This post is composed of facts from my own research, as well as my own personal opinion. This blog post is not to be considered official medical advice. The opinions presented here are of my own and should not be taken as official medical advice… Always seek medical attention and advice from your Medical doctor.Danielle
I have heard so many people upset saying that no one truly knows anything about this virus, and guidance is changing everyday sometimes multiple times in a day and who do you believe, what do you believe.
I am here to tell you we are all still learning about this disease COVID-19 which is also called the Novel Coronavirus(novel meaning new). This disease process has only been around since around December of 2019, starting to spread rapidly in the 1st quarter of 2020, it has not been around for years and years. Medical research scientists are working as hard as they can to know everything about this disease, we have to lean into what they are telling us, we have to be able to understand that we are still learning, so when guidance changes that is why, because we are continually learning new information about the disease process, how it is transmitted how it reproduces how it presents in people, how to slow the spread, how to treat the virus…
Lets go over some other viral infections so you too can understand the importance of medical research and science.
Varicella-zoster Virus . Chicken pox is a viral infection, some get it so bad while others get a very mild case and could in fact get it once again if there case is mild. What we know about chicken pox is it is a virus that infects mostly young children but can affect adolescents and adults but it is rare. Once the initial illness passes the fever is gone, the outbreak of painful rash passes, this virus continues to live inside the human body and lies dormant when you get older, maybe you get stressed as a big exam approaches or stressed from work and family obligations, or you get run down not getting enough sleep not eating a good healthy diet and the immune system is not working at its capacity. Anyway you wake up one day and begin seeing a painful rash running along a nerve… Oh your stress and or weakened immune system has awakened that virus that causes chicken pox except this time it presents itself as shingles. Chickenpox is highly contagious yet Shingles is not, but a person with shingles can indeed pass chickenpox to someone who has never had chickenpox(same virus remember) How do we know this information? We know this information because Chicken pox has been around for years and medical scientists and researchers have studied it for years. When chicken pox first came out they didn’t know that it lived dormant in human bodies and reemerged later in life, but years of research and studying this virus led to this discovery.
Herpes Simplex Virus or simply Herpes. Is a virus that once infected with herpes, the virus stays in the human body forever and will rear its ugly head at the most opportune times like the night before your family photos, or a wedding or a major life event, stress causes the virus to awaken and cause a cold sore to appear around the persons mouth. How do we know this information and how did we come to find out the difference in a common cold sore and genital herpes, not the same? Research… years of studying viruses, years not days, weeks or months rather years of intensive research.
HIV- Human immunodeficiency virus– a virus spread through body fluids also considered a sexually transmitted disease but can also be spread through contaminated blood(sharing needles, getting pricked accidently in a medical facility). Once infected with HIV virus the patient lives with this virus for their entire life, lives asymptomatically meaning they do not present with symptoms, and once symptoms of HIV show up and are present the disease is now referred to as AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Ebstein-Barr Virus(EBV). This is a virus which causes mononucleosis and is spread through body fluids most commonly saliva and found to be more prevalent in children from sharing drinks, adolescents and teens from kissing that is where the term kissing disease came from. Once infected with the EBV it lives inside the human and lies dormant until a weakened immune system and stress allows it to re-emerge. People that have had EBV are not contagious for the entire lives only when the virus is emerged are they considered contagious. But this virus lives in our bodies forever, how do we know this? Medical Scientists and researchers have studied the virus for years.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV). a virus that causes the common wart you know those pesky growths on the skin, yep and remember the tree man that had bark like growths on his body that was caused by HPV as well and did you know that once infected HPV it lives inside the human forever and can actually cause normal body cells to mutate and divide rapidly causing tumors to grow and cervical cancer in women to happen. So the common wart, tree like growths, cervical cancer all caused by this one virus, HPV… how did we come to know all of this? Research and years of studying the virus. HPV has been around for years but just recently it was discovered that it is a Sexually transmitted disease and a vaccine was produced to protect individuals from contracting HPV this reduces a woman’s chance of developing cervical cancer. All of these medical breakthroughs did not happen the day we discovered HPV, it has taken years to get to the point we are today with HPV.
Novel Coronavirus- COVID-19…So now good ol’ Coronavirus emerged last December and here is what we know so far but rest assured there are medical scientists and researchers all across this globe doing the best they can at getting us the most information about this disease in order to protect our health, and as they research and study new facts and information will come out about the disease process, about the negative effects, about how it is transmitted, about how to best prevent or slow the spread, information emerges everyday.
We know that COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and is highly contagious, the reproductive rate number also referred to as R naught is higher than influenza ever dreamed of being. This number shows approximately how many people can become infected from one COVID-19 carrier.
We know some of the symptoms of COVID-19 I personally do not think we have even scratched the surface of this virus and in years to come there will be so many developments that we will all say man I wish we knew that in 2020 🙂
Symptoms we know of :
- Initial reports of signs and symptoms when the virus first emerged was as follows
- high fever
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing
- body aches
- Symptoms showing up after virus has been around few months and continues spreading infecting people are as follows
- nausea and vomiting
- diarrhea(which also made us realize COVID-19 is found in fecal matter)
- loss of appetite
- loss of taste and smell
- sore throat
- COVID toes- a very weird sign that began emerging
- MIS-C- multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children- at the beginning of this pandemic it was thought that only elderly were at risk, that covid-19 only infected the elderly population and showed negative effects of morbidity and mortality with that group of individuals…. Research has discovered that COVID-19 is no respecter of age and in children presents completely different and shows up with this horrific Multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
- and more are being discovered this list will continue to grow
The effects of COVID-19 are being studied now but still this virus is so new that we are not able to fully comprehend the long-term effects of this virus, will it live in our body forever and re-emerge down the road? WE just dont know yet. Some of the effects that have been noted in studies are as follows, seizure activity(this tells me this virus also affects the CNS negatively), liver damage, kidney damage, lung damage that is permanent lung damage, blood clots… and more are going to emerge through medical research with time.
Pneumonia is a condition in which the air sacs in the lungs the site of gas exchange in the lungs are inflamed and can fill with fluid causing difficulty breathing and chest pain. People contract pneumonia every year this can be caused by a virus or bacteria. COVID-19 virus has these hooks on the outside of the virus itself(see photos for more information) that it uses to latch onto the lung wall and continue to multiply and infect the host. This can cause inflammation inside the lungs (pneumonitis) which can then lead to the air sacs filling with fluid and causes pneumonia. Pneumonia doesnt just happen the person has to be infected with a virus or a bacteria and even fungi can infect the lungs causing pneumonia… pneumonia itself is not the illness rather the outcome of the illness.
Pneumonia is a common side effect of COVID-19 the direct result of lung damage the virus is causing on the inner walls and the alveoli(air sac site of gas exchange).
Does this damage last long-term does having COVID-19 make a person more susceptible to pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses later on, these are questions we just don’t have enough knowledge of this virus yet we are still learning.
Why are individuals who have pre-existing conditions classified as a higher risk? These individuals have conditions which can affect the way their immune system responds to pathogens and infections. These individuals are at a higher risk of contracting any infection not just COVID-19
I understand that when Medical Researchers and scientists come forward with new information that can seem conflicting to what was previously shared it can become very confusing it can make you feel like you don’t know what to believe, I understand the frustration.
I can only encourage you to make sure that the articles you are reading, the research you are taking advice from are from the most current date because information that was released in January may not still be relevant today in July. This COVID-19 situation is fluid and constantly changing and developing, keep that in mind.
Stay safe my friends…Stay well…Stay informed!!!
notes: nanometers: 1,000,000nanometers(nm) in 1 millimeter