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COVID-19 : What it is and Why we need to take this seriously

In the Philippines, COVID-19 or NCOV is considered widespread and as of publication, a luzon wide Enhanced Community Quarantine has been imposed since last March 17.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.1

Who is at more risk?

According to the CDC Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. 2

  • Elderly and senior citizens need to take every extra precaution.  They should avoid non-essential travel.
  • They should also pay attention to hygienic practices such as frequent and proper handwashing and bathing regularly.
  • Whenever there is no access to handwashing facilities, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol.
  • Always wear a facemask to protect yourself.
  • Always maintain at least 1 meter (physical distancing or social distancing) from the other person when outside.

1 Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)
2 People Who Are At Higher Risk
3 Cleaning and Disinfection for Households

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