Coronavirus; what is it?

Coronavirus is a type of virus that can be found in both animals and humans. It has proteins on the outside of it that under a very strong microscope appear to be similar to a crown, or a ‘corona’.

The virus is one which mutates easily because it doesn’t rely on DNA for their genome, but RNA which it carries inside. (Explanation required)

Coronaviruses are known to be quite large in the RNA-genomed viruses.

Until relatively recently (around 2002) there were only two main recognised coronaviruses that were mild in nature and caused not much more than a common cold.

COVID-19, the name of the infection this type of virus causes, is serious because it can cause a lot of damage to a human, the full extent of which we don’t actually yet know. Permanent heart damage, lung damage, general tissue damage along with less serious symptoms including loss of sleep, loss of taste, loss of smell etc have all been found attributed to COVID-19 and this current coronavirus epidemic.

Who is most likely to suffer from Coronavirus?

88% of all deaths in Great Britain (source required) are those over the age of 65. Most are male. Most have underlying health problems, usually in the form of Type-2 Diabeties, existing heart conditions, lung problems such as COPD. Although all humans can be affected, and even lots of other species.

In the UK we have a science-based national governmental reaction system whereby localities can be ‘locked-down’ should an outbreak occur, but the Government will not rule-out a full national lockdown should a second wave appear imminent.

How can I catch Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is mostly an airborne virus that transfers from one person to another via the air. Either through coughing, sneezing, breathing – sharing the same air as somebody who has the virus. The virus can be transferred via surfaces such as door handles and taps in public spaces etc.

The UK Government Science Advisory Committee have stipulated that the virus is drastically less likely to be transferred after being on metals and plastics for 72 hours, wood after 36, and soft furnishings after 24.

What can I do to prevent catching Coronavirus?

Wash your hands

The main thing you can do to limit the chances of catching Coronavirus is keeping yourself and your belongings clean. So washing your hands before and after using the toilet, before and after eating, not touching your face after touching other surfaces, cleaning your mobile phone often (phones are always near our faces, but also always touched with our hands!) and that kind of thing.

Wear a facemask

Facemasks are a big debate. The science behind them shows that it is worth wearing one. The only downside a lot of the scientific papers stated was the fact you’re touching your face to adjust it. So an ill-fitted facemask is perhaps worse than not having one at all.

But the big pro in its favour was the fact that it will heavily limit the chances of you sneezing or coughing suddenly onto other people. So even if you don’t show symptoms (which can be the case for a few days for all people who catch it, and many can have it and be asymptomatic) you could still have Coronavirus and transfer it to other people or surrounding hard surfaces etc.

So wear a mask. It’ll limit the spread a lot in the end.

Masks need washing often to ensure any virus that should have landed on it, or you’ve breathed on it whilst not knowing you have it, is killed and hasn’t lay dormant (again, nearly all the virus is dead after 72 hours when not in a host).

You could have a few masks that you use in rotation. Disposable masks are good but do need throwing away after use, but often don’t fit well so you need to adjust them a lot, which isn’t a good thing.

Related Articles:-

  • How to make a facemask at home
  • How to wash your hands properly
  • Current British areas in lockdown (updated ASAP, usually weekly)
  • Countries that have outbreaks and therefore have Government-enforced travel restrictions in place
  • UK Organisations and Government departments that can help you during the Coronavirus pandemic
  • How do I trust Coronavirus information I see and read online? Website Accuracy Notice

Whilst we strive to get every point fact-checked over a period of time, we can’t always guarantee the accuracy of the facts pointed out on this website. We are always working on linking you to sources of the information we gain, and will only link to reputable science-based information from our main articles.

The forums may contain links from the general public which point to sources that we haven’t fact-checked, so always come back to the main website to get the current updated Coronavirus information and advice. And even then, if you’re relying on this advice and acting on the information, always do your own research and fact-check the information too. Never rely on one source, even our own website, and certainly not a social media post shared by even the most trusted friends in your circles. (More on this soon)

You can always report coronavirus fact inaccuracies in the forums (link required) so that we can research the report and update any website information where applicable.

If you’re a specialist in virology or other related field and can help us get our information perfect, then please do get in touch.

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