COVID-19: Symptoms, Testing, Vaccines, & More

Medically Reviewed
Priyank Pandey
Written by Priyank Pandey on May 14, 2021Medically Reviewed by Trista Best, Madison Dufour

Since the past, humans have encountered many types of viruses, epidemics, and pandemics, and are currently battling an outbreak of a deadly disease called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. On 30 January 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health emergency. And on 11 March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the WHO.

To better understand the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), here at healthroid, we analyzed 3.74 million words of content, smashed them together, shook them up, and came up with some astonishing insights. Our focus was to understand exactly how Coronavirus spreads and how it can affect your health.

And now it’s time to share what we discovered.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about COVID-19, from SARS-CoV-2 basics to COVID-19 symptoms to its spread to its prevention to its treatment.

And by the end of this guide, you will get answers to all the questions that are arising in your mind right now.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which, when viewed from the microscope, crown, or halo-like spikes are seen on their surface.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first human coronavirus was seen in the mid-1960s. After that, seven such coronaviruses have been identified that can infect humans.

The four coronaviruses that are common and not too dangerous are:

  • 229E (alpha coronavirus)
  • NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
  • OC43 (beta coronavirus)
  • HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

These four viruses usually cause common cold in humans, and almost all people, at least once in their lives, are definitely infected with one or more of these viruses.

Then, three coronaviruses can cause great harm to humans:

  • SARS-CoV (beta coronavirus)
  • MERS-CoV (beta coronavirus)
  • SARS-CoV-2 (virus strain that causes COVID-19)

Let us first tell you about these three diseases in brief:

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a viral respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV virus, was first seen in China in 2003.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a viral respiratory illness caused by the MERS-CoV virus, was first seen in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, was first seen in Wuhan, China, in mid November 2019.

You must be thinking, how dangerous is this COVID-19 outbreak, and how much should you worry about it?

Well, for this analysis, we analyzed some worst coronavirus outbreaks in history and compared them with the current ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

For your information, below we are listing the ten worst virus outbreaks of history so far:

[table id=13 /]

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which was first identified in 2002, had about 8098 people infected, of which around 774 people died. This coronavirus outbreak had a fatality rate of about 10 percent.

Similarly, about 2494 people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which was first identified in 2012, out of which around 858 people died. The fatality rate of this coronavirus outbreak is much higher than SARS, which is close to 35 percent.

And currently, 161,087,567 people have been infected from the ongoing Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), out of which about 3,345,085 have died so far. And COVID-19 currently has a fatality rate of around 2.07%.

And if we compare these three coronavirus outbreaks then we get the following data:

  1. COVID-19 has the highest number of coronavirus infections, followed by SARS and MERS.
  2. COVID-19 also has the highest number of coronavirus deaths, followed by SARS and MERS.
  3. COVID-19 has the lowest fatality rate among all coronavirus infections.
  4. When comparing coronavirus infections against one another, COVID-19 is the most widely spread virus in less time.

Although the fatality rate of COVID-19 is lower than that of SARS and MERS, the nature of this virus indicates that it is growing very rapidly.

Here is the line graph which describes the current situation very well:

[COVID19-GRAPH title=”World History Chart” confirmed_title=”Confirmed” deaths_title=”Deaths” recovered_title=”Recovered”]

This line graph displays the current confirmed cases (in blue), deaths (in red), and recovered cases (in green).

The WHO has repeatedly underlined the importance of “flattening the curve” in order to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Looking at the curve, it does seem that the situation is slowly coming under control.

You may find this fatality rate lower than SARS and MERS, but the pace with which SARS-CoV-2 is infecting people is so scary.

Vaccines are gradually becoming available in all countries. All countries are also trying their best to get people vaccinated through vaccine drives. But due to limited resource, it is difficult to get all the people vaccinated simultaneously.

So in such a situation, the responsibility of protecting yourself from infection remains your own. And how you can prevent yourself from coronavirus infection, we will mention it in the upcoming chapters of this guide.

So let’s move ahead now.

Where Did This New Coronavirus Come From?

In late December 2019, China’s public health officials informed the World Health Organization about an unknown virus that is causing diseases like pneumonia in people.

And the following week, on 7 January, the WHO announced that the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan city of China is due to a newly emerging virus of the coronavirus family. They also added the virus is spreading rapidly in and out of the city.

Since then, medical scientists around the world have been trying to find out where the new coronavirus came from. Many of them believe that the origin of this outbreak can be the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

China informed the WHO about the disease in late December 2019. However, there’s now evidence which suggests it actually began in November.

Which Animal Transmitted the Virus to Humans?

According to a report by The Lancet, as of January 2, 2020, in Wuhan, 41 patients admitted to the hospital were found to be infected with COVID-19, and 27 of them had direct contact with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

Researchers believe the COVID-19 infection spread to humans from animals being sold in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

In further observation, samples of animals of the market were also taken between January 1 to January 12. And at the end of the month, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention made it clear that 33 out of 585 animal specimens were infected with the coronavirus.

Even after discovering that COVID-19 has been transmitted from animal to human, it is unclear what type of animal the virus originated from.

A research team from China, looking at the genetic code of the virus, claimed that the coronavirus came from snakes. While in another analysis, it was found that the genetic sequence of this new virus matches 96 percent of the coronavirus found in the bats.

Considering both these analyses, for coronavirus outbreak, either of the snakes and bats can be considered as a culprit. And, since some snakes eat bats, bats are probably supposed to be the origin.

But, to be fair, snakes and bats have not tried to spread this disease, but humans have bought them from live animal markets to feed their hunger and have themselves become the victim of infection.

Therefore, to not have such outbreaks in the future, it is necessary to ban such live animal markets across the world.

On February 7, 2020, researchers in Guangzhou, China, suggested that pangolins can be the most probable animal source of the coronavirus outbreak.

Pangolins Can Be Potential Intermediate Host Between Bats and Humans for Coronavirus Spread

Researchers have already suggested that COVID-19 originally came from bats. But the virus was probably transmitted to humans by another animal.

