Coronaviruses, in general, are a group of viruses responsible for respiratory related infections ranging from mild common cold to severe and lethal pneumonia.
SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus which is the cause of the current pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19).
COVID-19 was reported to start in the city of Wuhan, in China.
The virus is believed to have spread from bats to animals, sold in the market place which in turn was consumed by humans. The first case of human infection from the virus was reported in December 2019.
Since the virus affects the respiratory system, the common symptoms include cold, cough, shortness of breath and fever.
Based on the patient experience affected it seems that loss of smell is very common in viral infections and so in Covid infection as well. Scientists say that in North Korea 30% of the affected patients’ demonstrated loss of smell. Hence it is good to be vigilant about this symptom when one has Covid-19 infection.
Staying home is the best method now since this prevents one from spreading the infection, or even contacting the virus from others. Government officials and doctors are requesting each citizen to abide by these rules and control the spread. This helps to flatten the curve (bringing the rate of infection to low ornil).
What’s seen till now is that COVID-19 has infected many, of which majority of deaths have been in elderly aged between 65-74 years. This infection is seen to affect people aged 20-45 years as well.
Currently many countries including India are conducting research to develop a vaccine, which may take a few years to be available for everyone. At present the infection is symptomatically handled, in addition to supportive care for the elderly.
One has to quarantine (self-lockout at home) themselves for the first 14 days after coming back from travel, during which one has to undergo testing for Covid-19 virus. If tested positive then has to be admitted at the hospital and get treated for the symptoms. If the test is negative, then continue to maintain social distance, protect yourself by following all the measures given in point 7.