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What Is the Coronavirus?

Updated on August 4, 2020
Sudhir Devapalan profile image

I am a front-end developer by profession, but I enjoy writing articles about anything mysterious, interesting and fascinating.

The Coronavirus (SARS Cov-2)
The Coronavirus (SARS Cov-2)

Coronavirus origin

A Coronavirus is a common form of a virus that targets the nose, sinus, and throat of humans. There are many variants of this virus but most of them do not pose any serious threat to humans. During December of 2019, there was an outbreak of SARS Cov2(a form of Coronavirus) in China. This strand of the Coronavirus causes respiratory tract infections and can spread through person to person contact.

In early 2020, the WHO had identified this strand of the virus as COVID-19 (19 since it was reported in 2019). Since then Coronavirus has infected over 17.6 million people worldwide and continues to spread. There have been over 679 thousand deaths due to the Coronavirus. There is no effective cure or vaccine currently available for the virus until now.

Coronavirus symptoms
Coronavirus symptoms | Source

What does the Coronavirus do to the body?

The Coronavirus typically infects the respiratory system of the victim causing symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. Other major symptoms include:

  • fever,
  • sore throat,
  • headaches,
  • chills, and
  • loss of sense of taste or smell.

The infection can range from mild to severe. Young people are fairly resistant to the virus but older people are very vulnerable. The virus has a fatality rate of about 3.4%.

The virus affects the inner lining of the throat, airways, and lungs. The virus takes over the host cells and starts reproducing. The immune system then fights back by sending antibodies to fight the infection. Fever is a side effect of the immune system fighting the infection.

Most infections are mild and usually go away on their own but there might be severe infections that lead to complications and death. The immune system will also be at its limit fighting the corona infection which will make your body very vulnerable to any other possible infections.

What should I do if I have any symptoms?

The common symptoms for the Coronavirus are breathlessness, cough, fever, muscle pain, sore throat, chills, and loss of sense of taste or smell. If you have any of these symptoms or if you have been in contact with anyone who has been tested positive for Coronavirus, then it is better to take a test immediately.

The black death that killed 60% of Europe's population
The black death that killed 60% of Europe's population

How serious is the Coronavirus epidemic?

The black death was one of the deadliest epidemics that swept across Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. It killed off 60% of the total population of Europe. Humanity was not prepared to handle an epidemic of such a scale and was almost wiped out. However, the black death disappeared as quickly as it came. It was thanks to the quarantine tactics used during the time.

The Coronavirus is not even close to the black death in terms of deadliness but the means of fighting it back is the same. Quarantine, usage of masks, and social distancing can go a long way in preventing the spread of the epidemic. We currently do not have a cure or vaccine for the virus which would mean that we are all vulnerable. Even though the number of severe infections is less, with an increase in the number of people affected, hospitals will quickly be overwhelmed with the rising patient count.

Wear masks
Wear masks

Care should be taken that we do not intentionally put ourselves and the others around us in harm's way. We should follow social distancing, wear masks, and wash our hands regularly. We need to be patient until a cure or vaccine is found for the virus or till the outbreak is under control.

There is also no reason to panic. The developments in medicine have ensured that even without a cure, hospitals can do their best in helping people affected with COVID-19. And most people require just self-isolation. As long as we stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel, the virus will die out soon.

Smallpox which has been eradicated using the vaccine
Smallpox which has been eradicated using the vaccine

When will the Coronavirus pandemic end?

Like other pandemics that have come and gone earlier, with time and proper quarantine methods, the infection spread will slowly stop. If a cure or vaccine for the virus is discovered, this will also help in ending the pandemic quickly. With a proper cure or vaccine, the virus will no longer be a threat.

However, it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to find a cure or vaccine. There are many scientists actively working for battling the Coronavirus but even a valid cure needs to go through many clinical trials and tests which could take months or even years to perfect. For now, our only real solution is to follow social distancing, have good hygiene, and wear masks when we go out.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Random Thoughts


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