COVID-19 pandemic

Article

October 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus has zoonotic origin and the first known case of the disease dates back to December 2019 in Wuhan, China. On January 20, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the outbreak as an International Public Health Emergency and, on March 11, 2020, as a pandemic. As of October 19, 2021, 241 113 527 cases were confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with 4 905 124 deaths attributed to the disease, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history. The symptoms of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from none to life-threatening illnesses. The virus mainly spreads through the air when people are close to each other. It makes a person infected when they breathe, cough, sneeze or speak and enter another person through their mouth, nose or eyes. It can also spread through contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to two weeks and can spread the virus even if they are asymptomatic. Recommended preventive measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air filtration, hand washing, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing , surface disinfection and monitoring and self-isolation for exposed or symptomatic people. Several vaccines are being developed and distributed around the world. Current treatments focus on symptoms as therapeutic drugs that inhibit the virus are developed. Authorities around the world have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns, workplace controls and facility closures. Many places have also worked to increase the ability to test and track the contacts of those infected. The pandemic has resulted in significant global social and economic instability, including the biggest global recession since the Great Depression. This has led to a widespread shortage of supplies exacerbated by the rush to buy, agricultural disruption and food shortages, as well as reduced emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Many educational institutions and public areas were partially or completely closed, and many events were canceled or postponed. Disinformation circulated on social media and mass media. The pandemic raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

Epidemiology

Initial outbreak

The first suspected cases were reported on December 31, 2019, with the first symptoms appearing a few weeks earlier, on December 1, 2019. The Market closed on January 1, 2020 and people with symptoms were isolated. More than 700 people, including more than 400 health professionals, who came into close contact with suspected cases, were subsequently monitored. With the development of a diagnostic-specific PCR test to detect the infection, the presence of COVID-19 was then confirmed in 41 people in Wuhan, of which two were later reported to be a couple, one of whom had not been on the market. and three other members of the same family who worked at the seafood stalls in the same market. The first death from the epidemic occurred on January 9, 2020. The National Health Commission of China confirmed, on January 20, 2020, that the new coronavirus can be transmitted between humans. At the time, several health professionals were also infected. WHO warned that a broader outbreak was possible. There were also concerns about spreading more during Chin's peak travel season.

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