Basic information about the coronavirus

What is a coronavirus?
The term coronavirus is used for any virus belonging to the subfamily Coronaviridae. It is a collective term for the four families of viruses that cause diseases with varying degrees of severity. The name is derived from the characteristic arrangement of the surface structures of the lipid envelope, shaped liked a solar corona. It can cause common problems such as a cold, cough, breathing difficulties and fever, but also more serious diseases such as the respiratory disease called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).   

How can I tell that I’m infected?
The main symptoms of the disease include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache and fatigue. However, not everyone with these symptoms is infected with the coronavirus. In such cases, it is necessary to rationally consider whether you may have come into contact with the disease.

What is shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath is characterized by subjectively perceived breathing problems. The patient feels a heavy chest or lack of air and finds it difficult to breathe.

What population groups are most at risk?
The groups at risk include elderly, chronically ill or immunocompromised persons. It also seems that there is no increased risk for pregnant women. Available information further shows that, so far, children tolerate the virus well.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?
Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through close contact. It is a “droplet” infection that is transmitted by air. It most often affects the mucous membranes of the upper and lower airways and conjunctiva. The incubation period is about two to fourteen days. After a week from infection, the disease manifests itself with fevers that do not subside. They may be accompanied by discomfort, pain in the joints and muscles, and a cough also appears.    

How does the virus penetrate the human body?
The most common routes via which viruses enter the human body are the mucous membranes, that is, the mouth, nose and eyes. These are an open gateway for the virus, because we unconsciously touch our face practically all the time. Experts recommend for people to consciously avoid touching their face. 

What about immunity from the coronavirus?
Regarding conventional coronaviruses, immunity that lasts very long cannot be obtained. In the case of this particular coronavirus, the answer is therefore still unknown to scientists. If you recover, you are immune, but we do not know for how long. This is actually one of the biggest challenges in the development of a vaccine that is currently underway.