COVID-19 And How It Affects You

COVID-19+And+How+It+Affects+You

Sydney Schumacher, Features Editor

What Is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 or Coronavirus is a specific type of pathogen called a virus. Viruses infect all kinds of living organisms and spread in many ways. 

How Is Coronavirus Spread?

A primary way COVID-19 is thought to spread is through contact with an infected person, either directly via sneezing/coughing, or by contact, from touching surfaces then touching your face. One main way that the virus is being spread is thought to because of the virus’s longevity on surfaces. 

Symptoms Of Coronavirus

Symptoms of the Coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  These symptoms will be different for everyone and can vary person to person. For example, someone may have to go to the hospital because of COVID-19 and a different person with COVID-19 could be asymptomatic. Symptoms like these are similar to the symptoms of the flu and common colds. The only way to know for sure if you have the Coronavirus is to get tested. 

How does The Testing For COVID-19 work?

The type of test usually performed is a nose and/or a throat swabbing test. The first step is to do a nose or throat swab to collect mucus. A doctor or other health professional performs this. Then these samples are sent into a lab. The lab then tests the samples by doing a RT PCR test, which is used to pick up small pieces of pathogens. The lab duplicates the genetic information in the sample so that more of the virus is present and will be able to be recognized if a patient has COVID-19. This is how the lab confirms the presence of COVID-19 in a person. Scientists/doctors working with the test kits use protective eyewear, lab coats, full body suits, hair masks, face masks, and gloves. 

Treatments Available For COVID-19

There are currently no approved treatments for COVID-19, though treatments are currently being tested in clinical trials. Current treatment recommendations are those commonly told to patients with cold and flu, including staying home, drinking lots of fluids, and over-the-counter medication to control symptoms that are not severe. If the illness progresses to the point that additional treatments are needed in the hospital, those treatments include supplemental oxygen and/or ventilator.  

Coronavirus’ Incubation Period

An incubation period is the amount of time that has elapsed from the time of exposure to the time when a person starts showing symptoms. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the average incubation period for the Coronavirus is thought to be approximately 5 days. However, 97.5% of people who show symptoms of COVID-19 will do so within 11.5 days of infection. The CDC provides a range of symptom onset from 2-14 days after exposure.

Who Is More Likely To Get Coronavirus?

People who are at a higher risk of a severe infection are people over 65, people who smoke/vape, people who are immunodeficient, and people with underlying medical conditions. Examples of these underlying medical conditions are:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Cancer
  • HIV or AIDS
  • History of transplant
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Places And Practices To Avoid 

People are at highest risk of infection where social and physical distancing is difficult, including long term care facilities. People get infected when they come in contact with the Coronavirus. People get infected by not social distancing since COVID-19 is spread by person to person contact. Another way a person could get infected by touching a contaminated surface that has the virus on it. 

Slowing The Curve

You can limit your exposure to COVID-19 by social distancing and only leaving the house when absolutely necessary. You can prevent getting infected by washing your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds and maintaining a safe distance from others. You can prevent others from getting sick by staying home if you are sick, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, wearing a face mask, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces you come in frequent contact with. These are practical steps you can take to protect yourself and others. By keeping the number of infections down, hospitals are better able to treat patients coming into the hospital. Being able to take care of all patients who come in with COVID-19 will result in the likelihood of more recoveries and fewer deaths. However, if the number of cases continues to rise, there is the potential for medical care shortages. The slower the spread of infection, the better off we will be as a society. 

What To Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19

If you think that you are sick with COVID-19, you should stay home unless you need medical care, stay in touch with a doctor, stay away from others in your home, call ahead if you need to visit your doctor, wear a face mask, cover your coughs and sneezes, monitor symptoms, wash surfaces you may have come in contact with, and wash your hands frequently. Doctors may also advise a period of quarantine for a period of 14 days or more to reduce the risk of infection to others. Social distancing is particularly important because it keeps the number of infections down. 

Wisconsin And COVID-19

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health as of May 5th, 2020, 8,566 people are comfirmed to have the Coronavirus and a total of 353 people have died from the virus. Wisconsin is taking precautions to reduce the probability of exposure to the virus, including canceling schools, closing non-essential businesses, discouraging gatherings over 10 people, and encouraging social distancing. 

COVID-19 Words To Know

Asymptomatic– Showing no signs of the symptoms of COVID-19, yet still having the virus. 

Nose and/or a throat swabbing test– A test where doctors have a long q-tip looking tool and either stick it in the back of your throat or stick it up your nose. 

RT PCR test– The full name of this test is called a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. This is the process that copies genetic material from a sample and replicates it. 

Immunodeficient– A deficiency in the immune system that causes a lack of or weak immune system. Making a person who has this differciency more susceptible to pathogens.

