COVID-19 is believed to be a variant of the SARS virus and has been named after the current name of the virus, coronaviruses. However, it is not yet confirmed, as it is closely related to other viruses like the bird flu and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus. A separate study by an international team led by the University of Michigan Health System revealed that the SARS virus had a lot of genetic changes in the genes that are related to COVID-19.
An earlier analysis on the same virus had also found a strong similarity in the genes between SARS and COVID-19. It was further confirmed that the two viruses have a common mode of transmissibility. The genetic structure of the two viruses was also similar to that of other coronaviruses and other common cold viruses.
The main symptoms associated with COVID-19 include fever, cough, body aches, muscle and joint pain, cough, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The illness also causes severe pneumonia if left untreated. The virus has also been linked to a number of severe diseases like HIV and hepatitis. Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as lungs or heart disease seem to be more at risk for contracting COVID-19. The incubation period of the virus in humans is about six weeks and symptoms may manifest within one week of infection.
There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking for a vaccine that can prevent the virus from spreading to humans. They are also looking for a cure for the COVID-19 virus once it has been identified and isolated.
In order to prevent COVID-19 from being the next SARS, there are a few precautionary measures that need to be taken in order to minimize the risk of catching the disease. Carelessness in handling medical equipment, including blood pressure monitors and aerosol sprays, and lack of proper personal hygiene are some of the things that can contribute to the spread of the virus. Prevention is always better than cure.
Symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear about four to eight weeks after contact with an infected person or animal. The initial fever and cough do not seem to progress to the point where the patient is ready to consult a doctor. The onset of severe body aches and weakness and loss of appetite are also seen during the first week of the illness. If any of the above mentioned symptoms are present, the patient should be immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment.
The virus spreads very easily through close contact of an infected person to another patient or animal. The most common places to acquire the virus are through direct skin to skin contact with an affected individual or animal and through direct contact with contaminated objects, including toys and bed sheets and animals. These pets can also be carriers of the virus, which means that people with open sores or cuts can contract the virus from them. The symptoms of COVID-19 may appear and disappear rapidly from one person to the other.
In rare cases, the virus may also affect the liver and other parts of the immune system and cause a high temperature that lasts for several days. A fever can also occur in patients with severe cases of the illness in patients with low immune systems. Patients are highly encouraged to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Once a patient has caught the disease, the chances of recurrence are very high.