Yes, you heard that right.

In a research jointly conducted by Shen Yongyi and Xiao Lihua of South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, shows that pangolins are the potential intermediate host for a new type of coronavirus. According to their research, the genetic sequence of the virus found in pangolins had 99% similarity with the genetics of new coronavirus.

Whether the pangolin was the species at which coronavirus jumped, it’s not clear. So in a study, virome data sets of pangolins and bats were reanalyzed in which it was found that the samples of bats were more similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus than to the pangolin coronavirus.

Therefore, it is certain that the primary origin of coronavirus are bats. But if we believe that pangolins are also involved in coronavirus spread then, the virus may have jumped from bats first into pangolins and later from pangolins into humans.

But what is the connection between Pangolins and China? Let’s understand:

Pangolins are the only mammals wholly-covered in scales- which they use to protect themselves from predators in the wild.

In China, traditional medicines are made from scales of Pangolins, which are used to treat problems like arthritis, menstrual pain, and skin conditions. Not only this, pangolin meat and blood are considered a delicacy in China.

This is why Pangolins are in high demand in China.

But do you know that Pangolins are a very rare and endangered species of mammals? They are one of the protected species under national and international laws. In China, if a person is found selling Pangolins in any way, he can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

So the question arises that despite such strict rules, how are the people of China fulfilling the demand for rare and endangered Pangolins?

Well, the answer is very simple: illegal poaching and trafficking of Pangolins.

According to the South China Morning Post, the population of pangolin has decreased by 90 percent in China from 1960 to 2004, due to the commercialization of pangolin.

Although officially, it is not possible to sell pangolin in the Hunan seafood wholesale market. But it may be possible that due to the high demand for pangolin, people are selling them in the market illegally.

And what if the illegally sold pangolins are already infected with coronavirus? Yes, it is possible.

According to a research report published on 24 October 2019, coronavirus is probably responsible for killing a large number of Malayan pangolins.

So it is possible that the pangolins being sold in the market may be one of them which may not have died at that time but have been infected with the coronavirus.

Therefore, looking at the facts, it can be concluded that in the Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market, people were illegally selling “coronavirus infected pangolins” along with other animals without the intention of harming anyone.

And accidentally, the coronavirus outbreak happened from there.

And if, in reality, illegal animal trade is the reason for the coronavirus outbreak, then it will be challenging to get to the root of the virus outbreak because people may have already erased all the evidence from the market for fear of being caught in illegal trading.

Who Are Most At Risk Of COVID-19?

Looking at the first cases of COVID-19, it seemed that the disease is not as severe as SARS and MERS. But the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus proved that the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is more contagious than the other two coronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

To find out how dangerous this coronavirus is for different individuals, China’s health officials released a report in which they conducted in-depth study of 44,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mainland China as of February 11, 2020.

To our knowledge, this is the first most significant study since the coronavirus outbreak.

And now it’s time to share what they discovered. Here’s the summary of their key findings:

  1. Out of 44,672 confirmed cases, a total of 1,023 people died with a fatality rate of 2.3 percent.
  2. In the list of confirmed cases, persons aged 50–59 came in first place with 22.4%, persons aged 60–69 came in second place with 19.2%, and persons aged 40–49 came in third place with 19.2%.
  3. Among confirmed cases51.4% were male and 48.6% were female.
  4. There were 25.2% of confirmed cases who were facing some pre-existing medical conditions.
  5. In confirmed cases22.0% of people were labor or farmers, and 20.6% were retired people.
  6. Only 4.7% of the 44,415 confirmed cases were those who had a critical coronavirus infection.
  7. The elderly population was more among those who die from virus infection. Of which 30.5% were aged 70–79, 30.2% were aged 60–69, and 20.3% were above 80 years.
  8. Only 36.2% of the people who died from virus infection were women, and the remaining were men.
  9. 46.1% of the people who died from virus infection were those who had retired.
  10. Among those who died from virus infection, 39.7% of people were suffering from hypertension, 22.7% of people with cardiovascular disease, and 19.7% of people with diabetes.
  11. Among people 80 years or above, the fatality rate was found to be the highest at 14.8%.
  12. The report found men’s fatality rate to be 2.8% and women’s fatality rate of 1.7%.
  13. Compared to other occupations, the fatality rate of retirees was found to be the highest at 5.1%.
  14. People suffering from cardiovascular disease were found to have the highest fatality rate of 10.5%, compared to other diseases.

We have detailed data and information on the analysis below.

Detailed Breakdown of the Analysis:

The analysis included a total of 72,314 unique records, out of which 44,672 cases were confirmed to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2.

According to the analysis, out of 44,672 confirmed cases, a total of 1,023 deaths occurred at a 2.3% fatality rate.

To better understand the pattern of SARS-CoV-2, below, we have explained the analysis with the help of graphs in 7 different parts. Which are as follows:

  1. Age
  2. Sex
  3. Occupation
  4. Pre-Existing Medical condition
  5. Case severity

Analysis By Age:

In the analysis, there are 9 different classes of people according to age, in which 0–9 years10–19 years20–29 years30–39 years40–49 years50–59 years60–69 years70–79 years, and ≥80 years old people are included.

The study shows people aged 30 years to 79 years are the top in the list of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

According to the study, 50–59 years is the most COVID-19 affected age group (with 22.4% of people). While, 60–69 years (19.2%), 40–49 years (19.2%), 30–39 years (17.0%) age groups are also fairly affected.

However, if you look up the graph, not by confirmed cases but by death cases, you’ll get a completely different number.

The study shows people aged 50 years and above are the top in the list of death cases of COVID-19.

70–79 years by far is the age group with most coronavirus deaths (with 30.5% of people). While, 60–69 years (30.2%), ≥80 years (20.3%), 50–59 years (12.7%) age groups are also popular in the same list.

Next, taking into account the confirmed cases and death cases of COVID-19, we calculated the fatality rate of different age groups.

The study calculated the fatality rate according to the age of the people. The fatality rate was found to be higher in older people and lower in younger people.