Social and physical distancing– Staying at least 6 feet away from other people for the greater good. What Is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 or Coronavirus is a specific type of pathogen called a virus. Viruses infect all kinds of living organisms and spread in many ways. 

How Is Coronavirus Spread?

A primary way COVID-19 is thought to spread is through contact with an infected person, either directly via sneezing/coughing, or by contact, from touching surfaces then touching your face. One main way that the virus is being spread is thought to because of the virus’s longevity on surfaces. 

Symptoms Of Coronavirus

Symptoms of the Coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  These symptoms will be different for everyone and can vary person to person. For example, someone may have to go to the hospital because of COVID-19 and a different person with COVID-19 could be asymptomatic. Symptoms like these are similar to the symptoms of the flu and common colds. The only way to know for sure if you have the Coronavirus is to get tested. 

How does The Testing For COVID-19 work?

The type of test usually performed is a nose and/or a throat swabbing test. The first step is to do a nose or throat swab to collect mucus. A doctor or other health professional performs this. Then these samples are sent into a lab. The lab then tests the samples by doing a RT PCR test, which is used to pick up small pieces of pathogens. The lab duplicates the genetic information in the sample so that more of the virus is present and will be able to be recognized if a patient has COVID-19. This is how the lab confirms the presence of COVID-19 in a person. Scientists/doctors working with the test kits use protective eyewear, lab coats, full body suits, hair masks, face masks, and gloves. 

Treatments Available For COVID-19

There are currently no approved treatments for COVID-19, though treatments are currently being tested in clinical trials. Current treatment recommendations are those commonly told to patients with cold and flu, including staying home, drinking lots of fluids, and over-the-counter medication to control symptoms that are not severe. If the illness progresses to the point that additional treatments are needed in the hospital, those treatments include supplemental oxygen and/or ventilator.  

Coronavirus’ Incubation Period

An incubation period is the amount of time that has elapsed from the time of exposure to the time when a person starts showing symptoms. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the average incubation period for the Coronavirus is thought to be approximately 5 days. However, 97.5% of people who show symptoms of COVID-19 will do so within 11.5 days of infection. The CDC provides a range of symptom onset from 2-14 days after exposure.

Who Is More Likely To Get Coronavirus?

People who are at a higher risk of a severe infection are people over 65, people who smoke/vape, people who are immunodeficient, and people with underlying medical conditions. Examples of these underlying medical conditions are:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Cancer
  • HIV or AIDS
  • History of transplant
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Places And Practices To Avoid 

People are at highest risk of infection where social and physical distancing is difficult, including long term care facilities. People get infected when they come in contact with the Coronavirus. People get infected by not social distancing since COVID-19 is spread by person to person contact. Another way a person could get infected by touching a contaminated surface that has the virus on it. 

Slowing The Curve

You can limit your exposure to COVID-19 by social distancing and only leaving the house when absolutely necessary. You can prevent getting infected by washing your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds and maintaining a safe distance from others. You can prevent others from getting sick by staying home if you are sick, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, wearing a face mask, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces you come in frequent contact with. These are practical steps you can take to protect yourself and others. By keeping the number of infections down, hospitals are better able to treat patients coming into the hospital. Being able to take care of all patients who come in with COVID-19 will result in the likelihood of more recoveries and fewer deaths. However, if the number of cases continues to rise, there is the potential for medical care shortages. The slower the spread of infection, the better off we will be as a society. 

What To Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19

If you think that you are sick with COVID-19, you should stay home unless you need medical care, stay in touch with a doctor, stay away from others in your home, call ahead if you need to visit your doctor, wear a face mask, cover your coughs and sneezes, monitor symptoms, wash surfaces you may have come in contact with, and wash your hands frequently. Doctors may also advise a period of quarantine for a period of 14 days or more to reduce the risk of infection to others. Social distancing is particularly important because it keeps the number of infections down. 

Wisconsin And COVID-19

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health as of May 5th, 2020, 8,566 people are comfirmed to have the Coronavirus and a total of 353 people have died from the virus. Wisconsin is taking precautions to reduce the probability of exposure to the virus, including canceling schools, closing non-essential businesses, discouraging gatherings over 10 people, and encouraging social distancing. 

COVID-19 Words To Know

Asymptomatic– Showing no signs of the symptoms of COVID-19, yet still having the virus. 

Nose and/or a throat swabbing test– A test where doctors have a long q-tip looking tool and either stick it in the back of your throat or stick it up your nose. 

RT PCR test– The full name of this test is called a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. This is the process that copies genetic material from a sample and replicates it. 

Immunodeficient– A deficiency in the immune system that causes a lack of or weak immune system. Making a person who has this differciency more susceptible to pathogens.

Social and physical distancing– Staying at least 6 feet away from other people for the greater good.