COVID-19 Infection

COVID-19 emerged as a global health crisis in late 2019, rapidly spreading worldwide and affecting millions of lives. Characterized by respiratory symptoms ranging from mild to severe, the infection has led to widespread illness, strained healthcare systems, and unprecedented societal challenges. The ongoing efforts to understand and combat the virus underscore the importance of collective action, vaccination, and public health measures in mitigating the impact of this infectious disease.

  • COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Sharma et al., 2021).
  • The virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (Sharma et al., 2021).
  • The virus attaches to cells in the respiratory system, primarily in the nose, throat, and lungs, using a protein called ACE2 (Zhou et al, 2020)
  • Once inside a cell, the virus uses its own genetic material to take over the cell and make copies of itself (V’kovski et al., 2020).
  • This process can damage the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing (Rahimi et al., 2022).
  • In some cases, the virus can also cause damage to other organs, such as the heart and kidneys (Wadman et al, 2020)
  • The body’s immune system fights the virus, but in some cases, it can cause a “cytokine storm,” an overreaction that can lead to severe illness or death (Huang et al, 2020)
  • People who are older or have underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (CDC.gov, January 27, 2023).
  • There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, but antiviral drugs and supportive care can help to reduce the severity of symptoms (https://www.covidtreatmentguidelines.nih.gov).
  • Vaccines have been developed and authorized for emergency use globally to help control the pandemic (Fortner et al., 2021).
  • Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from severe illness and death caused by COVID-19 (cdc.gov, December 22, 2022 coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccinebenefits.html).