Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as an illness caused by a newly discovered coronavirus now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, China. It was first reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency. It was declared as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

COVID-19 is a contagious disease that spreads through various methods, primarily including saliva and other organic liquids and discharges. These liquids can form little droplets and mist concentrates, which can spread as an infected individual breathes, talks, sneezes, or coughs. The infection may likewise spread through contaminated surfaces and direct contact. Infection mainly happens when individuals are close to one another for a long time. It can spread as early as two days before infected persons show symptoms (presymptomatic), and from asymptomatic individuals.

The incubation period of COVID-19, which is a period of delay between the time of infection and the appearance of the first symptom, is said to be an average of four to five days. Most symptomatic individuals will experience a symptom between the second and seventh day of infection, while almost every symptomatic individual will experience a symptom by the twelfth day of infection. About one in five individuals infected with COVID-19 will not show any noticeable symptoms at all. These are called the asymptomatic carriers. They tend to spread the virus easily because they might not be aware of being infected.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties. Less common symptoms include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, loss of taste or smell and a rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes. Symptoms begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is advised that we clean our hands often by the use of soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is also pertinent to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Other ways of preventing the spread of the virus include: wearing a mask when it is not possible to keep a distance avoidance of touching our eyes, nose, or mouth, covering our nose and mouth with a bent elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, staying at home if we feel unwell and seeking medical attention if we have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Although there is no known treatment for the disease yet, most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment. Treatment of underlying symptoms and palliative care (such as fluid support and oxygen therapy) are provided to those infected with this virus. 

Various researches are still going on across the globe to provide a vaccine and treatment for this deadly virus and we really hope this happens soon.

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