What is a Virus?

Viruses are known as the simplest organisms that can reproduce themselves. It consists of a layer of protein that only surrounds molecules called DNA or RNA that have a genetic structure. Some viruses have a layer of fat called envelopes that surround it, for example, as in the new coronavirus. This simple microorganism can’t reproduce by itself.

Viruses are essential intracellular parasites; they can multiply when they enter the cell called host, which they have chosen in a unique way.

Viruses select specific cells in living organisms. Since the new coronavirus likes respiratory mucous membranes, it is able to be transmitted from person to person by droplet. This period is called the incubation period, since it takes a certain period of time for the virus to multiply and damage tissues when it enters the respiratory mucosa.

What Does Coronavirus Mean?

Coronary viruses, which are a type of virus, are named with the word corona in Latin, meaning crown, since it is compared with a round and protruding crown when examined through an electron microscope. Coronaviruses have been seen in our society for years. The simplest and most commonly seen disease caused by coronaviruses is common cold. A group of 20 different virus types that cause upper respiratory tract infection along with a runny nose is coronavirus. Many other coronaviruses in the coronavirus family cause milder diseases with milder symptoms than the new coronavirus. Therefore, coronaviruses have so far not caused a major outbreak when it comes to diseases such as the common cold.

From time to time, coronaviruses can switch between humans and animals. The genetic information of viruses varies due to the mutation of their RNA. Especially by attaching to the cell in the surface proteins, making changes in the proteins used to enter it, it escapes from the immune system that has formed before, and it can multiply faster and harm the cells much more.

Coronaviruses, which have evolved over time, like all types of viruses, have begun to cause more serious health problems that show flu-like symptoms since 2002. Coronaviruses are zoonic viruses that carry the risk of transmission between animals and humans. It is thought that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, known as MERS in the past, passed from camels and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome known as SARS passed from musk cat to humans. Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections include regular handwashing with alcoholic hand sanitizers or water-soap and cleaning, closing the mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow during coughing and sneezing, and avoiding getting close to those who show these symptoms. Tissues must be immediately disposed of after use.

What Is The New Coronavirus Disease (CoViD-19)?

It was first seen in the Wuhan region of China in early December of 2019, and was identified by the World Health Organization (WHO / WHO) as the official name of the virus, SARS-CoV2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2). The World Health Organization uses the term COVID-19 to describe the disease caused by the virus.

On January 30, 2020, CoViD-19 was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. On March 11, 2020, the virus was declared as a pandemic, a global epidemic.

What is Coronavirus

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What are the Symptoms of New Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

The new Coronavirus Disease is generally a disease characterized by fever, dry cough, and difficulty in breathing in progress. In addition to these, different complaints such as sore throat, headache, nausea-vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose, muscle-joint pain, anorexia can be seen. While the disease does not cause any complaints in some young and healthy people, it can be observed with a milder clinical picture in some people, but especially in people with diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, immune system disease it may require treatment in hospital conditions and can lead to the emergence of serious clinical conditions such pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, kidney failure, and in some cases it may result in death.

How Does the Coronavirus Spread?

The virus is transmitted by droplets emitted by coughing, sneezing or speech from individuals who are sick or carriers even though they are not sick or by touching with contaminated hands the eyes, mouth, and nose. The virus settles in the respiratory system. Studies have shown that people who carry the virus without symptoms and who are in the incubation period are also contagious. Coronaviruses are not able to survive for a long time in the extracorporeal environment. However, they may live on some surfaces from a few hours to a few days.

Who is most at risk for the coronavirus disease?

It is observed that the new Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) affects especially people over 65, cancer patients, pregnant women, immunocompromised indivuduals, hypertensive patients, diabetics, people with additional health conditions such as lung diseases and COPD. Although COVID-19 symptoms are rare in children, it is observed that they overcome the disease with mild symptoms.

What is Quarantine and Isolation?

A quarantine is a health measure applied to prevent the spread of infection by temporarily keeping people, goods or animals from a common source (place, country) who have not been diagnosed with the disease, but have a history of suspicious contact, or to prevent contact with others in the community, or by controlling an area or place and preventing entry and exit. For Covid-19 infection, quarantine is applied for the incubation period of 14 days.

Isolation is a method of separating patients diagnosed with Covid 19 or people in recovery from healthy people to prevent the spread of the disease. People with this condition can be placed in isolation in their homes unless they have health problems that require hospitalization.

How Does The Immune System Fight Off COVID-19?

When a foreign organism or substance enters our body, the immune system cells perceive it immediately and produce antibody proteins that will connect with this foreign protein and complete the key-lock procedure.

Antibodies bind foreign proteins and make them dysfunctional. For example, when the proteins that viruses use to enter our cells are dysfunctional by the body's antibodies, the virus cannot attach to the cells and cannot enter the cells.

How Can We Protect Ourselves From New Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)?

Since vaccines to prevent Covid-19 disease are still under development, the most effective way to prevent the disease is to avoid exposure to this virus. Since the virus is spread mainly from person to person, taking very simple but important precautions makes a great contribution to prevent the disease.

One of the most important measures to be taken to prevent COVID-19 is to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing should be repeated especially after touching the surfaces, nose wiping, coughing, sneezing.

Both the soap bar and the liquid soap can kill the virus, but usingliquid soap is a best way to eliminate coronavirus and other infections, as other microorganisms may remain on the soap bar and live for a while. If there is currently no soap and water, it is necessary to use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. It is necessary to cover the entire hands with disinfectant and rub them together until the disinfectant dries itself. Touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands should be avoided.

Since the disease is transmitted mostly through droplets, it is important to maintain distance of at least two meters and use a mask, ideally to maintain social distance with other people. In addition, if a person is not wearing a mask, they should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing to protect others. This tissue should be thrown away immediately after use and hands should be washed.

Is new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmitted from cats and dogs to humans?

There is no evidence that the new coronavirus has been transmitted from home-grown pets to humans. However, after contact with animals, it is recommended to wash hands with soap and water for other possible risks of infection.

Is new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmitted through food or drink?

According to the data obtained so far, no contamination from food and beverages has been observed. However, it should not be ignored that there may be contamination on the surface or on the packaging of food or drinks taken from outside. For this reason, these products should be left outside for a few hours and cleaned, if possible.

Is it effective to use bleach or vinegar in household cleaning against coronavirus?

Vinegar has no lethal effect on coronavirus or other viruses. Bleach, on the other hand, is an alkaline product and, when used for cleaning, will help neutralize viruses, especially the coronavirus.

How to Clean Houses to prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

The surfaces that are touched should be cleaned daily with soap or detergent water, and disinfected with disinfectants containing alcohol-based or household diluted bleach. Examples of these surfaces include mobile phones, computers, desks, door handles, buttons, benches, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, taps, and sinks.

Does Cologne Kill Coronavirus?

Cologne containing 60% or more alcohol can be used as a hand disinfectant against coronavirus. Hand cleaning can be provided with alcohol cleansers by scrubbing all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.

You can find more information about Covid 19 infection in the Turkish Ministry of Health. To reach the related website Click.

Last updated: 14.04.2020

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