COVID-19: Prevention & Investigational Treatments

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, first identified in the city of Wuhan, in China's Hubei province in December 2019. COVID-19 was previously known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) respiratory disease before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the official name as COVID-19 in February 2020.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus belongs to the family of viruses called coronaviruses, which also includes the viruses that cause the common cold, and the viruses that cause more serious infections such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which was caused by SARS-CoV in 2002, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which was caused by MERS-CoV in 2012. Like the other coronaviruses, the SARS-CoV-2 virus primarily causes respiratory tract infections, and the severity of the COVID-19 disease can range from mild to fatal.

Serious illness from the infection is caused by the onset of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

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COVID-19 Vaccines Available Under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. It is thought that symptoms can appear between 2-14 days after exposure although there have been isolated cases which suggest this may be longer. If you develop symptoms, you should stay at home to prevent the spread of the disease into the community. Wearing a face mask will help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of COVID-19 include:

Transmission

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to spread from person-to-person via:

Prevention

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus.

The most important way to prevent COVID-19 is to WASH YOUR HANDS.

Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water (lather for 20 seconds) OR use an alcohol based (at least 60%) hand sanitizer.

Other actions that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Boosting your immune system with dietary supplements (vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, quercetin, zinc) may help prevent severe COVID-19.

What to do if you are sick

What to do if you come into contact with someone who is sick

Stay at home. If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, it may take up to two weeks for your symptoms to present. To keep yourself and others safe, you should isolate yourself from other people for 14 days.

Risk Factors

Scientists are still researching risk factors for COVID-19 but data from China CDC suggest that the elderly, and people suffering from pre-existing medical conditions (such as heart disease, respiratory disease including asthma and COPD, or diabetes) have a higher risk of dying from the disease. There is research that suggests that smokers may be more susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is also evidence to suggest that people who use e-cigarettes (vaping) are at much higher risk of developing serious respiratory infections.
March 16, 2020 -- A Chinese study claims to have found that people with type A blood may be more susceptible to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
March 22, 2020 -- CDC now includes people aged 65 years and older, people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people who are immunocompromised including those receiving cancer treatment as those who are at higher risk for severe illness. People with HIV may also be at higher risk of serious illness.

Treatments

Investigational Treatments

Investigational Vaccines

Several pharmaceutical companies and research organizations worldwide are involved in the development of potential vaccines.

More information

References

Publications
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Theodore L. Caputi
Theodore L. Caputi
Economics & Health Researcher

My research interests include public health, health innovation, and health care.