≥80 years is the age group with most coronavirus fatalities (with 14.8% of people). And 0-9 years is the age group with the least coronavirus fatalities (with 0.0% of people).

Key conclusion: Studying all the graphs suggests that elderly people are probably at the highest health risk from COVID-19.

Analysis By Sex:

In this analysis, including both male and female, their confirmed cases, death cases, and fatality rates are studied separately.

The study did not find much difference in confirmed cases of men and women. Males represent the majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases (51.4%), followed by female cases (48.6%). 

However, if you look up the graph, not by confirmed cases but by death cases, you’ll get a completely different number.

The study shows males are the top in the list of death cases of COVID-19. 63.8% of people who died from COVID-19 are male, and 36.2% are female.

Next, taking into account the confirmed cases and death cases of COVID-19, according to sex, we calculated the fatality rate of both genders.

The study calculated the fatality rate according to the sex of the people. The fatality rate was found to be higher in males and lower in females.

Key conclusion: Studying all the graphs suggests that males are probably at the highest health risk from COVID-19.

Analysis By Occupation:

In the analysis, there are 5 different classes of people according to the occupation, in which service industryfarmer/laborerhealth workerretiree, and other/none people are included.

Other/none by far is the most coronavirus-infected occupation (with 45.9% of people). While, Farmer/laborer (22.0%), Retiree (20.6%), Service industry (7.7%), Health worker (3.8%), occupation groups are also fairly infected.

However, if you look up the graph, not by confirmed cases but by death cases, you’ll get a completely different number.

The study shows Retiree are the top in the list of death cases of COVID-19.

Retiree, is the occupation group with most COVID-19 deaths (with 46.1% of people). Other/none (37.5%), Farmer/laborer (13.6%), Service industry (2.2%), and Health worker (0.5%) occupation groups are also popular in the same list.

Next, taking into account the confirmed cases and death cases of COVID-19, we calculated the fatality rate of different occupation groups.

The study calculated the fatality rate according to the occupation of the people. The fatality rate was found to be higher in Retiree.

Retiree by far is the occupation group with most coronavirus fatalities (with 5.1% of people). And Health Worker is the occupation group with the least coronavirus fatalities (with 0.3% of people).

Key conclusion: Studying all the graphs suggests that retirees are probably at the highest health risk from COVID-19.

Analysis By Pre-Existing Medical Conditions:

In the analysis, there are 6 different classes of people according to pre-existing medical conditions, in which a total of 20,812 people with HypertensionDiabetesCardiovascular disease, Chronic respiratory diseaseCancer (any), and None medical conditions are included.

The study shows people with no medical condition are the highest in the list of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Hypertension, is the most common pre-existing medical condition (with 12.9% of people). While, Diabetes (5.3%), Cardiovascular disease (4.2%), Chronic respiratory disease (2.5%), and Cancer (0.5%) medical conditions are also fairly common.

However, if you look up the graph, not by confirmed cases but by death cases, you’ll get a completely different number.

The study shows people with Hypertension are the highest in the list of death cases of COVID-19.

Hypertension, is the pre-existing medical condition with most coronavirus deaths (with 31.9% of people). While, Cardiovascular disease (18.3%), Diabetes (15.9%), Chronic respiratory disease (6.3%), and Cancer (1.2%) medical conditions are also popular on the same list.

Next, taking into account the confirmed cases and death cases of COVID-19, we calculated the fatality rate of different medical conditions.

The study calculated the fatality rate according to the medical condition of the people. The fatality rate was found to be higher in people with Cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease by far is the pre-existing medical condition with most coronavirus fatality rates (with 10.5% of people), followed by Diabetes (7.3%), Chronic respiratory disease (6.3%), Hypertension (6.0%), and Cancer (5.6%).

Key conclusion: Studying all the graphs suggests that people with pre-existing medical conditions such as Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Chronic respiratory disease, Hypertension, and Cancer are probably at the highest health risk from COVID-19.

Analysis By Case Severity:

In the analysis, there are 3 different classes of people according to case severity, in which a total of 44,415 people with MildSevere, and Critical cases are included.

The study shows people with mild case severity are the top in the list of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Mild severity has the most COVID-19 cases (81.4% of people) followed by Severe (13.9%), and Critical (4.7%) cases.

However, if you look up the graph, not by confirmed cases but by death cases, you’ll get a completely different number.

The study shows people with mild case severity are the top in the list of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Mild severity has the most COVID-19 cases (81.4% of people) followed by Severe (13.9%), and Critical (4.7%) cases.

However, if you look up the graph, not by confirmed cases but by death cases, you’ll get a completely different number.

The study calculated fatalities according to the case severity of the people and saw fatal outcomes only in those suffering from critical case severity.

Key conclusion: Studying all the graphs suggests that people with critical case severity are probably at the highest health risk from COVID-19.

Result Of The Study:

This case study has told us a lot about the people who are most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. We found this case study interesting because it contains 44,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is much larger in number than any other study.

Here’s the result of the study in short:

  • Most COVID-19 vulnerable gender: Male
  • Most COVID-19 vulnerable age: 50+
  • Most COVID-19 occupation: Retiree (which are usually old people)
  • Most COVID-19 vulnerable pre-existing medical conditions: Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Hypertension and Diabetes

Researchers found in the study that this SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious. It has spread extremely rapidly from a single city to the entire country within only about 30 days.

We learned a lot about coronavirus from this study, and we hope you did too.

We have also discussed the pattern of the coronavirus in detail, here in the Chapter 8: Coronavirus Case Studies. 

And now is the time to move to the next chapter.

Chinese research finds, people with blood type ‘A’ are at highest risk of coronavirus infection and people with blood type ‘O’ are at least risk.

What Are The Symptoms Of COVID-19?

A study conducted at around 138 patients at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University found that among those infected with the SARV-SoV-2, about 99% of people had a fever. At the same time, more than half experienced fatigue and a dry cough, and about one-third of the people experienced muscle pain and difficulty breathing.

