Coronavirus (COVID-19): Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention
What is the 2019 coronavirus?
In early 2020, a new virus began generating headlines all over the world because of the unprecedented speed of its transmission.
From its origins in a food market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, to countries as far-flung as the United States and the Philippines, the virus (officially named SARS-CoV-2) has been responsible for millions of infections globally, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. The United States is the most affected country.
The disease caused by an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is called COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
In spite of the global panic in the news about this virus, you’re unlikely to contract SARS-CoV-2 unless you’ve been in contact with someone who has a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Let’s bust some myths. Read on to learn how this coronavirus is spread, how it’s similar to and different from other coronaviruses, and how to prevent spreading it to others if you suspect you’ve contracted this virus.
What are the symptoms?
Doctors are learning new things about this virus every day. So far, we know that COVID-19 may not initially cause any symptoms for some people.
You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeksTrusted Source before you notice symptoms.
Some common symptoms that have been specifically linked to COVID-19 include:
- shortness of breath
- having a cough that gets more severe over time
- a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature
Less common symptoms include:
- repeated shaking with chills
- sore throat
- muscle aches and pains
- loss of taste
- loss of smell
These symptoms may become more severe in some people. Call emergency medical services if you or someone you care for have any of the following symptoms:
- trouble breathing
- blue lips or face
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- excessive drowsiness
The full list of symptoms is still being investigated by.
COVID-19 versus the flu
We’re still learning about whether the 2019 coronavirus is more or less deadly than the seasonal flu.
This is difficult to determine because the number of total cases (including mild cases in people who don’t seek treatment or get tested) is unknown. However, early evidence suggests that this coronavirus causes more deaths than the seasonal flu.
An estimated 0.04 to 0.2 percentTrusted Source of people who developed the flu during the 2019-2020 flu season in the United Stated died (as of March 14, 2020). This is compared to 5.4 percent of those with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States, according to the CDCTrusted Source.
Here are some common symptoms of the flu:
- runny or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- body aches
Stay calm and follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 so you can recover and help prevent it from spreading.