that appeared in 2020, the symptoms and signs of which doctors have not yet learned to identify well enough, has already caused the introduction of quarantine controls at a number of Russian airports. At the end of January, WHO designated the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as an Emergency.
General information about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus
The coronavirus got its name for a specific type - its shell is surrounded by a kind of crown, made of S-proteins. It is to them that cell membranes react, and open access to the inside of the cell. Since true S-proteins are needed for a healthy life cycle, cell membranes do not prevent invasion.
We can say that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a "wolf in sheep's clothing."
But these same proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 corona make the virus extremely vulnerable. Coronoviruses are destroyed by protein denaturation:
- within 12-24 hours in the open air in contact with oxygen;
- for 15-20 minutes when irradiated with a UV lamp;
- in 10 minutes when the temperature rises to 60˚C;
- immediately upon contact with ethanol or soap.
In Russia, there are specially developed preparations for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 strains in biological samples.
Coronavirus replication occurs in the lower part of the lungs. Therefore, when coughing and sneezing, SARS-CoV-2 spreads most easily.
Scientists have determined that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is transmitted to humans by airborne droplets. SARS-CoV-2 strains have been identified in the natural secretions of infected people. This does not exclude infection by the fecal-oral route.
The incubation period lasts from 2 days to 2 weeks. At this time, the symptoms of coronavirus in children and adults do not appear at all. But such people are carriers and distributors of SARS-CoV-2.
The first symptoms of coronavirus in humans
At the end of February 2020, more than 82 thousand infected with a new strain of coronavirus were detected in the world. In China, there are 96% of all infected. The statistics provided by Chinese doctors allows us to compile the following list of symptoms:
It was registered in 98.4% of infected people. The temperature rose 1.2-3.5˚C above normal.
- General weakness, fatigue.
It was noted in 70% of adults. For children, this symptom is not typical. The manifestation of this symptom begins 2-3 hours after waking up. During the day, before going to bed, the feeling of fatigue increases.
- A dull cough, almost no expectoration.
Recorded in 60% of cases. In children from 5 to 14 years old, breathing becomes more frequent and difficult.
Muscle pain occurred in 41% of patients. A characteristic feature of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is increased pain in the limbs. Children, and people with an asthenic physique, feel this symptom in a mild form.
- Headache and shortness of breath.
Both of these symptoms were observed in 30% of patients.
In addition to these manifestations, doctors noted abdominal pain, diarrhea, tachycardia. Children are characterized by chills and sweating, as well as confusion and dizziness.
The further development of the coronavirus disease takes place according to three scenarios:
- In mild form.
It is often noted as asymptomatic. Of the described signs of infection, a mild cough may occur. But such patients are carriers of viruses, so they also need to be isolated.
- in general form.
The most common form. After the first stage with the described symptoms, depending on the physical condition of the person, the disease proceeds in the form of SARS. In patients with poor health or in a premorbid state, X-ray examination noted pathological changes in the alveoli in the middle and lower parts of the lungs.
- In severe form.
Age patients, over 50 years old, in this group, about 60%. Within 2-3 days after the registration of the disease, they developed acute mild insufficiency. The respiratory rate reached 30 breaths/exhalations per minute. The oxygen content in the blood decreased by 22-30%. Half of those infected with a severe course of the disease developed non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema.
- in critical form.
The risk group in which the largest percentage of patients with a fatal outcome. The manifestation of pulmonary insufficiency is intensifying. Oxygen starvation develops. In the absence of intensive care, patients go into a state of shock.
Doctors have not yet found out the cause of the different forms of the course of the disease. To determine immediately after the discovery of the patient, what symptoms of the coronavirus he will manifest, and in what form the course of the disease will develop, experts cannot yet.
How to recognize and check for symptoms in a person?
Employees of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation have developed a manual for the diagnosis and identification of people infected with coronavirus. All applicants should be divided into risk groups.
- Suspicion of infection with SARS-CoV-2.
To be included in this group, a patient must have one of the following conditions:
In addition, mandatory stay in China, or contact with a confirmed carrier of the infection within the past 2 weeks.
- Probable infection with coronavirus.
In addition to the above, the patient is found to have blood poisoning or non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema.
- Confirmed case.
Such a diagnosis is made on the basis of laboratory studies of human biological samples. Testing is recommended for patients with possible infection.
Checking for symptoms at home
The reliability of self-examination at home is extremely low, but this method allows you to make a decision about going to the clinic. In the published photos, the symptoms of coronavirus in patients do not appear in any way to the extent that they can be guaranteed to be attributed to SARS-CoV-2.
The risk group includes those who have been in China in the last 14 days, or have had contact with people who have returned from the Middle Kingdom. Even if a person simply traveled outside Russia, he should be more attentive to deviations in well-being.
- Measure body temperature twice a day. The first time immediately after waking up, the second - an hour before bedtime.
If within two days the temperature is even slightly above normal, consult a doctor.
- Remember how quickly you get tired, and when asthenia appears. If this happens in the afternoon, in the late afternoon, then there is no cause for concern. If weakness is felt in the morning, then this is a reason to think.
- Walk down the street at an above-average pace for 15-20 minutes. If, after physical exertion, shortness of breath lasts longer than you walked, then this is an alarm signal.
All these symptoms are approximate, but even if they do not appear at all, this is not a reason for calm.
Chinese doctors testify that up to 5% of patients suffered an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus without any symptoms at all. But at the same time, they themselves were carriers of pathogenic viruses, and through them infection of people who came into close contact with them occurred.
Prevention and treatment
A specific antiviral agent designed to combat SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been developed. Therefore, all treatment is symptomatic.
In clinics in Germany and the USA, positive conclusions were obtained on the use of Chloroquine, Galidesivir, Kaletra.
Domestic drug Arbidol in combination with Interferon shows high antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2.
IMPORTANT: do not self-medicate!
New diseases such as the coronavirus, whose symptoms and treatment are not well understood, may have a paradoxical response to conventional drugs.
The basic rules that will help avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2 in 95% of cases are the same as with the threat of SARS.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, not only before eating, but also upon returning home or after work. Use disinfecting wipes.
- Ventilate rooms regularly.
- To increase nonspecific immunity, take herbal adaptogen preparations in a prophylactic dosage, for example, tincture of radiola rosea, Aralia Manchurian or Eleutherococcus.
- Take a multivitamin daily.
As a proven way to deal with epidemics in Russia, regular trips to the bathhouse and visits to the steam room can be recommended. And in order to keep abreast of the current situation of the spread of the disease, on the main page we have an online map of the coronavirus .