COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2. To date, it has spread to 115 countries, affecting nearly three million people and killing over 206,000 individuals, per the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.
This disease, which the World Health Organization has considered a pandemic in March 2020, seems to spread faster than other coronavirus diseases with a different strain. Experts think that SARS-CoV-2 affects more individuals because its symptoms go undetected for a large number of the population, according to the Columbia University School of Public Health.
Asymptomatic and mild symptoms make the virus spread faster.
Asymptomatic patients are those who are already infected with the virus but show no symptoms of the disease. Experts said that COVID-19’s “stealth transmission” is presenting such a challenge because a more significant portion of the population could already have the virus without their knowledge. They continue to undertake their usual routines and activities without realizing that they are virus carriers, so they infect someone who is more vulnerable due to their age or a weak immune system or pre-existing medical conditions.
According to epidemiologists, one person who is a COVID-19 carrier can hypothetically infect three people a day. These three people may then infect three other people as well, increasing the coronavirus infection rate by 33 percent. This is called the basic reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2, as determined by Chinese scientists. Without any intervention, the virus will keep on spreading.
A virus, in general, is dormant outside of its host. They need to attach and reproduce inside a host’s body to thrive. COVID-19 may spread fast, but it’s not deadlier (less virulent) than SARS and MERS-CoV, the earlier strains of coronavirus that emerged in 2003 and 2012, respectively. However, because it is highly contagious, and not all patients have visible symptoms, it is harder to contain, even with the current measures countries have adopted.
Although there are many types of infectious diseases, the lack of herd immunity sets the COVID-19 apart. Herd immunity protects the vulnerable population from getting an infection because the majority of the people around them are already immune to it. Therefore, there is limited opportunity for the disease to spread. The best way to achieve this is through vaccinations, but unfortunately, we have yet to create a vaccine for COVID-19.
How to stop COVID-19
Given this scenario, COVID-19 will keep spreading for as long as people contract the virus. Only when the number of new cases has decreased will the curve be flattened.
Governments from all over the world have been on their toes since the outbreak spread from China. Physical distancing, quarantine, and banning of large gatherings are only some of the preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus. There are also campaigns to promote frequent hand washing and disinfecting.
Essential workers are asked to practice social distancing or wear personal protective equipment to lessen their risk of infection and transmission. Clinics and urgent care facilities have to limit patient appointments and space consultations. It is hoped that these measures will buy time by slowing down the spread until a vaccine is developed.
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With these circumstances at hand, it is needless to say that all of us are greatly affected by the “new normal.” Schneider Medical Group offers integrative medicine in Raleigh, NC to help our patients heal holistically. Now more than ever, everyone’s physical health is very much influenced by emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences. Our integrative medicine physicians consider these factors in creating a treatment plan, making each treatment very personalized and tailored to the specific needs of every patient.
Learn more about COVID-19 and integrative medicine in Raleigh, NC
If you have questions about COVID-19, don’t hesitate to contact our experts in integrative medicine. If you’re experiencing the signs and symptoms mentioned in this article, follow your state’s guidelines or contact us for proper guidance before coming in for a check-up.
Dr. Schneider is an expert internist who has extensive experience and knowledge in treating various medical diseases. If you need the expertise of an internist or integrative medicine expert, request an appointment or call us at 919-301-8971. We are more than happy to assist you.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.