More on COVID - 19
What is coronavirus (COVID - 19)?
While the name of the disease is COronaVIrus Disease 2019 also known as COVID-19, the name of the virus causing the disease is named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS – CoV2).
‘Corona’ is Latin for crown. Coronavirus refers to the family of viruses that the disease belongs to and are named for their crown-like shapes with spikes ending in little blobs.
There are many different coronaviruses ranging from the common cold to MERS, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
COVID -19 is a newly identified type that has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness in human.
How does it affect our body?
The virus enters the body through the mouth, eyes or nose.
After entering the body, the virus spreads to the back of the nasal passage and to mucous membranes.
Then it enters human body cells using its crown-like spikes. Subsequently, the virus delays the normal immune system response and replicates itself, allowing the infection to gain foothold in the body.
The virus then moves from the back of the throat down to the bronchial tubes towards the lungs. The lining of the respiratory tree becomes injured, causing inflammation.
If infection gets worst, it goes past just the lining of the airway and goes to the gas exchange units, which are at the end of the air passages.
Lungs then respond to this invasion by pouring out inflammatory material into the air sacs located at the bottom of the lungs causing pneumonia.
Lungs that become filled with inflammatory material are unable to get enough oxygen to the bloodstream, reducing the body’s ability to take on oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. Multiple organs fail due to lack of oxygen, inflammation and septic shock.
Symptoms often start in the back of the throat with a SORE THROAT and a DRY COUGH.
As a way of supporting the immune system to ensure that it takes appropriate action against the offending coronavirus, the body’s core temperature rises causing a MILD FEVER.
This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if someone usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
HIGH GRADE FEVER
As the body increases its effort in fighting the intruders, the core body temperature equally goes up.
SHORTNESS OF BREATH
Swelling and mucus make it harder for the lungs to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.
How deadly is Covid - 19?
According to several different data, Covid -19 is mild in 80 percent of patients, sever in 13 percent of patients and critical in 6 percent. If covid-19 isn’t very severe and kills only a small percentage of people, why is it so dangerous? Covid-19 is transmitted much more readily between humans than any other known coronavirus disease outbreaks such as SARS – CoV and MERS – CoV.
Steps to take if you are sick
These steps are specific to the local (Ethiopian) context. In any other case, please reach out to your health authorities for instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
1. Check yourself for the major COVID-19 symptoms: fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.
2. If you have one or all of the above 3 symptoms, call 8335 and report the symptoms.
3. There may be a long wait time with 8335 but please remain patient and stay on the line.
4. The call operator will decide if further steps need to be taken.
5. If the call operator believes that you are a COVID-19 suspicion case, they will dispatch a surveillance team to come to where you are and further verify your COVID-19 status.