What Is COVID-19?
A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses aren’t dangerous.
COVID-19 is a disease that can cause what doctors call a respiratory tract infection. It can affect your upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, and throat) or lower respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs). It’s caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2.
It spreads the same way other coronaviruses do, mainly through person-to-person contact. Infections range from mild to serious.
SARS-CoV-2 is one of seven types of coronavirus, including the ones that cause severe diseases like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The other coronaviruses cause most of the colds that affect us during the year but aren’t a serious threat for otherwise healthy people. In early 2020, after a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of coronavirus. The outbreak quickly spread around the world.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The main symptoms include:
· Shortness of breath
· Chills, sometimes with shaking
· Body aches
· Sore throat
· Loss of smell or taste
What to do if you think you have it
If you live in or have traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading:
- If you don’t feel well, stay home.Even if you have mild symptoms like a headache and runny nose, stay in until you’re better. This lets doctors focus on people who are more seriously ill and protects health care workers and people you might meet along the way. You might hear this called self-quarantine.
- Call the doctor if you have trouble breathing. You need to get medical help as soon as possible. Calling ahead (rather than showing up) will let the doctor direct you to the proper place, which may not be your doctor’s office. If you don’t have a regular doctor, call your local board of health. They can tell you where to go for testing and treatment.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and keep up with the news on COVID-19.Between your doctor and health care authorities, you’ll get the care you need and information on how to prevent the virus from spreading.