Doctor's Notes on Coronavirus (COVID-19 [2019-nCoV], SARS, MERS)
Coronavirus (COVID-19, 2019-nCoV) is a new RNA coronavirus found in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. It causes moderate to severe respiratory problems in humans. It is contagious and spreads from person to person. Signs and symptoms vary in intensity. Infected people initially may have flu-like symptoms that can rapidly progress in severity. The primary signs and symptoms of moderate to severe infections are as follows:
- Severe coughing
- Difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath
- Occasional diarrhea
- Some patients develop pneumonia and/or organ failure (for example, kidney failure and death).
The cause of signs and symptoms of the Wuhan, China, respiratory outbreak is the 2019-nCoV virus or coronavirus (COVID-19). It may cause severe viral pneumonia. Unfortunately, many people who become infected require hospitalization for supportive care. There is no specific drug or vaccine against this virus. Some patients require hospital-based respiratory supportive care. This hospital-based care can rapidly run out if the outbreak is not slowed or stopped. In the Wuhan outbreak, China and many other countries are using quarantine measures to help slow or stop the spread of 2019-nCoV.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Prevention: Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
What is COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus)?See Answer
Must Read Articles:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention TipsSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that causes COVID-19. Reduce your risk of infection with the following tips: wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; avoid touching your face if your hands aren't washed; practice social distancing (maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet).
Coughs (Acute and Chronic)A cough is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. A chronic or persistent cough may signal certain lung conditions that should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Common causes of coughs include infection, allergies, lung disease, medications, and GERD (reflux). Acute coughs are categorized as infectious or non-infectious. Chronic cough (persistent cough) have a variety of causes and should be evaluated by physician. Treatment of cough, acute cough, chronic or persistent cough depends on the cause of the cough.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Influenza (Flu) in AdultsFlu (influenza) is an acute infection of the nose and throat airways. This infection may spread to the lungs. Flu is the most frequent cause of acute respiratory infection in people of all ages. Symptoms of the flu include fever, severe aches and pains, headache, dry cough, sore throat, and at times vomiting and nausea. Treatment for the flu includes home remedies such as OTC pain relievers, rest, and hydration. Medical treatment for the flu includes antiviral medications.
Viral PneumoniaPneumonia is an infection or inflammation of the lungs. It can be in just one part of the lungs, or it can involve many parts. Symptoms of viral pneumonia include low-grade fever, coughing up mucus, tiredness, and muscle aches. A percentage of people who contract the deadly pandemic COVID-19 coronavirus develop severe lung symptoms that may include viral pneumonia. The best treatment for viral pneumonia of any cause is to rest and keep the patient hydrated.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.