COVID-19 is the abbreviation of coronavirus disease 2019 which is characterized by fever, dry continuous cough, and fatigue. The other symptoms are nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea. Around 1 in 6 patients experience breathing difficulties and become severely ill. There is a higher risk for the elderly and individuals with underlying conditions like respiratory problems, diabetes, cardiac problems, and hypertension. On March 11, 2020, this infectious disease has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization as it has been infecting more than 125 countries (in around five continents) since its discovery in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of March 16, 2020 there is still no cure and no vaccine for COVID-19.
This is caused by a new coronavirus which is named SARS-COV-2. It can be spread through small droplets from the infected individual’s nose and/or mouth when he coughs, sneezes, or exhales. It is important to note that the virus may live for several hours or even days. For instance, when tested on cardboard, the virus could live for up to 24 hours while it could live for up to two to three days on stainless steel and plastic. Hence, it is important to religiously wash hands, wear masks when needed, and practice social distancing (at least 1 meter).
Please refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for the latest updates.