In confirmed cases of COVID-19, symptoms range from mild to severe, starting with a cold and fever. As symptoms are similar to the flu, the disease becomes more challenging to detect. Most common symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Myalgia
  • Pneumonia

Less common symptoms of COVID-19 may consist of:

  • Runny Nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Passing out

The complete list of symptoms is still under analysis.

Prevention is always better than cure. If you have a cough, fever, or you have been in close contact with an infected person or you live in a major outbreak area, get yourself tested for COVID-19 immediately.

How Long Will It Take for the Symptoms to Appear?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of COVID-19 can take between 2 and 14 days to appear.

But a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found a patient’s incubation period to be 19 days long.

In that study, a 20-year-old woman who previously lived in Wuhan came to Anyang on January 10, after the virus outbreak. Three days later, she went to meet a sick patient (who was not infected with coronavirus) at Anyang District Hospital, along with five members of her family.

On January 17, one of the woman’s family members complained of fever and a sore throat. The following week, the other four relatives also complained of fever and shortness of breath. After that, all those relatives were admitted for investigation at the Fifth People’s Hospital on January 26.

And the investigation revealed that all the family members are infected with coronavirus, and the only woman who came in contact with those people from Wuhan was their 20-year-old relative.

Initially, when the woman was medically tested for coronavirus, no infection was detected. But when the woman was tested again one day later, the infection was detected, but the woman was still not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Doctors later revealed that the woman’s incubation period was 19 days long.

Besides, Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese scientist who underwent the discovery of SARS, also conducted a research in which he studied 1,099 laboratory-confirmed patients from 552 hospitals and took a median incubation period of 3 days (range, 0 to 24 days).

A person can carry and transmit COVID-19 without showing symptoms from 1 to 24 days.

How The COVID-19 Spreads?

COVID-19 spreads from one person to another, similar to other respiratory diseases such as the flu. Here are the possible ways of spreading coronavirus:

  • Transmission of the virus through droplets/particles.
  • Transmission of the virus through contaminated surfaces.
  • Transmission of the coronavirus through human feces.
  • Transmission of the virus through saliva.
  • Transmission of the virus through urine.

Transmission of the Virus Through Droplets/ Particles:

Droplet/ particles transmission is the leading cause of virus spread from person to person. When you cough or sneeze, you send droplets into the atmosphere, and others may fall ill when exposed to those infected droplets.

Transmission of the Virus Through Contaminated Surfaces:

If you cough or sneeze after being infected, your droplet falls on a surface and contaminates it. So later if a person comes in contact with that surface and touches his mouth, nose, or eyes, then he can fall ill.

Transmission of the Virus Through Human Feces:

Poor hand washing is a major cause of fecal-oral virus transmission. If you use the bathroom after being infected and do not take care of hygiene, then everything you come in contact with is contaminated by your feces. So later if a person comes in contact with those things and touches his mouth, nose, or eyes, then he can fall ill.

Transmission of the Virus Through Human Saliva:

If you are kissing someone or sharing food in the same plate, if the person is infected with coronavirus, then the virus can easily be transmitted orally from their saliva, even if they aren’t currently experiencing any symptoms.

Transmission of the Virus Through Urine:

The virus can be easily spread from person to person through infected person’s urine. There can be many ways of getting an infection this way. For example: If you use the same tap after going to the toilet that the person infected with coronavirus has previously washed his hands, then chances are that you too may be infected with the same virus later.

Many people mistakenly believe that COVID-19 is airborne, that it spreads through the air, but it is actually spread by droplets and particles of infected individuals.

How To Protect Yourself From COVID-19?

COVID-19 is still affecting many people worldwide. Most people who become infected recover after experiencing mild illness, but there is always a possibility of infection by them. Therefore, it is important to take care of your health to avoid infection.

There are many things that you can do for your self-protection with the COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, to keep yourself safe, you need to keep the following things in mind:

Use Hand Sanitizer:

If water and soap are not available, then use hand sanitizer. After applying the proper amount of hand sanitizer, rub both hands between your fingers, and under your nails, for at least 25 seconds till it dries quickly after absorbing in hands.

Don’t Touch Your Face:

If you need to touch your face, wash your hands first. If you touch your face with dirty hands, you may get an infection from the virus. So, before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, wash both your hands thoroughly with soap and if the soap is not available, then use hand sanitizer.

Avoid Close Contact With People Who Are Sick:

If you feel that someone is ill around you, try to stay away from him as much as possible, especially when he is coughing or sneezing. If for some reason you have to go to them, then after the meeting, wash both your hands thoroughly with soap and if the soap is not available then use hand sanitizer.

Stay Home:

If you, your children or any of your family becomes ill, do not let that person go to school, office or any public place so that they do not spread the virus infection to others. For a person who is ill, he must stay in the house until he is fully recovered.

Cover Up When You Sneeze Or Cough:

Viruses are spread from person to person during coughing and sneezing due to the transmission of droplets from the infected person’s mouth and nose. Use tissue or paper towel whenever you cough or sneeze. If you do not have all that available at that time, then sneeze in the elbow.

Disinfect Surfaces And Clean Objects:

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are often used, such as doorknobs, bathroom, kitchen, computer, phones, and toys. To clean, mix 3 teaspoons bleach in 1 gallon of water and spray it on the surface and objects, rinse after 3 minutes and let it air dry.

Avoid Hugging, Kissing, And Shaking Hands:

Close contact with sick individuals is the easiest way to infect yourself with the virus. If for some reason you have to do a handshake, hug or kiss with them, then immediately wash both your hands thoroughly with soap and use hand sanitizer if the soap is not available.

Get The COVID-19 Shot If You Haven’t Already:

COVID-19 vaccine can help make your life easier. After the vaccination, you may be able to start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic.

Drink Plenty of Fluids:

When you are sick, you get dehydrated quickly. Due to fever, moisture and electrolytes keep coming out of your body. Due to which your body starts to lack water. So, to restore your moisture levels and to get the bad stuff out of the body, consume sufficient fluids.

