The Coronavirus is sweeping the world in a pandemic unlike anything we have ever seen. The virus started in the Wuhan area of China and then rapidly spread. It is thought that the virus originated in a food market.
The Coronavirus is no respecter of race, religion or social status. At the time of this writing, 436,372 people have tested positive for the virus and those numbers are expected to rise significantly. Of those, 19,637 people have died. In the United States alone, 54,974 people have tested positive, and there have been 785 deaths. The United States is third in the world for the number of positive cases of this deadly virus, with China being first, followed by Italy, however, Italy has the highest death toll at 6,820.
The Coronavirus is spread when a person having the disease coughs or sneezes in the vicinity of someone else. It enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. It is extremely contagious and it is suggested that people practice social distancing; staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
The symptoms of the virus can be quite mild or severe in nature. The most common symptoms include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath, with approximately 20% of people requiring hospital care. In some cases (mostly elderly persons) the virus can develop into Pneumonia, which can itself be deadly if not treated. Older patients have a higher risk of the disease being fatal than younger patients.
The only way to know if one has the Coronavirus is to be tested by a medical professional. Testing sites are being set up in remote locations and people who are experiencing the symptoms or those at higher risk are encouraged to have the test administered, which consists of a nasal swab. It takes a few days for test results to come back, and there is now the possibility of a much faster test that will provide results in only 45 minutes.
How to prevent the disease?
Other ways to prevent the disease is to self isolate; stay at home and not around other people unless absolutely necessary. After leaving your home, make sure to wash hands with warm, soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Counters and surfaces should be wiped down with antibacterial solutions. If you must cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue and then immediately place the tissue into a closed trash receptacle, or cough and sneeze into the inside crook of the elbow. Wearing a mask is not recommended for persons who are not sick, but only for those who have tested positive for the disease.
Anyone experiencing symptoms should immediately call their family care doctor for next steps. This deadly disease has a long way to go, but we can eradicate it if we are diligent.