How Did The Coronavirus Start? PLUS Symptoms, Prevention, & Prognosis
How did the Coronavirus Start?
Coronaviruses are actually a large group of viruses which can be spread between people or between animals. It is thought that the Coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 was an animal-based coronavirus that emerged and began infecting people. MERS and SARS are two other viruses that have affected our population by spreading this way.
This virus was first detected in China, specifically Wuhan City, and it’s thought to have begun at a live animal market - which makes sense since it’s thought to have spread from animals to people. Viruses run on a continuum of how quickly they are spread, and some will spread faster and slower than others. From what we know so far, COVID-19 seems to spread easily.
What are Symptoms of the Coronavirus?
According to a large Chinese study, around 80% of those contracted with the coronavirus have mild symptoms, while 14% have severe symptoms, and less than 5% experience critical or deadly symptoms. This is pretty standard for most viral infections, including the flu. Critical and lethal symptoms usually occur in those that have a reduced immune system, such as the elderly.
Within 2-14 days of exposure, patients have noticed the following:
Shortness of breath
According to the CDC website, emergency warning signs include:
Bluish lips or face
New confusion or inability to arouse
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
If you or someone you love is experiencing these signs or symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
How does Coronavirus Spread?
COVID-19 seems to spread quite easily, and it mimics the spread of other viruses we know. When someone is acutely infected, the virus can be spread in the little respiratory water droplets given off when someone sneezes or coughs. In addition, it’s recommended not to touch the face during exposure because it can be easily spread through tears and other bodily fluids.
Thus far, it is not thought to be spread through food, and spread through hard services is likely minimal. It is not thought that the virus survives very long on hard surfaces such as countertops (although we’d be cautious about your cleanliness anyway!)
How to Prevent Coronavirus
How Coronavirus Spreads Through the Eyes
Just like other viruses can be spread person to person via the eyes, coronavirus is no different. If you’re acutely infected, touch your eyes, and then touch the face or hands of someone you love, it’s possible to infect them when they then touch their own eyes or mouth. While unlikely, we do see viral eye infections that spread rampantly through homes and daycares because of this.
Why is everyone saying to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth?
The only way to contract the virus is if you have it on your hands, which you got from someone who is infected, and then you touch your hands to your mouth, nose or eyes. So if you are in public, then avoid touching your face, but at home it is not as much of a worry.
Make Sure to Disinfect Commonly Touched Items
Disinfecting commonly touched items around your house with a powerful disinfectant will help prevent the spread of the disease. Common disinfectants that we recommend with an active viral infection or to prevent the spread are (as you know we don’t recommend using these on a daily basis, but in times of need they are okay):
Once acutely infected with COVID-19, supportive care is what is needed most, and this may include breathing treatments in some cases. As with all viruses, they must run their course. It is recommended that those who are acutely infected quarantine themselves at home (if possible and if not already in the hospital) and take proper precautionary measures regarding contact with others and thorough hand washing and sanitation.
Is the Coronavirus Deadly?
COVID-19 has shown to be a deadly virus, with about 3.2% of those dying from the acute infection. It is estimated that between 0.2-0.5% of people will die from the seasonal flu. However, we’ve stated that the majority of cases, around 80%, are mild and present minimal symptoms. This can be a good thing, but also may make it difficult to realize you’re infected before spreading it to someone with weaker immunity than you. Hence, why there is so much talk about the need for social distancing.
This all to say that...let’s take precautions. Cancel the big events, work from home if possible, close schools, wash your hands regularly, stop touching your face, and overall practice proper hygiene when it comes to your body, your home, and your workplace.