First called “new coronavirus 2019” or “nCoV-2019”, the disease caused by the new coronavirus identified for the first time in Wuhan, China, was renamed “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19) – “ CO ”for corona,“ VI ”for virus and“ D ”for disease in English.
COVID-19 is a new virus in the same family as other viruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and some common types of colds.
How is COVID-19 spread?
The virus is spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets produced by an infected person (when they cough or sneeze) and by contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus. The COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In the most severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or difficulty breathing. More rarely, the disease can be fatal.
These symptoms are comparable to those of the flu (influenza) or a common cold, diseases much more common than COVID-19, hence the need to carry out tests to confirm that a person is indeed affected COVID-19. In all cases, it is important to remember that the main preventive measures remain the same: you should wash your hands frequently and observe respiratory hygiene (cover your mouth and nose with the crease of your elbow or a tissue in the event of coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in a closed bin). Also, keep in mind that it’s possible to get the flu shot, so make sure you and your child are up to date on your vaccines.
How to avoid the risk of infection?
Here are four precautions you and your family can take to avoid infection:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms similar to the common cold or flu
See a doctor if you have a fever, cough, or trouble breathing
Do I have to wear a medical mask?
Wearing a medical mask is recommended if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) to protect those around you. In the absence of symptoms, it is not necessary to wear a mask.
If you wear a mask, make sure you use and dispose of it properly to ensure its effectiveness and not to increase the risk of virus transmission.
The mere use of a mask is not enough to stop infections and must be combined with other measures: wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough, and avoid close contact with people who have symptoms similar to a cold or the flu (coughing, sneezing, and fever).
Does COVID-19 affect children?
It is a new virus, so there is still a lack of data on its effects on children and pregnant women. We know people of all ages can be infected with the virus, but so far relatively few cases of COVID-19 have been reported in children. The virus has only been fatal in rare cases, and deaths to date have been mainly in older people who already have health problems.
What should I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
See a doctor, but remember that this is the time of the flu in the northern hemisphere and that COVID-19 symptoms, like cough or fever, are comparable to those of the flu or a common cold, which are much more common illnesses.
Continue to observe good hand and respiratory hygiene practices, washing your hands regularly and making sure your child is up-to-date with vaccines to protect them from other viruses and bacteria that cause them diseases.
As with other respiratory infections such as the flu, see a doctor if you or your child develop symptoms and try to avoid public places (work, school, public transport) so as not to spread the virus. to other people.
What should I do if a family member has symptoms?
See a doctor right away if you cough, or if you have a fever or difficulty breathing, or if you see the same symptoms in your child.