On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19, a novel (new) coronavirus, a pandemic.
“SARS-CoV-2”, and other coronaviruses are part of an extensive family of viruses that are commonly found among people and a variety of animal species. And although it’s rare for these viruses to cross from animals to humans, there have been multiple cases of widespread disease including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Initially detected in Wuhan, China, and which has now been discovered in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. It is believed that the jump from animals to humans was made in one of the Wuhan, Hubei Province, wet markets.
These markets house a large selection of seafood and live animals, where purchased animals are often prepared for the customer onsite. The unregulated nature of these markets made it easier for varying viruses, diseases, and germs to unnaturally mix between animals that wouldn’t regularly interact.
As the disease spread, less and less patients had contact with these animal markets leading researchers to discover the virus was now being spread from person to person. This contamination is what lead to COVID-19’s eventual global presence.
This week, worldwide cases of COVID-19 surpassed 100,000. The total as of the creation of this article is 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths.
Although the entire scope of the virus’s severity isn’t wholly understood, reported cases have featured symptoms ranging from mild cold and flu-like symptoms with more severe cases resulting in death. However, these circumstances are commonly present in cases involving those who are very young (under three years old) and older adults (60+ years of age). Those with prior issues with heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are believed to be at higher risk.
It is thought that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low for the general public. Those working in the healthcare field, live in a country profoundly affected by the virus, or have had contact with someone with the illness should take extreme caution.
Some essential tips to protect yourself include:
- Wash Your Hands (30+ Sec.)
- Avoid Close Contact
- Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
- Wear and Facemask if Sick
- Stay at Home When Ill
- Clean and Disinfect Your Surroundings
In the coming weeks, it’s not entirely sure as to what will happen if the virus spreads into the United States and throughout the country. If you begin to feel ill and develop cough, sneezing, sore throat, and fever, do not hesitate to seek medical attention as the earlier it is caught, the faster medical professionals can treat symptoms and prevent the spread.
People should take precautions to prepare for any long periods at home if they become ill with COVID-19. Having a reasonable supply of water, disinfecting wipes or gel, tissues, and toilet paper is advised.
And although increased caution should be used as COVID-19 spreads, it’s vital to remember the odds of contracting the virus are low, especially with the proper precautions and not to let this scare impact your everyday life.
Stay connected to Hooray Health for the Latest Updates on COVID-19 at hoorayhealthcare.com/media.