All Things COVID-19: General Info

With the novel COVID-19 virus, better known as the pandemic coronavirus, spreading rapidly, countless measures have been taken around the world to reduce infections. Below is a simplified guide to information, precautions, and rules regarding the coronavirus. 

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The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, which is genetically linked to the 2003 SARS outbreak. Popularized terms such as the “Chinese virus”, the “Wuhan virus” and others do not follow the name guidelines set for pathogens.. The location and ethnicity of the area of the first outbreak do not affect who may be infected. 

The virus is common in many animals. However, this particular strain, a genetic variant of a virus, is believed to come from bats. The virus can spread from people with COVID-19 who breathe out or cough and release tiny droplets from either the mouth or nose. Though likely to change as the situation unfolds, the virus currently has a 4.7 percent mortality rate, making it close to 5 times more deadly than influenza, which has a 0.1 percent mortality rate. 


Symptoms for the virus, which take about 2-14 days to show, include:

  • A persistent dry cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

Those at great risk include the elderly ages 65 and up, who make up 80 percent of deaths in the U.S. Others at risk are healthcare workers in close contact with sick patients, those who have experienced damage to their lungs from activities such as smoking, and those with previous health conditions like high blood pressure, lung and heart disease, and diabetes. 


The best possible way to contain the virus is to avoid close contact (a person infected with the coronavirus, on average, spreads it to 2.2 people)  with others and most importantly continually washing your hands for more than 20 seconds. Furthermore, when washing hands is not convenient, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent of alcohol, and do not touch your face. 



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