What is Covid 19?

Covid 19 is the name of the name of the respiratory diseases caused by new corona virus. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of RNA viruses that typically cause mild respiratory disease in humans.

However, in 2003 the Severe Acute Respiratory disease coronavirus (SARS-CoV) demonstrated that CoVs are also capable of causing outbreaks of severe infections in humans.

A second severe CoV, Middle East Respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), emerged in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Coronavirus name derived from the Latin corona, meaning crown. When viewd by an electron microscope, the virus appears to be ‘crown like’ due to small projections on the surface. The virus that causes Cov-19 is SARS-CoV-2. The origin of the virus is not specifically known at this time but it has been speculated that it came from an animal such as bats or pangolins.

The disease is transmitted by respiratory droplets.The time for symptoms to appears (incubation period) has a range of 2-12 days with an average of 6.4 days. This is why a 14 day quarantine or isolation period is set for those who are suspected of having an infection.

The most common symtoms are: fever (83-98%); dry cough (46-82%); and shortness of breadth (11-44%). Current estimates are that 80-85% of those infected will have minor or no symptoms. Because these symptoms are similar to other diseases, such as the flu, it is not possible to easily distuingish Cov-19 to other diseases without specific testing.

As of 4/3/2020 it appears that as many as 50% of those infected will have no or mild symptoms. 40% of those infected will feel like they have a bad flu and may have trouble breathing but will recover without hospitilization. The fatality rate is still not known, but current estimates believe that it will be about 1% in the US.

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