The coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV2, is caused by an influenza-like virus called SARS-COV. SARS-CoV virus spreads easily from person to person through direct contact with the mouth or nose of an infected person. People who are at high risk for catching COVID virus include children and babies, people with chronic medical conditions such as lung or heart disease or diabetes, pregnant women, people who had recently recovered from surgery, and those who live in or have visited countries with high SARS incidence. SARS virus is also a factor for outbreaks in Asia, Europe and Africa.
COVID virus is also very contagious among young children, infants and even older adults. In addition, if an infected person comes into close physical contact with a person who does not have the virus, then there is the possibility of transmission of the disease to that person. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue and weight loss.
The most common symptom in young children is the inability to gain weight; however, in adults, the most common symptom is the shortness of breath. Other COVID symptoms are: severe headaches, diarrhea, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, malaise, skin rash, fever, loss of appetite, night sweats, swollen glands and swollen lymph nodes, seizures and stomach pain.
Children and adults who are at high risk of contracting COVID can be diagnosed with the SARS-like symptoms and should be treated for possible serious health complications. Serious complications include pneumonia, respiratory infection, jaundice, pancreatitis, hepatitis and encephalitis. It is important to diagnose COVID early on because the virus can become resistant to certain treatments.
COVID virus may interfere with the body’s ability to produce antibodies which protect against other viruses and can weaken the body’s immune system. This results in increased vulnerability to other diseases, which can be life threatening or even fatal.
As a result of the health concerns of children and adults who are diagnosed with COVID virus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an antiviral medication that can help prevent the virus from being transmitted to children and prevent their death from secondary infections. The drug, ZMapp is an oral supplement that can be given intravenously to reduce the risk of developing serious complications.
To date, there are no known cure for COVID but it can be managed in the hopes that the virus will be eradicated in the future and avoid any further serious health issues. The FDA has approved ZMapp to treat both SARS and COV because there are no known drugs that can completely eliminate these infections.
It is important for children and adults who are diagnosed with COV to be closely monitored and to seek immediate medical attention, especially in the event of fever, seizures, unexplained weight loss, unexplained cough, or unexplained bruising. If you or a member of your family is having an episode of cough with fever, seizures, unexplained weight loss or vomiting, contact your healthcare provider.
The virus is not harmful to healthy immune system, so a prolonged course of COV treatment is not recommended, though a shorter course may be more effective. For adults with COV, most people respond well to a course of treatment consisting of a single dose once a day, or once every four weeks, for up to six months.
If you are unsure about whether you have been exposed to the virus, discuss your concerns with your doctor or healthcare provider. He or she may refer you to an infectious disease specialist (ID) for further information. If you are at risk of contracting COV, you should visit your doctor or ID immediately. A health care provider can tell you more about the disease, including the precautions you risk of contracting COV, and the medications used to manage this virus.
Since the symptoms of SARS include similar symptoms, the two viruses are very similar. When diagnosed with COV, the primary difference between the two viruses is the duration of the illness and whether the symptoms persist for more than two weeks.
The FDA recommends that any person whose doctor suspects that they have the SARS-like symptoms should be tested as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. The sooner you know the diagnosis, the faster you can get help.