The Coronavirus Health Crisis
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is now considered a global health pandemic. It began as an epidemic but quickly progressed to a pandemic because of its highly infectious nature. COVID-19 is not the first known coronavirus. There are hundreds of coronaviruses, but most affect animals. Very few coronaviruses cause infections in people. And most of these infections cause symptoms that resemble the common cold. Three known coronaviruses cause more severe symptoms in people.
The Origin of COVID-19
The first cause of the novel coronavirus came from a food market in Wuhan City, China. We believed that this coronavirus came from bats. But, that theory proved false when people with no connection to that market became infected. This extended to the belief that transmission happens from animals-to-people and people-to-people.
COVID-19 spreads and transmits when you come into direct contact with someone infected with the virus. Your symptoms look a lot like a respiratory illness. Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms from which they recover. Others have more severe symptoms or never fully recover. For instance, people with pre-existing health conditions or weakened immune systems can have life-threatening symptoms or complications. Then there are those people who get rid of their infection but have long-term effects.
Exposure to COVID-19
COVID-19 symptoms present themselves anywhere between 2-14 days; however, most people experience symptoms around day 5. We call this the incubation period. Most of you will have mild symptoms that go away. Others will have severe, life-threatening symptoms. Please contact your doctor right away if you have any of these warning signs.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or chest pressure
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomitting
- Shortness of breath
- Change in the color of your lips or face
- Sudden confusion
Other COVID-19 Signs and Symptoms
Respiratory symptoms are common. But these COVID-19 signs and symptoms are also possible.
- Muscle or Joint Pain
Variants of COVID-19
Viruses change over time. When this happens, new viruses emerge as variants. There are five known variants of the novel coronavirus. Variants are not new viruses. But, they are considered a new strain of COVID-19. This means that there are similarities between the original coronavirus of 2019 and the variants.
COVID-19 variants produce the same symptoms. But they are more contagious and more infectious, thus making their risk of spread and transmission greater.