I hear these terms being used interchangeably, Coronavirus or COVID- 19. What does it all mean and when can we use it? Let’s start with some background.
How do we name viruses:
Once a new or novel virus is discovered ( novel meaning new to us humans and our immune system) it is viewed under a microscope. Based on what the virus looks like under the microscope that’s how the name is formulated. For the coronavirus, it gets its name from the spikes or the projections which look like a crown.
Corona = crown.
Coronavirus is not just one virus, its a group of viruses. The coronaviruses that affect humans were first identified in the mid-1960s. The coronaviruses that commonly affect humans are the 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1 which presents as the common cold with cold and flu symptoms. Every now and then coronaviruses that infect animals/livestock can evolve and infect humans, examples are SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and now, COVID-19 (Cornavirus Disease 2019). You may record hearing of SARS during the 2003 outbreak in Asia.
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning, they can stick to surfaces and can be destroyed by disinfectants. There are common disinfectants that include coverage of coronavirus on the label. These disinfectants are referring to the most common human coronaviruses (229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1) the ones mentioned earlier.
What we are currently experiencing now is being caused by a novel virus; Coronavirus Disease 2019 which was first discovered in 2019 in Wuhan, China.
COVID–19 is the short form of Coronavirus Disease 2019.
Many times we are familiar with the disease/illness but not the virus that causes them. For example; HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) causes AIDS and the Varicella-Zoster virus causes chickenpox and then shingles later in life. HIV is the virus and AIDS is the disease it causes. In the case of COVID-19, coronavirus is the virus and COVID-19 is the disease it causes.
Click here to watch the YouTube video on this topic.
Hereis the YouTube on the proper use of gloves and masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.