Coronavirus – A global health emergency

What is Coronavirus

Coronavirus is part of a large family of disease-causing viruses, from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It’s zoonotic, which means it is transmitted from animals and humans, writes the World Health Organization.

Coronavirus symptoms:

Common signs of the disease include:

  • fever (over 38 degrees)
  • breathing difficulties
  • cough dries
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue

In more severe cases, the infection may be manifested by pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, renal failure. Infected persons have difficulty breathing, have a more severe cough than usual, and fever is constantly increasing. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) mentions that coronavirus symptoms may occur 2 to 14 days after exposure. The claim is based on studies conducted during the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome incubation period.

How Coronavirus spreads

Peer to peer

The CDC mentions that the virus mainly spreads among people who are in close contact (about 6 meters), through respiratory drops produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These drops can reach the mouth or nose of people who are nearby or can be inhaled into the lungs.

By contact with infected surfaces or objects

A person can get coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not the main way the virus is transmitted.

When it spreads the easiest

When people have clear symptoms, they are most likely to transmit the virus. Some spreads may be possible before people have symptoms; There have been reports about this mode of transmission, but it is not believed that this is the main mode of dissemination, writes CDC. 

What’s the difference between cold, flu and coronavirus

The greatest temptation is to confuse the Coronavirus symptoms with those of cold or flu. Often these symptoms can be similar, characterized in particular by fever, cough. But if we look at the characteristics of each disease, we notice a few distinct symptoms.

The cold starts with sore throat and gout ( acute inflammation of the nasal mucosa, accompanied by a rich secretion). Later, coughing, headache and fever can last for several days.

Influenza settles with all the symptoms at once: headache and muscle aches, dry cough, hoarse voice, sore throat and high fever (up to 41 degrees Celsius), often accompanied by chills.

Coronavirus generally affects the lower respiratory tract and is characterized by dry cough, respiratory failure or pneumonia, but not by a sore throat.

Some interesting statistics and data about COVID-19:

Coronavirus Cases
Coronavirus Incubation Period
Age and sex ratio of Coronavirus Deaths

Coronavirus treatment. What you need to know

Currently, there is no approved treatment for coronavirus, many treatments and vaccines are under study. Doctors focus on managing the symptoms as the virus progresses.

Other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, are treated as follows:

  • antiviral or retroviral drugs
  • respiratory support, through mechanical ventilation
  • steroids to reduce lung swelling
  • blood plasma transfusions

Careful! The Ministry of Health mentions that there is currently no scientific research showing that the use of antiviral drugs can prevent infection with the new coronavirus (Covid-19). Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not against the virus. It is important not to take antiviral drugs or antibiotics on your own, as the doctor can make the treatment decision.

The severity of the disease is much higher as the patient is of extreme age, has low immunity or has various other health conditions associated. (Medlife specialists)

However, WHO warns that all people should protect themselves, regardless of age.

How can we prevent the spread of the virus to the office?

Following are the World Health Organization tips:

  • wash hands regularly and use disinfectant solutions even when the hands are not visibly dirty
  • cover the mouth and nose with a napkin when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a napkin, cough or squeeze into the crease. It’s a more hygienic gesture than covering the mouth with the hands. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and skin as you work
  • to avoid contact with colleagues as much as possible (handshake, hug, kiss) 
  • the office airs. The virus can be transmitted airborne. 
  • avoid sharing dishes, glasses and other household items with someone
  • cleans and disinfect surfaces that you often touch, such as keyboards or cell phones. Thus, the risk of infection can be significantly reduced.
  • at the first symptoms of the disease stay home and then call the doctor 
  • consumes well-prepared foods (especially meat, eggs)

How can we protect ourselves in the means of transport

Every day we travel by public transport or we come in contact with people who have traveled with them. 

The masks. Mask stocks have run out this week and demand is growing. Doctors point out that they are effective but in the short term. ” The face masks, used regularly by the public, are surgical masks, which are suitable for short periods, but don’t offer great protection for long-term use,” says Science Media Center.

WHO says people without respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing, should not wear a medical mask. Recommends the use of masks for people with symptoms of flu, colds and for people who look after people with symptoms such as cough and fever.

The use of masks is crucial for health workers and for people who care for someone (at home or in a health center)

Distance. The World Health Organization recommends that we keep a distance of at least one meter from other people, especially those who cough, sneezing. 

Who goes into quarantine

People who have a sudden onset of at least one of the following symptoms: cough, fever, sore throat, increased respiratory rate and who have met at least one of the following criteria in the last 14 days before the onset of symptoms:

  • They had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of Coronavirus;
  • They traveled to areas with epidemic risk;
  •  Live in the same household with a patient with COVID-19;
  • They had direct physical contact with a case of COVID-19 (eg handshake not hand hygiene);
  • Have had direct contact with the infectious secretions of a case of COVID-19 (eg during coughing, touching handkerchiefs with unprotected glove hand);
  • They had face-to-face contact with a case of COVID-19, at a distance of fewer than 2 meters and for over 15 minutes;
  • They were in the same room (eg classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) with a case of COVID-19, for a minimum of 15 minutes and at a distance of less than 2 m;
  • The medical-sanitary personnel or another person who gives direct care to a patient with COVID-19 without protective equipment.

The situation leads to the world’s largest experiment: work from home

Working from home is the solution in the current medical context. The director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that businesses should be able to replace in-person meetings with video or phone conferences and increase work options at home. From China to Silicon Valley, companies in virtually every industry refine their emergency protocols and send employees home to try to prevent the virus from spreading. Facebook has let employees traveling to China work remotely, and Volkswagen switched to remote work until the epidemic subsided. In Italy, Generali company and the fashion brand Armani have adopted work-at-home policies. Forbes points out that both employees and companies should be prepared for the future, not for coronavirus or any other possible virus. 

If some countries are already familiar with this concept, China is the first such test. China, the country is known for post-program work, has been forced to remote work with the confirmation of numerous coronavirus cases. Hundreds of millions of people from over 60% of companies experience work at home that comes with challenges for both employees and managers.


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