Coronavirus has glycoprotein spikes that project from their surface and look like corona from which their name derives. Coronavirus is not a newly discovered virus. Coronaviruses are a large group of related viruses which might cause illness in mammals like humans and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild such as a common cold or more severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. The COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and ever since this virus is spread all over the world with 1.503.900 confirmed cases and 89.931 total deaths. That is the reason why World Health Organization calls it a pandemic. The origin of COVID-19 is unknown but there is a theory that it was caused by bats. This coronavirus does not have an age limit.
Figure: Coronavirus structure.
The disease can spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, speaks or exhales. These droplets land on surfaces, so people can catch COVID-19 by touching these surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose, mouth or even scratching their eyes. The opinions about the time that virus lasts on the surfaces are various (depends on the material). People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19. The incubation period of the disease is fourteen days from the day a person becomes infected and begins to show symptoms.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are mostly mild and begin to develop gradually. Though there are some people are infected and they do not develop any symptoms.
They are people who are in risk of developing severe illnesses more than others. Those are older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes mellitus.
There are some important protection measures that everyone must follow for their protection and the others but also to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our hands should be regularly cleaned with soap and water for twenty seconds and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Moreover, we should keep at least one-meter distance from people around us especially the ones that are diagnosed with COVID-19. We should avoid touching our eyes, mouth and nose. Finally, when you or other people sneeze or cough should cover their mouths and noses with their bented elbow.
Unfortunately, there has not been discovered a vaccine, a medicine or a therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 yet. At the hospitals patients are experimentally treated with Chloroquine that is known for the treatment of malaria and with Remdesivir that treats embola. There are several cases that patients are healed without any treatment. There is always a hope and I am sure better days are coming.