Get Enough Sleep:

When you are sick, it affects your immune system, due to which your body needs more rest. Good sleep helps your body fight infection and disease better. Sleep helps in relaxing your body, making the mind more productive and refreshing your mood.

Should I Wear A Mask To Get Protected Against the COVID-19?

There’s a fun fact about medical masks that you probably won’t know.

Medical masks are used to prevent infected people from spreading the virus, not to prevent an uninfected person from getting infected.

Now you must be thinking that if this statement is true then why are all people being asked to wear face coverings of clothes in public?

Until recently, experts did not know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. There is a large proportion of the population who are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 and are propagating the virus.

This simply means that no one can really determine the impact of asymptomatic cases until more testing is done. That is, people without symptoms can inadvertently spread the virus to others, so everyone are advised cover their nose and mouth in public.

What Type Of Face Mask Should You Wear?

For Healthcare Workers:

If you are one of a healthcare workers—the people who are in closest contact with highly contagious patients, you should use N95 masks or surgical masks.

The N95 is the best face mask as it can filter tiny particles up to 95%, which may possibly contain the virus. However, N95 respirators are not able to provide full protection to children and people with facial hair as it is not designed for them.

According to the FDA, you may use the following types of N95 respirators at the time of public health medical emergencies:

  • 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8670F
  • 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8612F
  • Pasture Tm F550G Respirator
  • Pasture Tm A520G Respirator

Due to the high demand for N95 respirators, this mask is disappearing from the local market so it is not recommend for general public to wear N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.

For General Public:

Those of you who do not care for COVID-19 patients should wear homemade cloth masks in public. These types of masks do not prevent healthy people from getting sick, but they can definitely prevent sick people from infecting other people. For example, if you cough or sneeze, a cloth mask can help prevent droplets from circulating in the air. Also, cloth masks can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by people who have the disease but don’t realize it.

How To Put On And Use Mask?

For Healthcare Workers (N95 and Surgical Masks):

If you wear a mask, then you should know how to use it, how long to use it, and what to do with it after use. According to WHO, masks are put on, used, taken off, and disposed of in this way:

Step 1: Before using a face mask, wash both your hands thoroughly with soap, and if the soap is not available, then use hand sanitizer.​

Step 2: Find the metal strip of the face mask, adjust it well above your nose bridge, and stick the elastic strings behind your ears. (While doing this, make sure your mouth, nose, and chin are covered well.)

Step 3: If you feel like moisture in the face mask, remove it from the face by holding it with elastic strings and throw it in a closed dustbin. (While doing this, note that you are not touching the front of the face mask as it may be contaminated.)

Step 4: Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 to wear a new dry face mask. (Never use single-use face masks again.)

Here is the video by WHO which shows the proper technique to put on a face mask in detail:
For General Public (Cloth Face Coverings):

Cloth face masks should be worn in public settings such as grocery stores and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission, where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Here are some pointers for wearing and taking off a cloth mask:

Step 1: Before using a face mask, wash both your hands thoroughly with soap, and if the soap is not available, then use hand sanitizer.​

Step 2: Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure your mouth, nose, and chin are covered well.

Step 3: Remove it from the face by untying it or lifting off the ear loops. (While doing this, note that you are not touching the front of the face mask as it may be contaminated.)

Step 4: Place covering in the washing machine and wash your hands immediately.

The CDC has provided instructions on how to make a mask using just a bandana, old t-shirt, or square cotton cloth. This will help you to make sew and no-sew cloth face coverings easily at home.

Currently, the N95 and surgical face mask are only recommended for infected patients and health professionals dealing with those patients. And cloth face covering is advised for the general public yet.

According to a study, masks are successful in preventing infection only when they are used with frequent hand washing. Therefore, while using masks, it is important to clean your hands from time to time with soap or sanitizer.

Key conclusion: Staying at home is the best option for the safety of yourself and others from COVID-19. If you can’t do that, then making and using homemade masks is better than nothing.

COVID-19 Testing

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing has been a major point of discussion and concern during the pandemic. But why is there so much focus on testing?

Well, for quick identification of cases, prompt treatment for those and immediate isolation to prevent the spread, the COVID-19 testing is very important. We now have two main kinds of tests available for COVID-19:

  1. Molecular Test: A molecular test tells you if you have a current infection.
  2. Serological Test: Serological is an antibody test that tells you if you had a previous infection.

We will discuss about both testing methods in detail below:

1. Molecular Test:

This is a first type of diagnostic test that tells you if you have a current infection by looking for parts of the virus itself. In this test a long swab is used to collect sample, including physical pieces of coronavirus, from the back of the nose where it meets the throat.

To determine whether a nasopharyngeal sample is positive for the coronavirus, bio-technicians use three different molecular test techniques. Which are:

  • Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • Isothermal amplification assays
  • Antigen test

Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR):

Viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 contain only RNA, not DNA. Therefore, after a sample collection of a person, the extracted RNA is converted into DNA with the help of reverse transcription.

After that with the help of polymerase chain reaction, the converted DNA sample is amplified to a large enough amount to be examined in order to determine if it matches the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2.

This whole technique is called Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Most RT-PCR tests can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. But the FDA has recently begun giving the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for rapid diagnostic PCR tests that can produce results in less than an hour. Examples of authorized rapid diagnostic PCR tests include the following:

  • Abbott (Can detect SARS-CoV-2 in as little as 5 minutes)
  • Mesa Biotech (Can detect SARS-CoV-2 in as little as 30 minutes)
  • Cepheid (Can detect SARS-CoV-2 in as little as 45 minutes)

In addition, the FDA has also granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for tests that collects saliva instead of using a traditional nasal swab. It is believed that this will reduce the risk for healthcare professionals and will be much more comfortable for patients to collect their own samples more efficiently.

To make testing easier, the FDA has recently authorized at-home coronavirus test kits, with the help of which you can find out if you currently have COVID-19 without leaving home. Examples of authorized at-home coronavirus test kits include the following:

According to the German virologist, Christian Drosten, RT-PCR test performed with the help of throat swabs is reliable only in the first week of illness. Later the virus can disappear in the throat while it grows in the lungs. Samples of people whose illness has been more than a week can be obtained from deep airways with the help of suction catheter or from sputum.

