What I learned about the coronavirus disease (and related topics)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (“SARS-CoV-2”) is the virus that causes the coronavirus disease (full name “coronavirus disease 2019”, abbreviated “COVID-19”). Fever, coughing, and shortness of breath are the primary symptoms of COVID-19 and these symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The first case of SARS-CoV-2 was documented in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China on Nov. 17, 2019, according to the South Morning China Post. It was noted that many of the early patients were linked to a renown seafood and live animal market.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that contain disease-causing strains. These strains are potentially deadly for mammals and birds. They are believed to be spread through fluid in the air transmitted by infected individuals. SARS, SARS-CoV-2, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), are some of the most infamous strains of the coronavirus. SARS has been traced back to Guangdong, a province in China, during 2002 while MERS was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. There are four known genuses in the coronavirus family: Alphacoronavirus, Betacoronavirus, Gammacoronavirus, and Deltacoronavirus. These collectively infect humans, birds and other animals to varying degrees.
The coronavirus family was initially detailed during the 1960s and is named based on its physical structure, a crown-like formation of sugary-proteins. Crown is translated from the Latin word “corona”. Side note/fun fact, viruses are named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Diseases are officially named by The World Health Organization (WHO), using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The WHO refers to the coronavirus as “the virus responsible for COVID-19” or “the COVID-19 virus” when communicating publicly to avoid creating stigma towards certain geographical areas, particularly Asia, as it has been affected most by the pandemic.
It has been claimed that older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions, like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, seem to be at a higher risk of developing COVID-19. According to Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), the coronavirus does not put old people at a greater risk of death or infection, however, children haven’t shown many cases of the disease, so far. He challenges some other myths too, by saying gloves and masks aren’t a wise prevention plan, and that there is no evidence that saunas help kill viruses of any sort. What seems to be universally agreed upon for battling the coronavirus is to avoid public gatherings and to wash hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer as a backup plan. The reaction to this safety precaution has actually caused a shortage of some sanitizing supplies, like tissue and paper towels, in some cities.
At the time of writing this, some known public figures that have tested positive for the coronavirus disease include: Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Paulo Dybala, Timo Hübers, German Pezzella, Patrick Cutrone, Luca Kilian, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau (wife of Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau), Trey Thompkins, Dusan Vlahovic, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Daniele Rugani, Manolo Gabbiadini, Antonino La Gumina, Morten Thorsby, Mikel Arteta, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell.