Diseases

Coronavirus Infection – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Coronavirus infection

coronavirus infection refers to an infection with the so-called corona viruses . These viruses occur in mammals as well as birds and are the cause of various diseases such as influenza infections. The well-known SARS virus also belongs to the corona virus family.

What is coronavirus infection?

The term coronavirus infection means infection with viruses belonging to the coronavirus family. These occur worldwide and can affect mammals and birds alike.

They are spread by the so-called droplet infection and are therefore potentially highly contagious. However, of all the types of coronavirus that occur , only three are human pathogenic, ie capable of causing disease in humans. If a coronavirus infection occurs, it can manifest itself through various symptoms.

In humans, it usually leads to diseases of the respiratory tract, but also to diarrhea. The SARS virus, which can lead to serious respiratory diseases and ultimately death, also belongs to the corona virus family.

causes

The causes of a coronavirus infection lie in the spread of so-called corona viruses in an organism, which subsequently cause symptoms of the disease.

Corona viruses are so-called RNA viruses. If these spread in a human organism, they lead to paralysis of the cilia, which are significantly involved in breathing. If it is an infection with the SARS coronavirus, there are also symptoms of pneumonia .

According to statistics, around 30% of all human infections such as the common cold can be traced back to corona viruses. However, they are generally considered harmless, even if they can have a deadly effect on different animal species at the same time.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

The coronavirus infection can be life-threatening for a human and must always be treated by a doctor. In the worst case, this infection can lead to the death of the person concerned or to serious complications. In the case of the coronavirus infection, patients primarily suffer from a very high fever .

This also leads to a general feeling of illness and thus to severe tiredness and exhaustion. Most of those affected also show shortness of breath , although in severe cases loss of consciousness can occur. If the lack of oxygen lasts for a longer period of time, the internal organs or even the brain can be damaged.

This damage is usually irreversible and cannot be treated. Coughing and a severe sore throat also occur . There are also general symptoms of the flu or a cold , so that those affected suffer from chills and body aches .

The patient’s quality of life is significantly reduced and limited by the coronavirus infection. The coronavirus infection is contagious and can spread to other people very easily. Furthermore, an untreated infection leads to pain in the muscles and even cramps . With successful treatment of the coronavirus infection, the life expectancy of the patient remains unchanged.

Diagnosis & History

If there is a suspicion of a coronavirus infection, a doctor should be consulted immediately. In addition to a comprehensive physical examination to rule out other causes of the symptoms, the coronavirus can be detected using antibodies.

If antibodies against the virus can be detected in the organism, an acute infection is considered practical. Some of these antibodies are labeled with dyes to make them easier to recognize. A coronavirus infection is usually harmless for the person concerned and goes away on its own after seven to ten days. However, complications can occur in people who are already weak or in children, which is why medical supervision is advisable.

complications

The person affected usually suffers from the symptoms of the flu as a result of the coronavirus infection. There is a high fever and a cough with a sore throat. Pain in the extremities also occurs and those affected complain of chills at the beginning of the coronavirus infection. In severe cases, breathing difficulties can also occur, such as shortness of breath.

Shortness of breath often leads to panic attacks. Patients are often no longer able to engage in physical activity and complain of muscle pain. There are usually no further complications and the coronavirus infection goes away on its own without the need for a doctor’s visit. Treatment is symptomatic.

Painkillers can be taken to relieve the pain. The patient should only be careful not to take them over a longer period of time, as they can damage the stomach. Contact with other people should also be limited due to the risk of infection.

Breathing or throat problems can also be relieved with medication. After a few days, the symptoms subside on their own and no further complications arise. A serious course can occur if it is a SARS virus. In this case, incorrect treatment can lead to the death of the patient.

When should you go to the doctor?

Most coronavirus infections are harmless. Flu-like symptoms or diarrhea usually resolve on their own within a short time in otherwise healthy patients. In immunocompromised people or children, on the other hand, a coronavirus infection can take a life-threatening course: For this reason, if there is any suspicion, the family doctor should be consulted to carry out an antibody determination of the blood for corona viruses.

If the infection is detected, transmission to other people can be prevented by appropriate hygiene measures and extensive isolation of the patient during the illness. It is extremely important to see a doctor immediately if you have had a stay in certain regions of Asia before you suddenly developed fever, cough, shortness of breath and a general feeling of illness.

