By now, you probably know of COVID-19 the disease that has slowly turned into a global pandemic. However, perhaps you might not know why. The mechanisms involved in its method of transmission, as well as the lack of vaccine or cure, makes it one of the most deadly diseases.
Stepping back, what does COVID-19 stand for? How is it transmitted? Stick along as this blog seeks to provide you with detailed insight into everything you need to know about it and how to protect yourself.
What does COVID-19 stand for?
As you might have guessed, COVID-19 is an acronym for Coronavirus disease of 2019. Chinese scientists discovered the first case in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Since its discovery, it has managed to spread to almost every continent across the world.
Who named COVID-19?
Now that you know what COVID-19 stands for, perhaps you might be wondering who is behind its naming. The World Health Organization (WHO) named it in a press release that published on February 11, 2020. Regardless, COVID-19 was just but an official name.
“2019 novel coronavirus” (2019-nCoV) is the original name after Chinese scientists discovered strange new pneumonia on December 31, 2019. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses later renamed it “severe acute respiratory syndrome 2” (SARS-CoV-2).
The main reason why it was named SARS-CoV-2 was that the virus is a genetic cousin of the coronavirus that was responsible for the 2002 outbreak.
Why was it renamed to COVID-19?
According to WHO, the renaming was necessary to enable them to discuss on its transmission, spread, severity, prevention, and treatment. The name was decided based on guidelines between the World Organization for Animal Health, WHO, and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Typically, the name and its abbreviation are ideal because it doesn’t refer to a specific animal, group of people, or a specific geographic location. What’s more, it is related to the decease and it’s quite easy to pronounce.
What is a coronavirus?
Although coronavirus gained its recognition recently, it is a common animal virus. The first case on corona emerged in the 1930s. Coronavirus causes a range of liver, respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal diseases in animals if left untreated.
In humans, it causes symptoms similar to the “common cold” and has catchy names such as HUK1, 229E, NL63, and OC43. However, unlike in the common cold, individuals experience heightened fever, shortness of breath, coughing, and many more.
Technically, three viruses in humans are capable of causing severe lung infections or pneumonia. They include MERS-CoV 2012 (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS), SARS-CoV 2002 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS), and SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19).
Why is it known as a novel coronavirus?
The word “novel” means something new or previously did not exist. Coronavirus is a new type of virus that had not been identified in humans. It is quite different from other types of viruses that cause the common cold or those that created MERS in 2012 and SARS in 2002.
Besides, like MERS and SARS, the novel coronavirus is also regarded as a zoonotic disease. It also means that its criterion of transmission is from animals to humans.
How do you protect yourself?
As the world ramps up its protection measures against this pandemic, an individual must ensure they put into consideration its mode of transmission and exercise caution. As mentioned earlier, COVID-19 is an infectious decease that spreads from one person to another.
The virus transmitted when an infected person comes into contact with a healthy person. This happens when saliva droplets of an infected person come into contact with a healthy person. The best way to ensure you stay safe is to wash your hands regularly, maintain a safe distance, and isolate yourself.
Quarantine is also one of the best methods used to ensure you restrict your movement. While in quarantine, you don’t come into contact with anyone with the contagious disease.
Apart from isolating yourself, maintaining a safe distance, and washing your hands, their several other things you should put into consideration. Firstly, you should note that the coronavirus is capable of living on surfaces for up to 3 days. As a result, it is fundamental that you do not touch unnecessary things and wash your hands regularly with a detergent or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Secondly, wear disposable gloves and disinfect utilities in your home from time to time. Citing a previous consumer report, scientists revealed that regular detergents are capable of killing viruses almost instantly. Its impurities disrupt the virus’s barriers, thereby making it vulnerable and more natural to kill.
Thirdly, you should note that cold and dump clothes offer an excellent environment for the survival of the majority of viruses, including SARS, MERS, and Coronavirus. They can exist longer in dump and cold places than on hard or dry environments. For this reason, you must use dry clothes, a face towel, and other personal effects to avoid contracting the virus.
Finally, ensure you avoid public gatherings. Coronavirus is only airborne for about three meters. The virus can only be transmitted if there is close contact. It is, in fact, one of the main reasons why infected persons are isolated or kept into quarantine. In case you suspect you might have contacted the disease, you should visit a medical facility for a close examination.
Among the main reasons that make COVID-19, quite a dangerous disease is because it has neither a vaccine nor a cure. Although scientists and researchers are working round the clock to come up with a treatment, it is only necessary that you exercise the required prevention measure to avoid contracting the virus.
Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is, without a doubt, one of the most deadly diseases that have managed to claim lives across the globe within a short time. However, this does not mean that it is unpreventable. If the right prevention measure is observed, it is possible to contain the virus.