A frightening new, SARS-related virus has surfaced in Wuhan, China and the disease has spread to every continent on Earth with the exception of Antarctica. The WHO has now declared this a global pandemic.
COVID-19 is spread primarily through droplet transmission. When a sick person coughs or sneezes, the droplets become airborne. If you breath in that air, you can become sick as well. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Touching objects that have been touched by infected people and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth can also transmit the disease.
*WHO: World Health Organization
The symptoms of a cold, flu and COVID-19 can be similar and hard to distinguish. All 3 are caused by diferent viruses that produce a different reaction in your body. However, the one key difference that may signal your ailment to be something more dire and possibly COVID-19 is shortness of breath. Here are the symptoms of the coronavirus:
- Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
-In severe cases, pneumonia
The only way to confirm the coronavirus is with a lab test. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of the coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure.
Underlying conditions are most associated with the more severe cases of COVID-19.
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: The underlying condition most associated with COVID-19's worst outcomes are people with heart conditions. If a person's heart is weak, a serious respiratory infection can further exacerbate their health.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: A coronavirus infection can trigger further inflammation and could possibly set off a plaque rupture.
CHRONIC RESPIRATORY ILLNESS: Individuals with cystic fibrosis, COPD, asthma, allergies or even people whose lungs have been weakened by smoking can see their conditions aggravated by a coronavirus infection.
DIABETES: When individuals with diabetes develop a viral infection like the coronavirus, it is difficult to treat because that person's immune system is already compromised. Viruses also thrive in environments with elevated blood glucose levels and individuals with diabetes already have heightened levels of inflammation, so when a viral infection is introduced into their body, it can turn into pneumonia easier.
Image credit: WHO via National Geographic
HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE CORONAVIRUS
There is no known vaccine for the coronavirus but here are some ways to protect yourself:
Hand washing is a simple regimen that is frequently overlooked, but it’s your second most effective weapon. To rid the virus from your skin, wash your hands vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done a few times a day and the first thing you do when you come home.
Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
Avoid close contact with anybody who is sick
Maintain a 3-foot distance from you and other people
Airpura air purifiers are currently being used in hospitals as part of their protocol in microorganism containment in areas where medical procedures are aerosolizing particles. The air purifiers are able to reduce the airborne viruses and bacteria, thus protecting the health of medical workers.
Airpura invites you to read about the latest studies on the transmission of COVID-19 here.