Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). A new type of coronavirus has been discovered after it was identified as the cause of a disease that began in China in 2019.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. The period after exposure to the virus and before symptoms appear is called the incubation period. Common signs and symptoms may include:
Early symptoms of COVID-19 may include loss of taste or smell.
Other symptoms of the disease include:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Eye redness (conjunctivitis)
This is elderly, and the risks increase with age. People with other medical conditions may be more susceptible to disease. Certain conditions may increase your risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, including:
Serious heart diseases, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathy
Chronic pulmonary obstruction
Chronic kidney failure
Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
The virus can spread from the mouth or nose of an infected person, in tiny droplets when they cough, sneeze, talk, sing, or breathe. The size of these respiratory droplets range from large to small, and an infected person can be a spreader of the infection, whether or not they have symptoms.
A person may become infected by touching the mouth, nose, or eyes after touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Yes, and while COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at full speed, they must necessarily undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed standards for safety and efficacy. A vaccine cannot be approved by the World Health Organization and national regulatory agencies unless it meets these criteria.