COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus disease 2019, is a highly contagious illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China, and quickly spread globally, resulting in a pandemic.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, headache, and gastrointestinal issues. However, some individuals infected with the virus may be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms but can still transmit the virus to others.
COVID-19 primarily spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. It can also spread by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then touching the face, particularly the mouth, nose, or eyes. Close contact with an infected person, such as being within approximately six feet (two meters), increases the risk of transmission.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, public health organizations and authorities worldwide have recommended several measures, including regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap is unavailable, wearing face masks in public settings where social distancing is not possible, practicing social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when feeling unwell.
Vaccines have been developed and approved for emergency use in many countries, providing effective protection against severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Vaccination campaigns have been conducted worldwide to immunize as many people as possible.
It's important to stay updated with the latest information and guidelines provided by health authorities, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve.