Lesson 1 What is COVID-19?

  • The COVID-19 illness is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019
  • It is a member of the Coronavirus family which includes common (i.e., head, chest, cold) to severe diseases (i.e., severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)).
  • The name of the Corona family is attributed to the crown-like shape of the virus which is known as corona in Latin. Protein spikes that stick out on the surface of the virus create its crown like shape
  • It is these protein spikes that infect human cells and infect them. Antibodies that protect from SARS-CoV-2 target these proteins. There can be different variants of SARS-CoV-2 which have different characteristics.
  • COVID-19 is more transmissible than the common flu and is considered more severe for vulnerable groups
  • COVID-19’s infectious nature has led to a quick spread around the world
  • COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets that are released in to the air after someone with the virus breathes, talks, laughs, sings, coughs or sneezes.
  • The symptoms can appear from 2-14 days
  • COVID-19 can only be diagnosed through a laboratory test.
  • Coronavirus symptoms consist of but are not limited to :cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, headache, new fatigue, nausea or vomiting, congestion or runny nose.
  • People belonging into the following groups are considered as high risk: older people, people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or cancer, people with lung disease. However, it can be dangerous for all people in all age groups.
  • IF YOU HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS SEEK IMMEDIATELY MEDICAL HELP: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale, grey or blue-coloured skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on the skin tone.
  • If you are positive to COVID-19 stay calm!
    • Contact your doctor and you will  be informed what to do
    • Eat healthy, drink a lot of water, isolate yourself, track your symptoms

  •  Prevention:
    • Various preventive measures have been introduced to reduce the transmission of the virus such as: physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand hygiene, isolate yourself if you are feeling sick
    • You still have to be cautious even if you are fully vaccinated
    • Avoid crowded places
    • Limit your contact
  • For more information on COVID-19 please visit : https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1

  • Concerns regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine:
    1. Rushed development of the vaccine ⇒ the method that has been used for the vaccine has been developed for years. Also, no steps were skipped as an overlapping schedule(some steps took place the same time as other steps) took place for faster development of the vaccine
    2. Dangerous side effects ⇒ the vaccines can have side effects but the majority are short-term, not serious or dangerous. The symptoms serve as a sign of antibody creation.
    3. The COVID-19 vaccine affects your DNA ⇒ the vaccines help in the creation of antibodies. The messenger RNA enters the cells but only for the stimulation of the immune system through the creation of proteins. The DNA is not affected.