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Understanding the Basics of Coronavirus

Understanding the Basics of Coronavirus

As of March 16th, 2020, the dreadful Coronavirus has spread to 151 countries, with almost 170000 people infected and around 7000 deaths reported. While the number might seem alarming, doctors, experts, and health departments of various countries continue to provide guidelines to stay healthy and calm in the wake of this global pandemic.

In light of this, we breakdown some of the guidelines to better understand the symptoms of coronavirus and when to visit and a doctor so we curtail unnecessary spreading of the disease.

Source: WHO

Symptoms of Coronavirus

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the credible sources to learn more about this pandemic. Coronavirus, also medically known as Covid-19, is considered to be a respiratory infection that causes:

  • High Fever,
  • Coughing, and
  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath.

However, such symptoms many times comes combined with common cold or flu or throat infection. To avoid any panic, the CDC suggests that common cold or flu or throat infection are not symptoms of the virus but the presence of the above three symptoms is critical to identify and cure the disease early on.

When Should I Visit a Doctor if I am Showing Symptoms of Coronavirus?

The CDC has also laid down emergency warning signs that indicate when to visit a medical professional. These emergency warning signs are:

  • Continuous pain in the chest,
  • Continuous breathlessness,
  • Inexplainable confusion, and
  • Sudden blueness of the face or the lips.

If you or your family members experience one or more of these emergency symptoms, visit the hospital to get a test done to confirm the status.


If you are not experiencing any such symptoms of Coronavirus, we strongly suggest that you do not get unnecessary tests done. Reports from across the world indicate that hospitals are running out of tests and equipment to treat patients actually suffering from Coronavirus, as many healthy people get the test without even showing symptoms.

How Contagious is Coronavirus?

Wuhan in China is the epicenter for the breakout of Coronavirus. While the exact origin of the virus is yet to be discovered, scientists are trying to finding the actual cause to better understand the extent of damage the virus is capable of. This also is expected to aid in medication and vaccination for the future.

Ever since the outbreak, China has faced almost 80860 with over 3000 deaths. Countries like Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Spain are slowly catching up behind as well. The overnight rise in numbers is enough evidence that Coronavirus can spread easily and is highly contagious. Doctors suggest that the eyes, mouth, and nose are the main entry points for the virus to get into the body. In lieu of this, here is how coronavirus spreads:

  • Human to human contact through touch, cough or sneeze.
  • Touching something the infected person touches and then immediately touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
  • Being in close proximity with a person/persons suffering from cold, fever and cough.

Experts further indicate that the virus that spreads through droplets in the air caused by bodily fluids like sweat or cough can live up to 10 minutes before coming in contact with a host, and can spread to a distance of 1 meter/3 feet. Therefore, washing hands regularly or disinfecting regularly will help keep the virus at bay.

Who is at Most Risk of Coronavirus?

Risk of Coronavirus
Risk of Coronavirus

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Looking at the patterns of how the virus has spread over the last few months, not everyone affected by the virus is at risk of death. People above the age of 60 years and people with a preexisting health condition like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pneumonia, cancer, and hypertension are most at risk.

On the other hand, people who are below the age of 60 can have Coronavirus but may not always show the symptoms. This is why the CDC strongly urges everyone to stay indoors and not come in contact with crowded places. You may have the virus and not show symptoms, but you are fully responsible for the spread of the virus which could potentially put vulnerable people at risk for their lives.

Therefore, the CDC and the WHO are of the view that anyone who comes in contact with persons suffering from cold or other symptoms should isolate themselves for at least two weeks as it can take up to 10 days to properly show the symptoms of coronavirus.

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