Answer: Corona viruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
Answer: COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered corona virus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The virus that causes COVID-19 is designated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); previously, it was referred to as 2019-nCoV.
Answer: Currently, the source of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus (CoV) causing COVID-19 is unknown. All available evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 has a natural animal origin and is not a constructed virus. SARS-CoV-2 virus most probably has its ecological reservoir in bats. SARS-CoV-2, belongs to a group of genetically related viruses, which also include SARS-CoV and a number of other CoVs isolated from bats populations. MERS-CoV also belongs to this group, but is less closely related.
Answer: The first human cases of COVID-19 were identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. At this stage, it is not possible to determine precisely how humans in China were initially infected with SARS-CoV-2.
However, SARS-CoV, the virus which caused the SARS outbreak in 2003, jumped from an animal reservoir (civet cats, a farmed wild animal) to humans and then spread between humans. In a similar way, it is thought that SARS-CoV-2 jumped the species barrier and initially infected humans, but more likely through an intermediate host, that is another animal species more likely to be handled by humans – this could be a domestic animal, a wild animal, or a domesticated wild animal and, as of yet, has not been identified.
Until the source of this virus is identified and controlled, there is a risk of reintroduction of the virus in the human
- Fever in 99 percent
- Fatigue in 70 percent
- Dry cough in 59 percent
- Anorexia in 40 percent
- Myalgias in 35 percent
- Dyspnea in 31 percent
- Sputum production in 27 percent
- Sore throat
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (eg, nausea and diarrhea)
- Smell and taste disorders (eg, anosmia and dysgeusia)
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
Pneumonia appears to be the most frequent serious manifestation of infection, characterized primarily by fever, cough, dyspnea, and bilateral infiltrates on chest imaging.
There are no specific clinical features that can yet reliably distinguish COVID-19 from other viral respiratory infections.
Answer: A COVID-19 infection has the same signs and symptoms as the common cold and you can only differentiate them through laboratory testing to determine the virus type. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention and immediately isolate yourself from others.
Answer: No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 are related to each other genetically, but the diseases they cause are quite different. SARS was more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.
Answer: Understanding of the transmission risk is incomplete. Epidemiologic investigation in Wuhan at the beginning of the outbreak identified an initial association with a seafood market that sold live animals, where most patients had worked or visited and which was subsequently closed for disinfection. However, as the outbreak progressed, person-to-person spread became the main mode of transmission.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Answer: Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
Answer: The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.