Isothermal Amplification Assays:

Like PCR, isothermal amplification methods are used to amplify RNA. However these methods are much faster than PCR as they do not involve repeated cycles of heating and cooling the sample.

These tests typically detect amplified virus sequences using fluorescent tags, which are read with specialized machines. Unlike PCR, these methods do not require expensive reagents or instruments, which aids in cost reduction for coronavirus detection. 

Here are main differences, if we compare both PCR and Isothermal Amplification based methods of viral RNA detection. [Table adapted from Nguyen et al (2020)]

[table id=14 /]

Antigen Test:

An antigen test is a new type of diagnostic test designed for rapid detection of the virus that causes COVID-19.

In the antigen test, samples of patients are collected with the help of nasal swab. The antigen test looks for proteins from the surface of the virus present in the collected samples and bind to the strips and gives a visual readout. In the case of coronavirus, these are usually proteins from surface spikes.

One of the main benefits of antigen testing is the speed of testing, which can provide results in minutes. The positive results obtained from antigen tests are highly accurate. But there are more chances of getting negative results wrong, so before deciding the treatment, negative results obtained from antigen test should be confirmed with the help of PCR test.

If we compare the three tests together, we find that PCR tests require much time, energy and trained personnel. And isothermal amplification methods can process only one sample per machine at a time. But antigen test has the ability to do 300 million tests a day at a low cost.

2. Serological Test:

Another approach of test is serology (or antibody) test which identify people who were infected and have already recovered from COVID-19, including those who did not know they were infected.

When a person comes into contact with the virus, his body develops antibodies to fight the invading virus, which can take several days to more than a week. Antibodies are simply proteins made by the immune system in response to an infection and are specific to that particular infection.

In response to infection, immune system produce antibodies including IgM and IgG. According to the FDA, IgM antibodies produced in response to SARS-CoV-2 become detectable in the blood several days after the initial infectionIgG antibodies typically become detectable in the blood 10 to 14 days after initial infection, and peak after 28 days.

Because the body takes time to develop antibodies, serological tests are not useful for quickly identifying whether a patient currently has COVID-19. Rather antibody tests can be used to identify individuals who have had an infection and are recovered.

Some countries are considering issuing immunity passports or risk-free certificates for individuals who have antibodies against COVID-19 so that they can travel again or go to work. But, According to the WHO, it is still unclear that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection. In such a situation, the use of such certificates may increase the risk of continued transmission. Therefore, even if you are recovered, it is still important to follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

COVID-19 Treatments:

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads, efforts are being made to reduce the transmission. While many scientists are working on developing a coronavirus virus vaccine, others are busy testing existing antiviral drugs.

Vaccines are only effective when administered prior to infection, but antiviral drugs can treat people who already have infection. The following existing antiviral drugs are being tested against COVID-19:


Remdesivir is an antiviral drug developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. In 2014, remdesivir was presented and then rejected as a cure for the ebola virus. But now in 2020, the drug is being seen as an option to treat COVID-19.

In late April, Gilead Sciences announced that one of its tests had been “terminated” due to low enrollment. But few days later, the company announced that in a trial of the antiviral drug remdesivir by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “has met its primary endpoint.”

In its context, the Director of NIAID, Dr. Anthony Fauci reported that people who used the drug remdesivir during the treatment of COVID-19 recovered in 11 days. In contrast, those who did not use remdesivir during treatment recovered within 15 days.

At the same time, another study published in The Lancet found that those who took remdesivir in clinical trial showed no benefit compared to others who took placebo.

Despite of conflicting results, on May 1, the FDA authorized the remdesivir under EUA for emergency use.


Favipiravir is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan and in some countries outside the United States. According to a news report, medical authorities in China have confirmed that a drug (favipiravir) used in Japan to treat influenza is effective in coronavirus patients.

On May 30, Russia’s Ministry of Health also approved the drug favipiravir for COVID-19 treatment, after initial testing showed hospitalized patients who took pills recovered more quickly.


Arbidol is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Russia and China. Although some Russian studies have shown it to be effective, it is not approved for use in other countries. It is also not approved by the FDA for the treatment or prevention of influenza.

The drug was tested with kaletra as a treatment for COVID-19, but researchers reported that the two drugs did not improve the condition of hospitalized patients with mild to moderate cases.

Other Treatments:

In addition to antivirals, scientists are also looking into other ways to treat COVID-19. Some of which are as follows:

Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine:

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are two drugs that have been used for several decades to treat malaria, recently making headlines as a potential treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

These drugs received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA in late March but in late April, the FDA issued a warning against the use of both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine outside medical facilities.

A report by The Lancet found that patients who were being given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine were dying at higher rates than others who were not being given the same dose.

Subsequently in late May 2020, the World Health Organization announced that it was halting the clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine due to safety concerns.

Blood Plasma Transfers:

When a person is infected with a novel coronavirus and is recovered, the person’s immune system produces antibodies to help fight the virus. According to doctors, if antibody-infused blood plasma is given to a newly ill person, in whose body antibodies are not present, it can help to improve those people more quickly.

The FDA has announced a process to conduct tests on an experimental treatment for medical facilities that use the blood plasma of people recovering from COVID-19.

Monoclonal Antibodies:

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs or Moabs) are man-made proteins that are created in the lab and act like human antibodies in the immune system. These drugs stimulate the immune system to attack the virus.

Eli Lilly and AbCellera, which collected 500 unique antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients, have now begun the first human trials of an antibody drug against COVID-19.

Stem Cells:

The stem cell therapy is a potential new therapy to battle SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Some severe cases of COVID-19 develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The stem cell treatment could potentially benefit people who are suffering from ARDS and require ventilators.

A company Athersys Inc. has begun a phase II/III clinical trial. While the other company Mesoblast is enrolling people with moderate to severe ARDS into a phase II/III clinical trial.


