Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should I see a doctor?

The COVID-19 Virus

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhan, China. The illness-causing virus belongs to the coronavirus family; however, while other viruses from the family have been encountered before, COVID-19 has never been encountered previously. Like other viruses from the family, research has established that based on the genetic sequencing of the virus itself, it came from an animal – most likely a wild animal that is yet to specifically be identified. The other coronaviruses that have been encountered before including the ‘Severe acute respiratory syndrome’ (Sars) and the ‘Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome’ (Mers) causing viruses. The primary means through which these viruses are spread is human to human transmission. According to studies, Mers recorded the lowest cases of passing from human to human. COVID-19 has so far spread from human to human such that from china, records show that it has infected over 110,000 people in over 80 countries.

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

Because it is an acute respiratory infection, most of the signs and symptoms of the illness match with symptoms of most of the other respiratory infections such as influenza, common cold, and flu. It has been determined that the virus can cause pneumonia. Furthermore, records show that those who have suffered the infection have presented with coughs, fever, and breathing difficulties. While those are the common symptoms, in severe cases, they may progress to serious pneumonia and even multi-organ failure. As at now, drugs and medications that can be used against the virus remain unknown. Therefore, recovery from the virus is primarily dependent on the strength of the immune system of the infected individual. As such, persons with, in one way or the other, compromised immune system are highly likely to succumb to the illness if they get infected. The best way out, according to experts, is to take precautionary measures that would eliminate the virus’s spread from one person to another.

Should I See a Doctor?

Perhaps because much concerning the virus is yet to be understood, for example, medical treatment for the virus is not available, it is not recommended that one visits a doctor if he or she thinks he has become infected. Because the illnesses caused by the virus are defined by the specific virus, prescriptions that work against respiratory infections such as common cold and influenza do not work with COVID-19. Especially, since flu is caused by bacterial infections and COVID-19 is a virus, it becomes highly unlikely that the drugs that work against flu would work against Coronavirus disease 2019. Therefore, going to the doctor is particularly not advisable. Furthermore, while recovery is primarily dependent on one’s immune system, moving around to where non-infected people are increases the chances of spreading the virus. Instead, therefore, of going to the doctor, it is advised that one should use telephone communication from home to make consultations and seek advice. Also, suspicions for being infected must be founded on the chance that one has been in close contact with someone who has it. Although it is not clear about how the virus is spread, it has been established that like other similar viruses, COVID-19 is spread in cough droplets. As such, people who have spent time in areas where the virus has been encountered or people who have traveled from or to those areas may, in one way or the other, have come into contact with the virus. Therefore, having a cough does not necessarily mean that one has COVID-19. Instead, according to experts, people should be encouraged to take measures that would prevent the spread of the virus. For infected persons, they should self-isolate to avoid passing the virus to others. For non-infected persons, on the other hand, they should avoid catching the coronavirus by washing their hands with soap and water often and try to avoid close contact with un-well people.