Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that cause the common cold. However in December 2019 a new type was discovered, now known as COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 may be mostly mild in the majority of cases but some may have severe symptoms, especially those over the age of 60 or with underlying diseases. COVID-19 can cause the following symptoms in patients:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Lack in taste or smell
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
COVID-19 is mainly spread person to person. This can occur from droplets from a sneeze, talking, or cough. The virus can be passed at gatherings when you are closing to someone or within 6 feet of someone else. It can also spread from touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your face, nose, or mouth. A person can have the virus and not have any symptoms and for this reason a mandated quarantine was recommended to halt the viruses’ spread.
Symptoms may take two to 14 days to appear after exposure. It is possible for a virus to spread from a human to an animal like a pet. However, this is very uncommon. There is no evidence that pets can transfer the virus to humans.
Testing can be done to detect whether you actively carry the illness or have been exposed in the past. Currently treatments vary on the severity. For mild symptoms, quarantine, fluids, and rest are the best options. For more severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Medications are currently undergoing studies to determine if they can help treat COVID-19. There is no current vaccination but studies are also ongoing to find a preventative vaccine.