What is COVID-19?
What is Autism?
COVID-19 is the technical name for an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. It is an abbreviation, proposed by WHO where ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus and ‘D’ for disease. The 19 at the end represents the fact that it was identified in the year 2019 after the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
COVID-19 is caused by a family of viruses called coronaviruses. In humans, several of these viruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Contrary to popular belief, COVID-19 is not the flu. The flu is caused by viruses from the influenza family, which are a different family from coronaviruses. While the flu and COVID-19 do have an overlap of some symptoms, they are two completely distinct diseases. Furthermore, we have a vaccine for the flu, but we currently do not have any type of vaccine for coronavirus.
In most of the cases of COVID-19, individuals do not show any symptoms. As you never know who around you can have the disease, it is important to stay at home and leave only when necessary. Mild symptoms of COVID-19 include dry cough, flu and shortness of breath, while severe symptoms include pneumonia. In some cases, it can be severe enough that a person may need a ventilator.
COVID-19 has spread all around the world creating a global pandemic. The disease originated from China, but as of April 6th, has hit Europe the hardest with more than a million cases and thousands of deaths.
Since this is a new disease and scientists are still trying to find information about it, there is very little that we know. There are no vaccines for the disease, and the only method to prevent and reduce the spread right now is by maintaining social distancing; this is why many countries, including Pakistan and India, are observing a lockdown. COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained, and transmission can be stopped, as has been shown in China.