December 1, 2021

Covid-19 (acronym for English coronavirus disease 2019, ie "coronavirus disease 2019") is a respiratory infection caused by the virus sars-cov-2, which belongs to the group coronavirus. The disease was first detected during the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The rapid, global spread led to the covid-19 pandemic.


Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by the virus sars-cov-2 which belongs to the virus group coronavirus. sars-cov-2 belongs to the same taxonomic family as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, which cause the diseases mers and sars, respectively. Several other viruses belonging to the coronavirus group are relatively harmless and cause common colds.

Spread of infection

Covid-19 is transmitted between people. The infection occurs mainly through so-called drip infection, which means that the virus is transmitted via droplets from the airways when an infected person sneezes, coughs, speaks or breathes. Small drops with the virus are transmitted by inhaling or coming into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. Sars-cov-2 can also be spread by contact infection, for example by contact with contaminated surfaces. There is no scientific consensus on whether the virus that causes covid-19 can also be spread by so-called airborne infection, where virus particles can travel long distances through the air. although a lot of circumstances indicate that this is possible. Some researchers claim that the phenomenon of superdistribution, ie. as one or a few infected people can spread the infection to a large number of others at one and the same time, it can only be understood if one also accepts that the virus can be spread airborne. It also happens that people without symptoms infect other people. Some of these get symptoms later while others never get any symptoms. It is unknown to what extent completely asymptomatic individuals contribute to the spread of infection. People who get symptoms are thought to be most contagious about two days before they get symptoms, but can be contagious for a longer period of time.


It has been estimated that at least one-fifth of those infected do not develop any symptoms. Among those who get symptoms, 80% get mild symptoms and recover without hospitalization, 15% get severe symptoms that may need hospitalization and oxygen supply, and 5% become critically ill and need intensive care. The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough and fatigue. Other common symptoms are: decreased sense of smell or taste, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (red eyes), sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, rash, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, chills and dizziness. The incubation period, time from when infection occurs until symptoms are usually around 5 days, but can range from two to 14 days. In some people, some symptoms may persist. According to a compilation of scientific articles made by SBU in December 2020, a number of long-term symptoms have been described. Symptoms were counted as prolonged when they had persisted for at least 6 weeks. Prolonged symptoms that the study participants had mainly experienced were fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, palpitations and impaired sense of smell. Chest pain, muscle and joint pain, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, skin changes, a deteriorating quality of life and a generally deteriorating physical and mental health were also reported. Clinical measures that had been reported in the studies were impaired lung function and changes in the lungs, cardiovascular effects such as myocarditis, changes in the brain and impaired sense of smell and taste. As the disease was new, it could not be ruled out that there are other long-term symptoms that had not yet been reported in scientific articles. The incidence of one and the same symptom varied between different studies, depending on how the different symptoms had been measured and whether the studies concerned patients in outpatient or inpatient care.



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