Coronavirus Infection 101
A coronavirus infection refers to an infection with the so-called coronaviruses. These viruses occur in mammals as well as birds and are the cause of various diseases such as flu infections. The well-known SARS virus also belongs to the coronavirus family.
What is coronavirus infection?
The term coronavirus infection means infection with viruses that belong to the coronavirus family. These occur worldwide and can affect mammals and birds alike.
They are spread by the so-called droplet infection and can therefore be highly contagious. Of all the types of coronavirus that occur, only three are pathogenic to humans, i.e. they are able to cause diseases in humans. If there is a coronavirus infection, this can manifest itself through different symptoms.
It usually leads to respiratory diseases in humans, but also to diarrhea. The SARS virus, which can lead to severe respiratory illnesses and ultimately even death, belongs to the coronavirus family.
The causes of a coronavirus infection lie in the spread of so-called coronaviruses in an organism, which subsequently cause symptoms of illness.
Coronaviruses are so-called RNA viruses. If these spread in a human organism, they lead to a paralysis of the cilia, which play a key role in breathing. If it is an infection with the SARS coronavirus, there are therefore additional symptoms of pneumonia.
According to statistics, around 30% of all human infections such as flu infections can be traced back to coronaviruses. However, they are generally considered to be harmless, even if they can be fatal to different animal species at the same time.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
The coronavirus infection can be life-threatening for a person and must always be treated by a doctor. In the worst case, this infection can lead to death or serious complications. Patients with coronavirus infection primarily suffer from a very high fever.
It also leads to a general feeling of illness and, as a result, to severe tiredness and fatigue. Most people also experience difficulty breathing, which in severe cases can lead to a loss of consciousness. If the oxygen deficiency persists over a long period of time, the internal organs or even the brain can be damaged.
This damage is usually irreversible and can no longer be treated. Furthermore, there is a cough and severe sore throat. There are also general symptoms of the flu or cold, so that people suffer from chills and aching limbs.
The quality of life of the patient is considerably reduced and restricted by the coronavirus infection. The coronavirus infection is contagious and can spread to other people very easily. Furthermore, an untreated infection leads to pain in the muscles and even cramps. If the coronavirus infection is treated successfully, the patient’s life expectancy remains unchanged.
Diagnosis & course
If a coronavirus infection is suspected, a doctor should be consulted immediately. In addition to a full physical exam to rule out other causes of the symptoms, the coronavirus can be detected using antibodies.
If antibodies against the virus can be detected in the organism, an acute infection has been proven to be practical. Some of these antibodies are marked with dyes in order to be able to recognize them better. A coronavirus infection is usually harmless for the person concerned and subsides on its own after seven to ten days. However, complications can arise in already weakened people or children, which is why medical supervision is advisable.
As a result of the coronavirus infection, the person affected usually suffers from symptoms of flu. There is a high fever and a cough with a sore throat. Pain in the extremities also occurs and those affected complain of chills at the beginning of the coronavirus infection. In severe cases, breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath, can occur.
Often, shortness of breath leads to panic attacks. Often times, patients can no longer exercise and complain of muscle pain. There are usually no further complications and the coronavirus infection subsides on its own without a visit to a doctor being necessary. Treatment is symptomatic.
Painkillers can be taken against the pain that occurs. The patient should only ensure that they do not take them for a longer period of time, as they can damage the stomach. Contact with other people should also only take place to a limited extent due to the risk of infection.
Breathing or throat discomfort can also be relieved with the help of medication. After a few days, the symptoms subside on their own and there are no more complications. A severe course can occur if it is a SARS virus. In this case, incorrect treatment can lead to the death of the patient.
When should you go to the doctor?
Most coronavirus infections are harmless. Flu-like symptoms or diarrhea usually resolve on their own in otherwise healthy patients. In the case of immunocompromised people or children, a coronavirus infection can, however, under certain circumstances take a life-threatening course: For this reason, if you are suspicious, your doctor should be consulted to carry out an antibody test in the blood for coronaviruses.
If the infection is detected, suitable hygiene measures and extensive isolation of the patient during the illness can prevent it from being transmitted to other people. It is extremely important to see a doctor immediately if the sudden onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath and general malaise is preceded by a stay in certain regions of Asia.
