What is COVID-19?
Covid-19 a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, has infected millions, caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and brought the global economy to it's knees.
Covid-19 is a vascular disease – not a respiratory one. Many Covid-19 patients have normal lung function, but their blood is not sufficiently oxygenated. This is the reason that people with pre-existing Cardio Vascular Disease, are those most adversely affected by the virus.
Despite having one of the most extreme lockdowns, South Africa has the 5th highest number of infections in the World. For the latest statistics visit sacoronavirus.co.za
SARS-CoV-2 is airborne and spreads via droplets, especially in indoor areas. These droplets containing the virus are produced by coughing, sneezing, talking and even breathing. It infects adults and children alike, with different degrees of severity, and many of those infected never show symptoms.
In order to curb further spread, widespread testing of the population is essential.
Masks are for the protection of others and been proven to help prevent spread of the virus.
All masks are not the same, they must be multi-layered and fitted correctly. A proof-of-concept study has demonstrated that some of the commonly used masks & face coverings may perform worse that not wearing a mask at all.
How to Protect Yourself
Maintain a 2m distance from others, and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors where air circulation is poor.
Minimise contact with strangers. Work from home if possible and plan your week to minimise trips to the supermarket.
Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, and avoid touching your face.
Many people don't show any symptoms at all.
Mild symptoms may include a loss of smell & taste, a fever, sore throat, dry cough, headache and fatigue. Extreme symptoms include severe respiratory distress & death.
Older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions like diabetes or heart or lung disease are at highest risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms.
Widespread testing of the population to identify people who are infectious, even if they have no symptoms is critical to curbing the spread of the virus.
There are two main types of test:
1. those that look for the virus - either it's nucleic acid, or the viral particle itself (viral antigens)
2. those that look for antibodies that are produced following infection by SARS-CoV-2