We are facing an unprecedented fight against COVID-19. In early 2020, after a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of coronavirus called COVID-19 and the COVID-19 disease spread rapidly across the global causing heavy fatalities.
By itself, the coronavirus is a common type of virus which causes an infection in your nose, sinuses or upper throat and it is not dangerous. However, the mutated strains of the coronavirus like COVID-19 prove to be deadly.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 that can trigger a respiratory tract infection. The infection can affect your upper respiratory tract which includes sinuses, nose, and throat or lower respiratory tract which is the windpipe and lungs. The SARS-CoV-2 spreads through person-to-person contact. The infections can be mild or deadly.
An early Chinese study of 103 COVID-19 cases found two strains, which they named L and S and they believed it is the L strain that was responsible for the early onset of the transmission. However, once the transmission of the virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more opportunities a virus has to spread, the more it replicates and the more opportunities it has to undergo changes.
The COVID-19 vaccines that are presently in development or have been approved for use on humans are expected to provide at least some protection against new virus variants because these vaccines elicit a broad immune response involving a range of antibodies and cells. However, in recent development, there have been reports that vaccines may prove to be less effective in preventing the transmission of the mutated COVID-19 virus. In July 2021, the reports released by World Health Organization (“WHO”), revealed that the Delta strain of COVID-19, which is a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, can be transmitted between persons who have been vaccinated.
Data continues to be collected and analyzed on new variants of COVID-19. WHO is working tirelessly with researchers, health officials and scientists to understand how these variants affect the virus’s behavior, including their impact on the effectiveness of vaccines.
While data is being collected, there is a need to stop the spread of the virus in order to prevent further mutations of the virus especially in large populations where many had died from the deadly strains of COVID-19. Although booster shots can be administered, pharmaceutical firms will need to conduct trials so as to assess the efficacy of these booster shots and the scale of the trials must be large and diverse to enable clear interpretation of the results and all these takes time while we battle against the deadly strains of the COVID-19 daily. To prevent the further spread of the virus especially in highly populated cities, Governments and the public must work hand-in-hand to impede the spread of the COVID-19 and reduce the number of likely infections.
Although in many countries, Governments have implemented lockdowns of cities, the deadly strains of the COVID-19 continue to spread like wildfire. Whilst some countries have the deadly COVID-19 under control, some countries still require extended lockdowns to halt the spread of COVID-19.
There is no way to tell how long the pandemic will continue. There are many factors, including the Governments and their citizens’ efforts to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 so that researchers’ can learn more about the virus, continue with their search for a treatment, and most importantly to ensure the success of the vaccines produced.
As a member of the public, we need to know how we can help to halt the spread of the virus and to do so, we will need to follow the guidelines laid out Governments and Health Authorities. We should also learn about the symptoms which the COVID-19 can cause so that we can make sure that we and our loved ones will be able to get the much-needed help in these unpredictable times. There are some preventive measures which we can take to forestall the spread of COVID-19
To prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
- Get vaccinated.
The Main Symptoms of COVID-19
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Chills, sometimes with shaking
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion/runny nose
- Loss of smell or taste
If you notice the following severe symptoms in yourself or a loved one, get medical help right away:
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Ongoing chest pain or pressure
- New confusion
- Can’t wake up fully
- Bluish lips or face
In my opinion, we just need to keep abreast of the latest updates of COVID-19 disease so that we are always prepared and ready to protect ourselves and our loved ones. With more information, we will be definitely be reassured on how to take care of ourselves during this pandemic and be part of a force to halt the spread of COVID-19.
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