In this case, the dangerous variants of the SARS or MERS coronavirus could be hidden behind it. The MERS virus is mainly transmitted by dromedaries and occurs mainly in the Arab world. If there was close contact with these animals during a trip and signs of illness appear afterwards, the doctor must be informed.
It is also advisable to carry out an antibody test for all people in the immediate vicinity of a sick person: In this way, a coronavirus infection can be detected quickly and treated immediately. In particular, people whose immune system is weakened due to previous illnesses should not hesitate to consult a doctor if they suspect a coronavirus infection.
Treatment & Therapy
A coronavirus infection can only be treated symptomatically, as there is currently no drug against the viruses themselves. This also applies to an infection with the SARS virus.
The respective treatment depends on the individual symptoms and their severity. If the fever is high, antipyretic drugs can be given. Difficulty breathing, sore throats and coughs are treated with the same drugs that are used for a regular flu or cold. If you experience muscle pain as a result of the infection, it makes sense to take painkillers temporarily.
If the patient is weakened by age or general health, it may be necessary to monitor him medically to avoid complications. Under certain circumstances, the breathing difficulties may make temporary artificial ventilation necessary. In addition to the actual treatment of the symptoms, which should continue until the symptoms have subsided, direct contact with other people should be avoided, as otherwise infections can quickly occur.
If there is an infection with the SARS virus, special measures must be taken for this reason. In about 11% of the cases this disease is fatal; but there are also significantly weaker courses that are usually harmless for the patient.
Outlook & forecast
In most cases, a coronavirus infection can be treated relatively well, so that this disease does not lead to particular complications and usually also to a positive course of the disease. Only in a very few cases can the disease become severe.
The symptoms of the flu or the common cold are combated with the help of antipyretic agents and, in general, with the help of agents against the flu or the common cold. It is not necessary to take any special medication. After about a week, the symptoms disappear and the coronavirus infection is defeated. Medical treatment is only required if the symptoms persist for a longer period of time. In the case of pain, it is treated with the help of pain relievers and strict bed rest.
Direct contact with other people should be avoided if you are sick with the coronavirus infection in order to avoid infecting other people. As a rule, the sick person is not immune even after the disease has healed and can get sick again from the coronavirus infection. The disease can take a dire or even fatal course if the person affected is in poor general condition before the infection. Elderly people in particular or people who suffer from a chronic disease require special medical measures.
A coronavirus infection is a smear or droplet infection. The viruses are thus transmitted through direct contact with infected people. Particularly in the winter months, when there are influenza waves, particular attention should be paid to hygiene (hand washing).
Contact with sick people is to be avoided. A healthy lifestyle that boosts the immune system can also help reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.
In the case of a coronavirus infection, the person affected usually has no options for follow-up care. The patient is primarily dependent on rapid detection of the disease so that further complications do not occur. The earlier the coronavirus infection is detected, the better the further course will usually be. If the disease is not treated, serious complications can arise.
With this disease, the person affected should ensure strict bed rest and rest. You should refrain from exertion or physical activity in order not to unnecessarily burden the body. In some cases, the help or support of one’s own family and friends is very helpful in relieving the person concerned.
However, contact with other people should be kept to a minimum so that there is no infection. If there is no improvement after taking the medication, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately, as the coronavirus infection can also be fatal in the worst case. As a rule, however, the course is harmless, so that there is no reduction in life expectancy.
You can do that yourself
Since the coronavirus infection is a contagious disease, increased attention is necessary when dealing with sick people. With the right protective measures, infection can be avoided in good time. It is helpful if the person concerned is able to reflect well on his own body and the reactions of himself.
The illness is similar to symptoms of the flu. Nevertheless, with a good self-perception it can be determined that there are slight differences. This is beneficial for early diagnosis and treatment. In order to protect yourself well against a viral disease or to positively support the healing process, a strong immune system is required. Therefore, the affected person can stabilize his immune system through a healthy diet and sufficient exercise.
A balanced and vitamin-rich food supply supplies the body with important nutrients and messenger substances that are important for supplying the systems. The metabolic system and the circulation are stimulated through sporting activities. As a result, the messenger substances quickly reach their destination and contribute to health.
As soon as the person concerned is ill, however, they should not exert themselves physically. The possibilities of your own body must be taken into account so that adjustments must be made. In addition to a healthy diet, sufficient rest and rest help so that the body can regenerate sufficiently.