As we all know, the whole world is under a severe threat due to the novel coronavirus outbreak (nCoV) that first sparked in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province of China. Also known as COVID-19, coronavirus attacks and damages an infected person’s respiratory system and in some cases, eventually claiming their life.

It was back in October 2019, that people in the Wuhan city started experiencing unusual viral pneumonia. Being contagious, the virus took no time to infect many people. Moreover, the novel coronavirus has now widespread across the globe and has claimed thousands of lives, and counting.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause a series of illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. These coronaviruses are usually seen in the animals and they can mutate and infect human beings as well. There are 6 coronaviruses – 1, 2, 3, and 4 known to infect human beings. The others are the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus. And, with COVID-19, we have the seventh one called the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 symptoms are non-specific and the disease presentation ranges from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe pneumonia, and death. People with COVID-19 generally develop signs and symptoms including mild respiratory symptoms and fever, on an average of 5 to 6 days after infection is developed, that means, the incubation period may range from 6 to 14 days.

Leading doctors and medical specialists infer that the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases of coronavirus is approximately 2 weeks. Patients with severe or critical diseases may take at least 3 to 6 weeks for complete recovery.

People of all ages can be infected by the coronavirus, provided they come in direct contact with the virus. Older people, and people with chronic comorbidities like asthma, diabetes, and heart diseases, are more vulnerable to fall prey to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

As per WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines, people of all ages are advised to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus outbreak. The virus can be prevented from spreading further by taking precautions like regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing signs of respiratory disorders.

For more information on COVID-19 or novel coronavirus outbreak, here is exclusive lecture – Click here to know more

Dr. Anoop Kumar, Chief of Critical Care Medicine, Baby Memorial Hospital, Calicut