The mortality rate of this disease increases with age, and it is observed to be more severe in men and especially in smokers and those with chronic diseases.
Cases of severe infection can result in pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and kidney failure leading to death in some cases. Based on early evidence, many of those who died had other conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease that impaired their immune system.
What are coronaviruses? Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. Although the pathologies they create in humans are usually in the form of mild respiratory infections, several coronavirus types cause severe pathologies such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Coronaviruses belong to the Orthocoronavirinae subfamily of the Coronaviridae family in Nidovirales subgroup and are single-stranded RNA viruses. They are known by the envelope structure around them and contain a positive sense RNA sequence. Their genome lengths range from about 25 to 35 kb and they carry crown-like proteins of about 20 nm in size.
ØHow is COVID-19 transmitted? Person-to person transmission, especially close contact, has been confirmed in asymptomatic and symptomatic phases of the disease. The degree
of transmission on each phase has not been established yet. The incubation period was shown to be from 2 to 14 days; however, because SARS had a 14 days incubation period,
the CDC and WHO recommends considering 14 days of incubation period where self- isolation and quarantine is recommended. There has also been reported outliers of the 14 days incubation period.
How is COVID-19 detected? In addition to CT of the lungs, the infection can be confirmed by laboratory testing of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), sputum, nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate. Detection by means of real-time RT-PCR should be done from first day of onset of symptoms. There is not yet data supporting when the coronavirus is totally excreted.