COVID-19 stands for “Coronavirus Disease 2019.” It is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus first appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread around the world.
The virus spreads mainly from person to person. This usually happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks near other people. The virus can be passed easily between people who live together. It can also spread at gatherings where people are talking close together, shaking hands, hugging, sharing food, or even singing together. It is possible to get sick if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch his/her face, mouth or eyes. Please note that the virus enters the body through mouth, nose, eyes and by breath. A person can be infected but may not have any symptoms, and can spread infection to the others. There is no evidence that the virus and the disease spreads from pets to humans. There is no evidence that the virus spreads through food.
Symptoms usually start 4 to 14 days after a person is infected with the virus. As already said some people may become infected but may never develop symptoms at all. The usual symptoms are:
Children are less likely to get the disease but they can also be affected. Most of the patients get mild symptoms and recover within 7 to 14 days but in some patients the disease can get prolonged and can even lead to death. The problems can occur when they develop lung problems, pneumonia. The oxygen in the blood goes down, they have difficulty in breathing and may die. However the death rate is only about 2-4 %
The chances of getting the serious complications increase in old age (people older than 65 yrs), In people with high blood pressure, Diabetes, Bronchial Asthma, Heart Trouble, people with Chronic bronchitis, people who have low immunity.
It is diagnosed by a test called RT-PCR where a special type of nasal swab is put into the nose, the swabs gets soaked in the nasal secretions and is sent for the test. However sometimes the person might be infected but test may not show it
There is a blood test also available which detects the ANTIBODIES against the COVID 19 virus and shows that the body has developed the soldiers to fight the COVID 19. The antibodies are produced in the body in response to viral or bacterial infections to fight against that particular virus or bacteria. But the problem is they are not produced until you are exposed the offending agent. So if the ANTIBODIES are detected, it means you are not likely to get the disease OR if one gets it, it would be very mild.
For Prevention & Treatment, check Part 2.