In this case, the dangerous variants of the SARS or MERS coronavirus could be hidden behind them. The MERS virus is mainly transmitted by dromedaries and occurs mainly in the Arab world. If there was close contact with these animals during a trip and signs of illness appear afterwards, the doctor must be informed.

All people in the immediate vicinity of a sick person are also advised to have an antibody test carried out: In this way, a coronavirus infection can be recognized quickly and treated immediately. In particular, people whose immune system has been weakened by previous illnesses should not hesitate to consult a doctor if they suspect a coronavirus infection.

Treatment & Therapy

A coronavirus infection can only be treated symptomatically, because there is currently no medication against the virus itself. This also applies to an infection with the SARS virus.

The treatment depends on the individual symptoms and their severity. If the fever is high, antipyretic drugs can be given. Difficulty breathing, sore throat and cough are treated with the same medications that are used to treat a regular flu or cold . If muscle pain occurs as a result of the infection, it makes sense to take painkillers temporarily.

If the patient is debilitated by age or general health, it may be necessary to monitor them medically to avoid complications. Under certain circumstances, the breathing difficulties may require temporary artificial respiration. In addition to the actual treatment of the symptoms, which should continue until the symptoms have subsided, direct contact with other people should be avoided, otherwise infection can quickly occur.

If there is an infection with the SARS virus, special measures must be taken for this reason. In about 11% of cases, this disease is fatal; but there are also significantly weaker courses, which are usually harmless for the patient.

Outlook & Forecast

In most cases, a coronavirus infection can be treated relatively well, so that this disease does not lead to any particular complications and usually has a positive course of the disease. Only in very few cases can the disease take a severe course.

The symptoms of the flu or cold are treated with the help of antipyretics and generally with the help of anti-flu or cold remedies. It is not necessary to take any special medication. After about a week, the symptoms disappear and the coronavirus infection is defeated. Medical treatment is only required if the symptoms persist for a longer period of time. If there is pain, it is treated with painkillers and strict bed rest.

Direct contact with other people should be avoided if you are infected with the coronavirus in order to avoid infecting other people. As a rule, the patient is not immune even after the disease has healed and can contract the coronavirus infection again. The disease can then take a serious or even fatal course if the person concerned is in poor general condition before the infection. Especially older people or people suffering from a chronic illness need special medical measures.

prevention

A coronavirus infection is a smear or droplet infection. The viruses are thus transmitted through direct contact with infected people. Particular attention should therefore be paid to hygiene (washing hands), especially in the winter months, when flu outbreaks occur.

Avoid contact with sick people. A healthy lifestyle that boosts the immune system can also help reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.

aftercare

In the case of a coronavirus infection, the affected person usually has no options for aftercare. The patient is primarily dependent on a quick diagnosis of the disease, so that further complications do not occur. The earlier the coronavirus infection is detected, the better the further course is, as a rule. If the disease is not treated, serious complications can occur.

The person affected with this disease should observe strict bed rest and rest. Efforts or physical activities should be avoided in order not to unnecessarily burden the body. In some cases, the help or support of one’s own family and friends is very helpful in relieving the burden on those affected.

However, contact with other people should be kept to a minimum so that infection does not occur. If there is no improvement after taking the medication, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately, since the coronavirus infection can also be fatal in the worst case. As a rule, however, the course is harmless, so that there is no reduction in life expectancy.

You can do that yourself

Since the coronavirus infection is a contagious disease, increased attention is required when dealing with sick people. With the right protective measures, infection can be avoided in good time. It is helpful if the person concerned can reflect well on his own body and his own reactions.

The disease resembles the symptoms of influenza . Nevertheless, with a good self-perception it can be determined that there are slight differences. This is beneficial for early diagnosis and treatment. A strong immune system is required to protect oneself well against a viral disease or to positively support the healing process . Therefore, those affected can stabilize their immune system through a healthy diet and sufficient exercise.

A balanced and vitamin-rich food intake provides the body with important nutrients and messenger substances that are important for supplying the systems. Sporting activities stimulate the metabolic system and the circulatory system. As a result, the messenger substances quickly reach their destination and contribute to health.

However, as soon as the person concerned is ill, he should not exert himself physically. The possibilities of one’s own body must be taken into account, so that adjustments must be made. In addition to a healthy diet, sufficient rest and rest help here so that the body can regenerate sufficiently.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.