In some people suffering from COVID-19, due to an overreaction of the body’s immune system, its starts releasing large amounts of small proteins called cytokines which causes “cytokine storm”. Scientists believe that it is due to this “cytokine storm” that some people develop ARDS and who then need to be placed on ventilators.

The FDA has approved a device that filters cytokines from patients’ blood.

In addition, to quell the cytokine storm several immunosuppressants including baricitinib– a drug for rheumatoid arthritis, CM4620-IE– a drug for pancreatic cancer, and IL-6 inhibitors are being tested in clinical trials.

COVID-19 Vaccines:

Vaccines give you immunity to a disease without you getting sick first. A vaccine basically trains the immune system to recognize a disease-causing germ (in this case SARS-CoV-2) and respond by making special proteins (called antibodies) that help destroy the germ.

That way, if you ever encounters with the same disease germ in the future, your immune system quickly destroys it before it gives you a chance to get sick.

According to the WHO, there are more than 100 projects in the world focused on developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Here are vaccines which different countries of the world are using:


Moderna is an American biotech company focused on drug discovery and drug development based exclusively on messenger RNA (mRNA). 

In March, the company began testing its mRNA vaccine during phase I clinical trial in 45 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55. During testing volunteers were getting two shots 28 days apart. In mid-May, the company announced that all 45 participating volunteers had produced antibodies with the help of the vaccine at this initial clinical stage.

In early May 2020, the company received permission from the FDA to begin a Phase II study of its mRNA vaccine.

After Phase II, the company began Phase III clinical trials in the United States on July 2020. On 30 December 2020, Moderna published the results of the Phase III clinical trial, indicating 94% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 infection.

Later, the FDA approved the vaccine for emergency use in December 2020, after reviewing the Phase III clinical trial results of the vaccine.


Pfizer teamed up with a German pharmaceutical company BioNTech to develop a vaccine. Their initial clinical trial with 200 participants gave good signals.

The Phase I–II trials of the vaccine started on April 2020 in Germany and on May 2020 in the U.S.

Phase II–III Trial with the lead vaccine candidate “BNT162b2” began in July. Company published the results of the Phase III clinical trial on November 2020, indicating 95% effictivness against COVID-19 infection.


The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is developed by Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

The Phase I–II trials of the vaccine started on July 2020 in the U.S. On August 2020, AstraZeneca announced to begin the Phase III trial but it was later halted after investigating a possible adverse reaction which occurred in a trial participant in the UK.

On September 2020, the trials were again resumed after AstraZeneca and Oxford, along with UK regulators, concluded it was safe to do so. AstraZeneca carried out a multi-country trial using the lower dose, which had led to the 90% claim.

The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is sold under the brand names Covishield and Vaxzevria.

Sputnik V:

Sputnik V is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Russian medical-research institute, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

The phase I safety trial of the vaccine began on June 2020 and on September 2020, data of phase I–II trial were published indicating evidence of safety and an immune response.

Phase III Trial of the vaccine began in November 2020. Company published the results of the Phase III clinical trial on February 2021, indicating 91.6% efficacy after the second dose without any unusual side effects.

Johnson & Johnson:

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is developed by Janssen Vaccines in Leiden, Netherlands, and its Belgian parent company Janssen Pharmaceuticals, subsidiary of American company Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) started the phase I-II trial of the vaccine on July 2020.

Phase III Trial of the vaccine called ENSEMBLE started in September 2020. Company published the results of the Phase III clinical trial on January 2021, indicating 85% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 and 100% efficacy in preventing hospitalization or death caused by the disease.


Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (CNPGC), commonly referred to as Sinopharm.

In April 2020, China approved clinical trials for a candidate COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products (BBIBP-CorV) and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (WIBP-CorV).

On July, Sinopharm began phase-III trials of the vaccine. Based on data provided to WHO, the vaccine shows 78.1% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19.

COVID-19 Rumors vs. Facts

We have compiled a long list of the biggest myths about the SARS-CoV-2 and the associated disease COVID-19 to discover the truth and explain how these rumors are misleading. 

Let’s dive right in.

‣ Myth: “This coronavirus was developed in a biological warfare lab and intentionally leaked.”

Fact: No, no part of this rumor is correct. Scientists around the world continue to look at the origin of the virus until now. Scientists believe that coronaviruses likely originated from bats, just like many other viruses that have recently emerged in humans from wildlife.

‣ Myth: “An ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the new coronavirus.”

Fact: No, according to WHO, UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands, or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

‣ Myth: “The coronavirus can be killed with a hand dryer.”

Fact: It is essential to take care of the hygiene of your hands to protect yourself from coronavirus. For this, you need to wash your hands from time to time with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and running water. Yes, after that, you can dry your hands with the hand dryer.

‣ Myth: “Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus.”

Fact: Thermal scanners cannot detect whether someone is infected with a coronavirus. Thermal scanners work only to measure the rise in the body temperature (fever) of people due to viral infection, whether it is a new coronavirus or any other virus. It takes 2 to 14 days for a person suffering from coronavirus to show symptoms. In such a situation, if a person is infected but is not showing signs of fever, then Thermal scanners also do not provide any information about the coronavirus infection.

‣ Myth: “Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can kill the coronavirus.”

Fact: No, according to the WHO, if the virus has already entered your body, then the virus will not die by a spray of alcohol or chlorine. In fact, spraying can damage your mucous membranes (i.e., eyes, mouth). You need to be careful as both alcohol and chlorine are used to disinfect the surfaces with appropriate advice.

‣ Myth: “It is not safe to receive a letter or a package from COVID-19 affected area.”

Fact: No, this is not true at all. According to the WHO, people who are receiving a letter or a package from COVID-19 affected areas are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. Previous analyzes have shown that coronavirus cannot survive for a long time in objects such as letters or packages.

‣ Myth: “Pets at home can spread the SARS-CoV-2.”

Fact: Currently, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus. However, if you come in contact with any animal, you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap. By taking care of your hygiene, you can protect yourself from bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella, which are easily transferred from animals to humans.

