The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been declared a global emergency. As per experts, the coronavirus disease is considered the worst crisis since World War II and has led to stringent lockdowns by governments worldwide. The coronavirus infection is especially associated with a high mortality rate in individuals with heart diseases, diabetes, and cancers and the elderly.
- The pathogen shortly dubbed as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) may have possibly originated in China.
- WHO states that around 80% of the COVID-19 cases are mild, with either cold or flu-like symptoms. These symptoms are mostly seen in the young population with no health conditions.
- The possibility of multiorgan failure exists in elderly patients, especially those with pre-existing diseases such as diabetes or heart failure.
- As per healthcare providers, almost all patients presented with fever, more than two-thirds had cough, and almost 50% had weakness or muscle ache. More than half complained of shortness of breath.
- Many patients complain of “cytokine storm.” This is a condition in which the body releases huge amounts of toxic substances to kill the virus but ends up damaging itself.
- The paramount reason for breathlessness is the fact that this new virus attacks the lung tissues causing severe pneumonia.
- It can also attack the heart muscles and cause myocarditis (severe heart dysfunction).
- We are yet to know if the COVID-19 infection can cause definite long-term sequelae in infected children, pregnant women, or elderly.
For most people, COVID-19 seems to be mild, and it takes a while, that is, 5 days to 2 weeks to cause symptoms.
- Unfortunately, that’s exactly what makes the novel coronavirus more dangerous.
- In the period that an infected person is asymptomatic or mildly ill, they could transmit the virus to dozens of other people through water droplets expelled by coughs or sneezes transferred on skin and other surfaces unknowingly.
- Studies have shown that the latest mutant coronavirus strain found in the UK is more dangerous because of its potential to spread easily in the population.
- Some mutant strains may not respond to the available vaccines as well.
What are the treatment options for COVID-19?
Several drugs have been tried and used to manage the COVID-19 infection all over the world. Patients with mild symptoms and no breathlessness are to be managed with acetaminophen and rest. For managing moderate to severe symptoms of coronavirus disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the following treatment:
- Remdesivir: Currently, it is the only approved drug for patients with severe symptoms requiring ventilators and supplemental oxygen. It is to be given in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting only.
- Baricitinib: It can be only used in combination with remdesivir. It is for patients with severe symptoms.
- Dexamethasone: It is a corticosteroid that improves survival in patients who are hospitalized. However, there are specific guidelines where it should and should not be used. These must be checked before initiating the drug.
- Convalescent plasma therapy: It is an off-label therapy and may work best when given early in the treatment cycle.
- Vaccine: Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown to protect patients against mortality associated with COVID-19. However, preventive measures such as social distancing, mask, and hand washing must be followed even after vaccination is completed.
- Coronavirus is a family of viruses that include the common cold and more serious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
- Coronavirus infections manifest as a wide range of symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
- It is unclear how deadly the new virus is. Although severe cases can cause pneumonia and death, there may be many cases of milder disease going undetected.
- Many of those who have died had pre-existing medical conditions, were elderly, or with weakened immune systems.
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Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Coronavirus: How COVID-19 Affects Your BodyBy now, everyone knows about COVID-19. But do you know how it can affect your body?
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Prevention TipsCOVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that spreads from person to person via infected respiratory droplets. The main symptoms of COVID-19 infection include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Occasionally, people infected with COVID-19 may experience diarrhea, a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, or aches and pains. Avoiding contact with infected people, social distancing, not touching your face, frequent hand washing, cleaning, and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces can help to reduce your risk of contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 vs. Flu vs. ColdWhen you're feeling sick, it can be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection from the symptoms of the common cold or the flu (influenza). While fever is common with the flu and COVID-19, sneezing is typically only associated with colds. Though sore throats are typical with colds, they are uncommon with COVID-19 infections and the flu.
Does COVID-19 Start With Body Aches?COVID-19 has symptoms similar to the flu or common cold. Fever, headaches, and body aches are typically the first sign of COVID-19. These pains can come on slowly or appear suddenly.
Is It Safe to Go to the Gym During the COVID-19 Pandemic?The COVID-19 pandemic changed many people's routines. Even if you are vaccinated, going to the gym does still come with some risk of getting COVID-19.
remdesivirRemdesivir is an antiviral medication used to treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Do not co-administer with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine; may reduce remdesivir’s antiviral activity. Common side effects of remdesivir include decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), decrease in creatinine clearance, increase in creatinine levels, decrease in hemoglobin levels, increase in blood glucose levels, decrease in lymphocytes, increase in blood clotting time (prothrombin time), increase in serum levels of liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and nausea. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV)Infection with COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV) causes respiratory problems in humans. Transmission of COVID-19 occurs mainly through contact with respiratory sections from an infected person, however, fecal contamination may also spread the virus. Symptoms start off flu-like and progress to coughing, fever, shortness of breath, shaking chills, headache, loss of sense of taste and/or smell, muscle pain, and sore throat. Treatment focuses on supportive care and symptom relief. COVID-19 vaccines are available.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention QuizWhy is coronavirus considered dangerous? What are the symptoms you should look for? Take this COVID-19 prevention quiz to learn how to protect yourself.