5 Things You Should Know About The Corona Virus
The virus has become infected in Europe and has now spread to all Nordic countries. But what does that mean to you? We have gathered five important facts.
1. How dangerous is the coronavirus?
The common flu virus is behind up to 650,000 deaths each year worldwide. Since December 2019, the coronavirus has killed 4300 people.
Although the virus is highly contagious, few die from it – but if you are over 60 and have health problems, there is every reason to take precautions.
The largest study of the coronavirus to date, conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, shows average mortality of 2.3% among those infected.
However, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has later said that the mortality rate may be 3.4%.
The figure is not definitive as many infected people may be missing from the reporting (and thus lower the percentage of mortality), just as many of those who are now infected can theoretically die from the disease later (and thus increase mortality).
In the Chinese study, the average mortality covers large variations between the different age ranges:
- 10–39 years: 0.2% mortality
- 40-49 years: 0.4% mortality
- 50–59 years: 1.3% mortality
- 60-69 years: 3.6% mortality
- 70-79 years: 8% mortality
- +80 years: 14.8% mortality
Fortunately, WHO studies show that 80 percent of corona sufferers show mild symptoms of the virus and only in the worst cases – primarily among the elderly and people with, for example, elevated blood pressure and diabetes – there is a risk of developing pneumonia, respiratory distress, and organ failure.
The greatest risk is that the health care system will be overloaded by many seriously ill people and that the capacity of the hospitals will be exceeded. In the worst case, it can affect other patients – for example, pregnant or long-term care – who also need treatment.
To make the coronavirus seriously dangerous for many, it requires mutating into a more infectious and deadly variant.
2. Can the disease be treated?
If the symptoms are limited to cough, fever, and fatigue, then the virus is treated like a common cold. If the infected person gets pneumonia, hospitalization may be necessary.
Namely, pneumonia that the virus can cause is viral and not bacterial. Therefore, it cannot be treated with antibiotics.
3. What are the symptoms?
Normally, the disease course begins with a fever followed by a dry cough.
The infected person can then experience pronounced fatigue, muscle pain, headaches, and breathing problems – just like during severe flu. In severe cases, the disease can also develop into pneumonia and organ failure.
According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms are then distributed here:
- 80 percent experience mild symptoms
- 14 percent experience severe symptoms
- 5 percent experience critical symptoms
In 97.5% of cases, the developing symptoms develop within 11.5 days, a new study shows. Therefore, the quarantine period for corona infected or those who have been at risk zones is usually 14 days.
It takes an average of five days from the time of infection to get sick – so-called incubation time – but it can potentially take up to 14 days.
4. How should I protect myself from infection?
The coronavirus has been found to be about twice as contagious as a regular flu virus.
Airborne saliva particles can be transmitted from person to person through, for example, coughing and sneezing, but can actually travel up to three meters through the air during regular conversations.
Therefore, many face masks in the areas that have been worst affected, but WHO recommends this only to those who are already infected or those who care for others.
The masks are only effective against larger mucus droplets in the air, while smaller virus particles – so-called aerosols – can easily pass through the membranes. Coronavirus can also penetrate the mucous membranes of the eyes even if you wear a mask.