Coronaviruses is a large family of viruses. This is a virus that can cause diseases in humans and also in animals. In case of humans, different coronaviruses are found to cause respiratory infections. Such respiratory infections may include common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by coronavirus which was discovered recently. The first outbreak started in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Before that, the virus and the disease caused by it were unknown to humans.
The most common symptoms
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 includes the following-
- Dry cough
- Some people may have nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains and diarrhoea
The symptoms begin gradually and at first they are mild. Some people may become infected but may not develop any symptoms. About 80% of people recover from the disease without needing any special treatment. On the other hand, one out of every six people who is infected by COVID-19 may become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing.
older people and people who are suffering from different medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes more at risk from COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?
It can spread from one person to another. When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs or exhales, tiny droplets from the nose or mouth may come into contact with another person and the virus can spread that way. The droplets coming out of the mouth or nose of the infected person may land on objects and surfaces around the person. When someone else touches these objects or surfaces and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, they may get infected with COVID-19 causing virus.
If someone breathe in droplets from a COVID-19 infected person, then also that person may catch this virus. That is why you should stay more than 1 meter or 3 feet away from a person who is suffering from cough and fever.
Can it be transmitted through air?
COVID-19 is not transmitted through air according to the data received till now. Studies have found that the COVID-19 causing virus Ismailia transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets of the infected person.
Can you catch it from a person without any symptoms?
Since the virus spread through respiratory droplets of someone who was infected and coughing, the risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, you need to remember that many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. That mostly happens during the initial or early stages of the disease. And so it may be possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who is having a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is working on assessing the transmission of COVID-19 and more information will be available in the future.
Can you get it from the feces of someone suffering?
The possibility of catching COVID-19 from the feces of a person suffering from this disease is low. The initial investigations done on the disease suggest that the virus may be present in the feces of the infected person in some cases and it may spread but this is not a main feature of the outbreak.
However, you can still be careful and you should wash your hands properly and regularly before eating.