Since 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the WHO have been closely monitoring the worldwide outbreak of a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, which is causing the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by this coronavirus, that has not previously been seen in humans, says the CDC.
People with COVID-19 disease have reported a wide range of symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Based on currently available information, older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, says the CDC.
Researchers identified the key risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19 disease in a study published in PLOS on August 12, 2020. They found both diabetes and kidney disease were accurate predictors of serious outcomes in older hospitalized patients.
COVID-19 Disease Symptoms
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 disease are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.
On April 25, 2020, the CDC announced the expansion of the COVID-19 disease symptom list to include Fever, Cough, Breathing difficulty, Chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, and a new diagnosis loss of taste or smell.
Additionally, the CDC says if you develop any of these emergency warning signs, seek medical attention immediately: Trouble breathing, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest, New confusion or inability to arouse, and Bluish lips or face. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The CDC announced on March 3, 2020, that a significant portion of individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others for several days before showing symptoms.
This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
On July 17, 2020, researchers from King’s College London revealed that they found six distinct ‘types’ of COVID-19, each distinguished by a particular cluster of symptoms. The most common symptoms are headache and loss of smell, with varying combinations of additional symptoms at various times. Some of these, such as confusion, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath, are not widely known as COVID-19 symptoms, yet are hallmarks of the most severe forms of the disease.
Furthermore, recent studies suggest that recovery from one SARS-CoV-2 infection might not protect a person against a second infection.
People at Risk from COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 is a new disease and scientists are still learning how it spreads. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19, or infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, can spread the illness to others, says the CDC.
- People can catch the COVID-19 disease from others who have the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- The coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person coughs or exhales.
- About 80% of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
- Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 disease becomes seriously ill and require hospitalization.
- Older people, and those with underlying medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illnesses.
- Pregnant women can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 disease.
- Children of all ages, including infants, appear susceptible to COVID-19 disease because the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is novel, which means infants are not able to obtain protective antibodies from their mothers.
COVID-19 Disease Diagnosis
It is unknown whether people can be infected a second time, or just continue to have low levels of the virus in their systems, after feeling better.
COVID-19 Disease Fatality Rate
COVID-19 disease fatality rates range between 12% in endemic areas, such as China, Italy, and Spain, to less than 1% in countries such as the USA, reports the CDC.
While the cause-of-death information is not perfect, it is very useful. Current estimates indicate that about 20%-30% of death certificates have issues with completeness. This does not mean they are inaccurate, says the CDC.
Multilingual COVID-19 Resources
The U.S. FDA says 'We hope that you find these translations useful. While the agency has attempted to obtain translations that are as faithful as possible to the English version, we recognize that the translated versions may not be as precise, clear, or complete as the English version. The official version of these translations is the English version.'
Note: Content sourced from the CDC, WHO, various governments, news agencies, social media networks, and the Precision Vax news network. All of the posts have been review by medical professionals, such as Dr. Robert Carlson.