As countries around the world struggle to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, scientists are also in a race to produce a vaccine, even though experts say it is unlikely that one will be ready before 2021.

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a collective name for viruses that cause illnesses ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Most coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to people and vice versa.

The name ‘coronavirus’ is gotten from the Latin word ‘corona,’ which means crown. The virus is so named because when viewed under an electron microscope, it looks like it is surrounded by a solar corona.

In December 2019, Chinese authorities announced to the world that they suspected that a novel strain of the coronavirus was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan. Now officially known as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the novel strain of the virus has since spread to over 200 countries and territories across the globe.

How is it transmitted?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 is highly contagious and can be transmitted from animals to humans. Recent studies also indicate that it can be spread via secretions from infected persons to others via sneezing, cough, or handshake.

Going further, researchers have also found out that the virus can live under laboratory conditions for as long as three days on plastic and steel, while its lifespan is shorter on soft surfaces such as cardboard and fur. If anyone touches that surface and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose, they may also contract the virus.

What are the symptoms?

According to WHO, symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 typically take 2-14 days to appear. The time after exposure and before symptoms are called the incubation period. The main signs of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

How deadly is the coronavirus disease 2019?

The rate of infection, as well as the number of fatalities from COVID-19, has surpassed the toll of previous types of coronaviruses. As at the time of writing, the number of confirmed cases is well over six million, and over 400,000 people have so far died from the outbreak.

Although anyone can get COVID-19, the infection results in complications in people with weakened immune systems (adults over 65 years) and those with existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, etc.

How to prevent coronavirus infection

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (like Femito products)
  • Keep your hands away from your eye, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of 6 feet away from others.
  • Avoid close contact with infected people


Wrap-up

Coronavirus is a deadly disease that’s ravaging our world but you can stay safe by cleaning your hands with alcohol-based sanitizer like Femito (フェミート) and following other safety precautions.