Written by: Sau Yee
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What is COVID-19?
What is COVID-19?
- Coronavirus, or more commonly known as “COVID-19” is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from one person to another.
- The virus has now spread throughout the world!
- COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild or no symptoms to severe illnesses such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain and loss of speech or movement.
When did it start?
- The first case of COVID-19 was reported on January 9 2020 in Wuhan, China when the World Health Organization (WHO) discovered a string of pneumonia-like cases. There were a total of 59 cases at the time, and enough to make experts believe that travel restrictions were necessary.
- Three additional cases were reported in Thailand and Japan the next day, immediately prompting the CDC to conduct screenings at the international airports in JFK, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as the flights between Wuhan and the United States had the most number of passengers.
- By January 21st of 2020, the world was clued in about how the virus is transmittable from one person to another. 4 were dead and over more than 200 had already been infected in China at the time.
- Over the course of two days, 13 more people had died and China became the first country in the world to have implemented a lockdown.
- On January 25th of 2020, Malaysia had its first case and it could be traced back to the 3 Chinese nationals who came in through Singapore after having had close contact with an infected person a day prior.
- With almost 200 deaths recorded worldwide WHO finally declared a public emergency and it was noted that in the case of human-to-human transmission, the United States, Germany, Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan were taking the lead.
- By February 2 of 2020, countries like Australia, Germany, Italy and New Zealand had already implemented air-travel restrictions.
- COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11 of 2020 by director general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
How does COVID-19 spread?
- If you come into close contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive, there is a risk of infection. Rule of thumb is to keep at least 6 feet away from others.
- It generally spreads from person to person, and you CAN become infected from the respiratory droplets of an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or even talk! (Hence the importance of wearing a face mask)
- You will also be susceptible to the virus by touching surfaces like elevators or tables that have the virus on it! (This happens when you forget to sanitize your hands after touching something and immediately touching your mouth, nose or eyes).
Who is at risk of severe illness?
EVERYONE is at risk of getting COVID-19. However, older people or those with an existing medical condition(s) are at higher risk for more severe illness.