Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can infect and infest people, causing respiratory disease. The term “corona” refers to the numerous crown-like spikes on the virus’s surface, which give the virus its name. Human illness caused by coronaviruses includes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the common cold. The COVID-19 coronavirus strain was discovered for the first time in Wuhan, China, in December of this year. Since then, the virus has spread to all seven continents (except Antarctica). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, the first time the organisation has done so since announcing H1N1 influenza, a pandemic in 2009.  The number of those who have been infected changes daily. As of this writing (6 October 2021), 2,303,837 cases have been reported in Malaysia, with more than 26000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads when a person infected with the virus exhales droplets and microscopic particles containing the virus into the air. Other persons may be exposed to these droplets and particles if they come into contact with their eyes, noses, or mouths. In rare cases, they may contaminate surfaces that they come into contact with. People less than 6 feet away from an infected person have a higher chance of becoming infected. There are three main ways COVID-19 spread:

  • Breathing in the air close to an infected person who is releasing the droplets that contain the virus
  • Sneezing, coughing, or sneezing and allowing these tiny droplets and particles that contain the virus to settle in one’s eyes, nose, or mouth can cause an infection.
  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that are exposed to the virus

How long does it take for symptoms of the coronavirus disease to appear?

When it comes to viruses, the incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 might vary from person to person, as it does with other viruses. The incubation period is defined between the time of initial exposure to a virus or bacteria and the onset of symptoms. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms often manifest themselves 2–14 days following exposure. A study showed that 97.5 percent of symptomatic people would experience symptoms within 11.5 days. In addition, the researchers estimate that the mean incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 was 5.1 days on average.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

When people are diagnosed with COVID-19, they can experience a wide range of symptoms, ranging from moderate symptoms to severe sickness. Symptoms might emerge anywhere between 2 and 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone can experience symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Followings are the symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Older adults and those with significant underlying medical illnesses such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes appear to be at greater risk of developing more severe sequelae from COVID-19 sickness.

If you or someone you know has symptoms of COVID-19, it is critical that they get medical attention immediately. It is critical to maintain self-isolation in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A person should only leave their home if they require medical attention. Stay in a separate room as far away from other members of the household as possible, and if possible. Other important measures, including maintaining physical distance wherever feasible and washing one’s hands on a regular basis, should be followed as well.

Get vaccinated as soon as you can to provide maximum protection from COVID-19 and to avoid the possibility of spreading it to others.