor.

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