Disclaimer: all information in this article has come from trusted sources which will be listed at the end of the article.
The C-word. As ‘The Coronavirus’ progresses across the globe, it has become the most talked and worried-about topic for the last two months. So, let’s start with the basics:
What actually is the Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus, also known scientifically as COVID-19, is a new illness which was identified in late December of 2019. It isn’t just one virus, it’s a group of viruses known as the Coronavirus family which specifically targets the respiratory area of your body like in your lungs.
Where did it come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, a city with the same population as London, in a seafood market selling live animals where several tenants and shopkeepers started to become ill. There are rumours about the virus originating in snakes and bats, which were both sold at the seafood market, but this hasn’t been scientifically proven yet.
What does the Coronavirus actually do?
This strain of the virus specifically causes symptoms as listed:
On a more serious note, the virus can progress into illnesses much worse like pneumonia, a potentially lethal illness in the lungs. This is why it’s so important for older people to stay indoors as they are the most vulnerable to the virus. This doesn’t mean that younger people shouldn’t be worried as well, but especially older people are at risk of dying from the virus.
What should I do if I have these symptoms?
The British NHS advice is to stay at home from school/work (if either hasn’t already closed) for at least 7 days until the symptoms go away or progress into something worse. If the symptoms do get worse, the advice is to call 111 (this is for the UK, if you live elsewhere the advice could differ) where health professionals will advise you what to do.
If you are symptomatic, it’s important to stay away from older relatives (age 70+) and especially people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or people with bad chest’s.
What can you do to stop yourself and others from getting it?
The most important actions you can do to stop the spread it is:
What you SHOULDN’T do:
As the pandemic continues, which is the term used when a virus spreads rapidly to other countries, many countries, specifically European countries have started to close schools, bars and restaurants to stop the virus. This is because the virus can already infect someone and cannot cause symptoms, making it difficult to identify and contain it. People might be worried, but as long as you follow the advice your government is giving you, you are decreasing the likelihood of the virus infecting you and the people around you.
Stay calm and stay positive!
Sources used for this article:
British NHS Advice - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
WHO Summary - https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
(Photo credit: Menna, a TWE photographer) See more of her work at @mennas.photographyy