Top 10 Essential Facts About The Coronavirus, The Only Article You’ll Ever Need About COVID-19

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There is a lot of fear and confusion surrounding the coronavirus called COVID-19, and it doesn’t help that some elements of the media have been firing off information many consider fear mongering. Even a recent Listverse article could be considered as such, but fear is the last thing anyone wants to spread since even a global pandemic doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world as we know it.

The information on the virus is limited at the moment, as there will need to be a great deal of study before it is fully understood. In the meantime, information is power, so this list contains ten things you should know about COVID-19 and how best to protect yourself from misconceptions, misunderstandings, and outright media lies about it. This information is just the tip of the iceberg, so keep up to date on outbreaks in your area from official sources, and everything should be fine.

What Is A Coronavirus

COVID-19 is a coronavirus, which means very little to most people who don’t work in virology or immunology. A coronavirus is a group of viruses that can infect mammals and birds.[1] In humans, they can cause respiratory tract infections, many of which can be treated with over-the-counter medication. The so-called “common cold” is the result of a coronavirus, and while most are well-understood and rarely more than an inconvenience, some can be lethal. COVID-19 refers to the outbreak of the disease, which is broken down as Coronavirus Disease 2019.

The virus itself also has a name, but it’s a bit of a mouthful: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. Part of that acronym may be familiar, seeing as the world already went through a similar outbreak of SARS in 2003.[2] The viruses are related, and it wouldn’t be out of the question to call this new outbreak “SARS 2.0,”[3] though you likely won’t hear any professional virologists say that in the media. Regardless, COVID-19 is a coronavirus, and it is spreading, but that’s not a cause for alarm; rather, it’s a cause to prepare and protect ourselves in much the same way we do when it’s cold & flu season.

Where COVID-19 Originated

It’s well known that the virus was first seen in Wuhan, China, but it’s not fully understood exactly where it originated. COVID-19 is likely a zoonotic virus, which means it can be transmitted between animals and people. This has led researchers to look for animals that might have originally carried the disease. There are a lot of similarities between COVID-19 and two bat-derived strains of Betacoronavirus, which means they are likely related. Because the viruses share about 96% of the same genes, it was initially believed that bats were the source of the outbreak, which was pinpointed to the Huanan Seafood Market, where exotic animals are sold.

As time went on, and more research was conducted, Chinese researchers were able to determine that COVID-19 shared 99% of the same genetic information as a similar virus that infects pangolins. This suggested that pangolins may have been an intermediary host for the virus, but the research wasn’t officially published, and much of the analysis remains unconfirmed.[4] While determining the precise origin might help virologists better understand COVID-19, doing so isn’t entirely necessary in combatting the spread of the disease, now that it’s been released into the human population. READ MORE

 

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