Corona Virus Protection
At Star FM Group we are taking precautionary measures to fight against the new virus labelled “Corona Virus” which is a contagious respiratory disease that was first detected in China in December 2019 has spread worldwide. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
Although health officials here and abroad are working to track and contain the growing epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects widespread transmission of COVID-19 across all countries
The extent of this outbreak is rapidly evolving and risk assessment changes daily, but here’s what we know about COVID-19 as of today:
What is a coronavirus? What is a novel coronavirus?
A coronavirus is the name for a large set of illnesses, including the common cold and other respiratory infections. The term “novel” coronavirus means it’s a new form of the virus.
Where and how did COVID-19 begin?
We learned about this particular virus shortly after a cluster of severe pneumonia cases were reported on New Year’s Eve 2019 in Wuhan, which is in the Hubei Province of China. On January 9, virologists and other public health researchers identified the strain as a novel coronavirus, which was tied to a specific “wet market” in the city of Wuhan, where they sell fish and other live animals.
These markets have been known to transmit viruses before. For cultural reasons in the region, people want to see the specific animals they’re buying be slaughtered in front of them, so they know they’re receiving the products they paid for. As a result, particles of infectious viruses or bacteria can be aerosolized and, in rare instances, jump from animals to people. It’s how SARS, another coronavirus, started in 2003.
How does the COVID-19 spread?
This virus is really transmissible and can spread easily from person to person even before a person develops symptoms. It’s carried on respiratory droplets when we talk, sneeze, and cough and these can land on surfaces or in someone’s mouth or nose. When it comes to respiratory droplets, 6 feet is the magic distance. That’s how far these tiny, infected droplets can travel. Being within 6 feet of someone who is sick can get you or your personal space contaminated with COVID-19.
When droplets land on surfaces, we can pick them up with our hands and transfer them to our eyes, mouth, and nose when we touch our faces. This is why hand hygiene is so important. Good hand hygiene means washing our hands not just after we’re using the restroom or before we’re eating but regularly throughout the day. Respiratory secretions (like snot and sputum) are also be infectious, so cover your coughs and sneezes, use disposable tissues, throw them away when you’re done, and wash your hands afterward. Keep your work surfaces clean and wipe off your keyboard and your phone.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Is it deadly?
It typically causes flu-like symptoms. Some patients — particularly the elderly and others with other chronic health conditions — develop a severe form of pneumonia.
Patients develop symptoms like fever, muscle and body aches, cough, and sore throat about 5-6 days after infection. Most people will feel pretty miserable for a week and get better on their own. Some people won’t get as sick, but it’s still important not to be out and about, so as not to spread the disease. A minority of patients will get worse instead of better. This usually happens after 5-7 days of illness and these patients will have more shortness of breath and worsening cough. If this happens, it’s time to contact your doctor again or even go to an emergency room. Be sure to call first so they know you are coming.
The numbers of people who have been diagnosed and how many have died are changing daily. As of early March, there have been over 125,000 confirmed cases, with a death toll of about 4,500 (more than 3,000 in mainland China). But these numbers are just estimates; it’s still unclear how many people have actually been infected worldwide. Most of the deaths have been in adults over 60 years old who had other health concerns.
Is everyone at risk for catching COVID-19?
Yes. It doesn’t appear anyone is naturally immune to this particular virus, and there’s no reason to believe anybody has antibodies that would normally protect them. However, children appear to be among those least likely to have a bad outcome from contracting the disease.
The lack of previous experience with this virus is part of the reason public health officials are working so hard to contain the spread of this particular coronavirus. When viruses are both new (which means the population is highly susceptible) and can easily pass from person to person (a high transmission rate), they can be very dangerous.
Why do some people with the COVID-19 get sicker than others?
It looks like only about 20% of people who contract this novel coronavirus need to be hospitalized. The other 80% get what feels like a bad cold and recover at home. A lot of this has to do with underlying medical conditions. People who are more vulnerable to any kind of infection — because of their age or chronic health conditions — are more at risk for getting really sick from COVID-19.
That said, some otherwise healthy people do seem to be getting sicker from this infection than we would expect. We don’t understand why that is or what might be different about these patients. If you have COVID-19 and you are getting sicker and sicker instead of better and better, you should contact your doctor or visit an ER. Be sure to call first so they know to expect you.