Coronavirus – 10 facts

Coronavirus is a word that has been moving the world for a year, and there is not a day that we don’t hear about it. There is a huge amount of information about the disease caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19, which can often be incorrect or misleading. That’s why we have summarized the most important facts that everyone should know today.


1. What is coronavirus?
The term coronavirus is used to refer to any virus belonging to the subfamily Coronaviridae. This is a collective term for four families of viruses that cause diseases of animals and humans of varying severity. The name comes from the characteristic arrangement of the surface structures of the lipid envelope of viruses in the form of a solar corona. Coronavirus can cause common problems such as colds, coughs, shortness of breath, fever, but also a life-threatening disease such as a respiratory disease called severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome), or MERS infection (Middle East Respiratory disease). Syndrome).

A new type of coronavirus, dubbed SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV, called Wuchang coronavirus), first appeared in early December 2019 in the Chinese province of Hubei, home to the 11 million city of Wuhan. The disease caused by this coronavirus has been designated as COVID-19. Since this is happening all over the world, we are talking about a pandemic, i.e. a large-scale epidemic. Every day more and more people become infected and, unfortunately, die, and therefore the attention of many scientists around the world is focused on the only goal – to rid humanity of this virus. Thanks to them, we already know what the genetic structure of the virus is, how the virus spreads, how best to protect ourselves from its transmission, how to treat the disease, and we are conducting more and more tests, and in recent months – more. and more obvious vaccines. It may seem that the end of the pandemic is already near. Moreover, now it is impossible to relax in all preventive measures. The responsible approach of each of us is very important in the fight against the pandemic.

2. What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?
In 40-60% of people, COVID-19 may be asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, which are not always easy to distinguish from the symptoms of other respiratory infections (flu, colds). The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry irritating cough, headache and fatigue. Loss of taste and smell is to some extent a specific symptom, but may not occur in all patients or from the very beginning of the disease. Other common symptoms include sore throat, joints, muscles, and back, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or conjunctivitis. Serious symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath, which are characterized by subjectively perceived breathing problems. The patient feels heaviness in the chest or lack of air and difficulty breathing..

The first symptoms usually appear 5-6 days after infection, and the incubation period is from 2 to 14 days. Already 2 days before the first symptoms appear, an infected person is contagious to his environment. The main symptoms (fever and pain) usually disappear within 14 days. But dry cough and fatigue can last longer, from several weeks to months. Severe symptoms and conditions requiring hospitalization require longer treatment – 3-6 weeks or longer.

Symptoms of COVID-19


3. Who is most at risk of COVID-19?
Vulnerable groups include the elderly , the chronically ill and people with weakened immune systems . In addition to age, the main risk factors are obesity (BMI over 30) and smoking, diseases including poorly compensated diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (especially poorly compensated hypertension), chronic lung diseases (COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), cancer, kidney diseases. and patients after transplantation. Children usually have an asymptomatic or mild course. However, in exceptional cases, severe reactions of the immune system may occur. That’s why we all have to defend ourselves.

4. How is COVID-19 transmitted?
Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through close contact. This is a so – called airborne infection . Drops most of all spread to the environment when coughing, sneezing, singing, as well as during conversation. Most often, you can inhale drops containing the virus, or you can touch the surface on which the drops are located, and then touch the face. The virus persists on the surface for up to several hours.

5. How to prevent COVID-19 infection?
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap or disinfectant gel.
Regularly wipe your own things with disinfecting wipes (for example, a mobile phone).
Coughing and sneezing into a handkerchief or sleeve
Use disposable handkerchiefs and then throw them away.
Use veils or respirators – cover your mouth and nose.
Do not reuse disposable protective equipment.
Do not touch the face and touch the mask or respirator as little as possible.
If you can’t see well, wear prescription glasses instead of contact lenses.
Avoid large groups of people and keep a safe distance (about 2 meters).
Exclude contact with sick people
Do not travel to affected areas
If you don’t feel well, stay at home
Stay up to date with verified sites
Follow the recommendations of the relevant authorities and the Government of the Czech Republic.
Strengthen the immune system – a lot of vitamins, a balanced and varied diet.
Veil or respirator, which to choose?
These protective devices differ mainly in their filtering ability. The veil primarily protects your environment from the spread of airborne infection, to a lesser extent you. The respirator has a higher filtration efficiency and fits better to the face, so it protects, in particular, you, but, of course, also your environment. Therefore, it is more appropriate for patients at risk to use a respirator.


6. How to wash your hands properly?
The basic principle of preventing transmission of infection is proper hand washing, which should take 40-60 seconds. Thoroughly wash the palms and the back of the hands, the area between the fingers, the thumb and the area under the nails. You can increase the washing efficiency by using antibacterial soap. Wash your hands regularly, always after coming home from the street, after going to the toilet, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, after using a shopping cart, after handling money, after using public transport and in many other situations. Do not touch your face or eyes with unwashed hands. If the sink is not at hand, use a disinfectant gel. You can also use it to wash your hands after washing. It is also important to regularly disinfect objects that you touch with unwashed hands, especially a mobile phone, mouse, computer keyboard or steering wheel in a car. With frequent hand washing and the use of disinfectant gels , one should not forget about the regular use of hand creams . Moisturizing the skin is very important, because cracks can form on dry skin, and such cracked hands facilitate the penetration of infection into the body.

7. What about vaccination against COVID-19?
Some COVID-19 vaccines are already available in the Czech Republic, while others are still being prepared and approved worldwide. Vaccination will primarily be intended for medical workers, the elderly and the most vulnerable groups of patients, as well as for the critical infrastructure of the state. After that, it will be possible to vaccinate all adults. Vaccination is free and voluntary. Several types of vaccines have been developed in the world at the same time, so we will also meet more types of vaccines in the Czech Republic. In the first half of 2021, there will be 2 main types of vaccines in the Czech Republic: the so-called mRNA vaccines and adenovirus vaccines. None of these vaccines contain only the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so they cannot cause COVID-19 in vaccinated people.

Both of these types of vaccines lead to the production of SARS-CoV-2-specific protein by the cells of our body. Then this protein is recognized by our immune system as a foreign substance, against which it begins to produce antibodies, and the so-called immune memory is created. Thanks to this, the moment our immune system encounters the SARS-CoV-2 virus again, it immediately recognizes it and triggers a rapid protective response. It has been shown that even the beginning of COVID-19 does not guarantee permanent immunity against further infection, and therefore sufficient vaccination of our population seems to be the most effective way out of the pandemic.

8. What about testing?
Testing is one of the foundations of the fight against COVID-19. It helps to detect an infected person in time and thereby prevent the further spread of the virus among the population.

Why testing is so important in the fight against COVID-19:
The disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, COVID-19, can be hidden in 60% of infected people without obvious symptoms. Even an infected person without symptoms is contagious to his environment.
Before the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear, an infected person can become infected and spread the disease.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are difficult to distinguish from the symptoms of other respiratory infections (colds, flu). Loss of taste and smell is to some extent a specific symptom, but may not occur in all patients or from the very beginning of the disease.
There are currently several types of tests available:
PCR tests are currently the most sensitive and reliable method of proving the presence of information about virus genes (virus RNA) on the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx. They are used to diagnose COVID-19 and are evaluated in laboratories. The disadvantage is a higher price and a longer evaluation time.


One response to “Coronavirus – 10 facts”

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