COVID-19

Article

October 19, 2021

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019, in Portuguese: Coronavirus Disease – 2019) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough and tiredness. Among other less common symptoms are muscle pain, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, loss of smell and taste, and rash. About 80% of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections have mild symptoms of COVID-19 or are asymptomatic, and most recover without sequelae. However, 15% of infections result in severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen and 5% are very serious infections that require assisted ventilation in a hospital setting. The most severe cases can progress to severe pneumonia with severe respiratory failure, sepsis, multiple organ failure and death. Signs of worsening disease include shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, blue-tinted fingers, or speech and movement disturbances. The worsening can be sudden, usually occurs during the second week and requires urgent medical attention. The disease is transmitted through droplets produced in the airways of infected people. When sneezing or coughing, these droplets can be inhaled or directly into the mouth, nose or eyes of people in close contact. These droplets can also deposit on nearby objects and surfaces that can infect anyone who touches them and puts their hand to the eyes, nose or mouth, although this form of transmission is less common. The time interval between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms is 2 to 14 days, with an average of 5 days. Among the risk factors are old age and serious chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or lung disease. Diagnosis is suspected based on symptoms and risk factors and confirmed with real-time polymerase chain reaction assays for detection of virus RNA in mucus or blood samples. Prevention measures include frequent hand washing , avoid close contact with other people, avoid touching your face with your hands and wearing a mask in public places. As of March 25, 2021, 12 vaccines against COVID-19 had received authorization for use by at least one national regulatory authority worldwide. There is no specific antiviral treatment for the disease. Treatment consists of symptom relief and supportive care. People with mild cases are able to recover at home. Antibiotics have no effect against viruses. SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in humans in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, China. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to be of animal origin. The initial outbreak gave rise to a global pandemic that as of October 19, 2021 had resulted in 241 113 527 confirmed cases and 4 905 124 deaths worldwide. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a variety of respiratory illnesses, from mild illnesses such as colds to more serious illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Among other epidemics caused by coronaviruses are the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) epidemic in 2012.

Signs and symptoms

The severity of symptoms ranges from mild cold-like symptoms to severe viral pneumonia with life-threatening respiratory failure. The incubation period between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms is, on average, 5 days, although it can vary between 2 and 14 days. The disease is contagious during the incubation period, so an infected person may infect others before they start to show symptoms. In many cases of infection there are no symptoms. In symptomatic cases, the symptoms

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