‣ Myth: “Coronavirus can spread by farting.”

Fact: No, in reality, it is not possible. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of Beijing’s Tongzhou district has written a long article in their WeChat account in which they have clarified that farts cannot infect you unless you smell the fart of a pantless patient closely.

‣ Myth: “Regularly rinsing your nose with saline can help prevent infection with the SARS-CoV-2.”

Fact: No, according to the WHO, there is no evidence that regular cleaning of the nose with saline has prevented people from coronavirus infection. Regularly cleaning the nose with saline helps people recover quickly from the common cold, but this has not been found in the case of respiratory diseases.

‣ Myth: “Coronavirus infection is just a common cold or flu.”

Fact: The symptoms of the new coronavirus are similar to those of the common cold or flu, but the two diseases are very different from each other. People also often compare COVID-19 to the flu, but we have a vaccine for prevention and medications to treat the flu. But there is no such treatment or vaccine available in the case of COVID-19.

‣ Myth: “Eating garlic can help prevent infection with the SARS-CoV-2.”

Fact: No, this is not true. There is no doubt that garlic is a healthy food that can kill microorganisms or can at least stop their growth. However, there is currently no evidence that people have been saved from the new coronavirus by eating garlic.

‣ Myth: “Putting on sesame can help block the SARS-CoV-2 from entering your body.”

Fact: No, sesame oil does not kill the new coronavirus. According to the WHO, some chemical disinfectants such as bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, either solvents, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid, and chloroform, are effective in killing coronavirus in surfaces. But those chemical disinfectants should not be used in the skin as it can be dangerous.

‣ Myth: “COVID-19 affects only older people.”

Fact: No. According to the WHO, people of all ages can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) have a higher chance of getting infected with the new coronavirus than others. Therefore, all people, whether they are children, or adults, or older people, all need to take the same precaution to protect themselves.

‣ Myth: “Antibiotics are effective in preventing and treating the COVID-19.”

Fact: No, antibiotics only act against bacteria and not viruses. And since COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus, in this case, antibiotics cannot be used in any way to prevent or treat it. However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, and you also have a bacterial infection, then, in this case, you may need antibiotics.

‣ Myth: “Cow dung and urine are effective cures for COVID-19.”

Fact: No. Cow dung and urine are only excreta, which have nothing to do with coronavirus. No scientific study has been revealed so far that talks about the antiseptic properties of cow dung and urine. Therefore, it is complicated to say whether cow dung and urine can protect us from infection of any virus-like coronavirus.

‣ Myth: “Drinking a bleach solution (also known as MMS, or Miracle Mineral Solution) will prevent you from getting the SARS-CoV-2.”

Fact: No. There is no scientific evidence that drinking bleach, MMS, or other sodium chlorite products will help prevent disease. Instead, the FDA has stated in one of its posts that the use of sodium chlorite products is dangerous, so it should be stopped immediately.


Want to find out more about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about the SARS-CoV-2.

What is the SARS-CoV-2?

SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus in the coronavirus family that has never been seen before.

Are there more types of coronavirus?

Yes, there are seven types of coronavirus. 

The four coronaviruses that are common and not too dangerous are:

229E (alpha coronavirus)
‣ NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
‣ OC43 (beta coronavirus)
‣ HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

Other three coronaviruses that can cause great harm to humans are:

SARS-CoV (beta coronavirus)
‣ MERS-CoV (beta coronavirus)
‣ COVID-19 (previously known as 2019-nCoV)

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the official name of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ ‘D’ for disease, and ‘19’ for the year 2019.

Are ‘COVID-19’, and ‘2019-nCoV’ different?

No. ‘COVID-19’ and ‘2019-nCoV’ are the different names of the same disease. Formerly, the disease caused by novel coronavirus was referred to as ‘2019-nCoV’, but on February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization renamed the illness to ‘COVID-19’.

Where did COVID-19 infection begin?

Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province.

What is the source of SARS-CoV-2?

Researchers believe the COVID-19 infection spread to humans from animals. And animals suspected of spreading the virus are pangolins, bats, and snakes.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Most common symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

‣ Fatigue
‣ Dry cough
‣ Shortness of breath
‣ Myalgia
‣ Pneumonia

Less common symptoms of COVID-19 may consist of:

Runny Nose
‣ Nausea
‣ Vomiting
‣ Dizziness
‣ Diarrhea
‣ Sore throat
‣ Headache

How does the COVID-19 spread?

The COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person.

What are the most likely ways of spreading the virus?

‣ First, when a sick person releases small droplets of saliva or mucus from his mouth or nose while coughing or sneezing, and some other people near him come in direct contact with those droplets.

‣ Second, when small droplets of saliva or mucus released by a sick person land on objects and surfaces, which is later touched by someone. 

Can the SARS-CoV-2 be transmitted through the air?

Studies so far have shown that coronavirus spreads only through exposure to respiratory droplets.

Can a person without symptoms spread coronavirus?

Yes, infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms.

Can COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

COVID-19 is generally believed to spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets. There is currently no evidence to support the food-related transmission of coronavirus. However, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water before cooking or eating.

How can I help protect myself and prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2?

You can reduce the chances of getting infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking a few simple precautions. Properly washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent and control the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

You should get tested of COVID-19, if:

you are feeling sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
‣ have been in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person.
‣ you live in or have recently traveled from an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Are antibiotics useful in preventing and treating COVID-19?

No, antibiotics only act against bacteria and not viruses. And since COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus, in this case, antibiotics cannot be used in any way to prevent or treat it.

What is the incubation period of coronavirus?

The incubation period means the time between a person being infected with the virus and showing symptoms after the infection. According to most studies, the incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 is from 1 day to 24 days.

How long can the SARS-CoV-2 survive on an object or surface?

Studies suggest that this SARS-CoV-2, like any other coronavirus, can survive on a surface for a few hours to a few days.
Medically Reviewed
Priyank Pandey
Written by Priyank Pandey on May 14, 2021Medically Reviewed by Trista Best, Madison Dufour

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