What Is It Actually Like To Have COVID-19?

These last few months it’s been impossible
to escape news and updates about COVID-19, also known as the Novel Coronavirus. While it’s incredibly important to stay
informed, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands, there’s also been plenty
of fear mongering, exaggeration, misinformation, and sensationalism around the disease. Today, we’re going to discuss what it’s
actually like to have the disease in terms of cold, hard facts – no spin or editorialising. All the information in this video is current
as of March 21st, 2020, and because this is a situation developing extremely quickly,
we also encourage independent research. All the information we’re presenting in
this video comes directly from the US Center for Disease Control, the UK National Health
Service, and the World Health Organization, as well as official scientific studies. We recommend also using these reliable sources
if you wish to stay informed. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, meaning
it attacks the lungs and airways. If you’ve caught COVID-19, it’ll be as
a result of contact with another infected individual. For your first week to two weeks of infection,
you may not display any symptoms whatsoever, which is why exercising caution is so extremely
important during this period of time. Some people will actually remain asymptomatic
– meaning they display no actual symptoms – throughout the course of their infection. Two studies – one published in the journal
Emerging Infectious Disease, and another that was a collaboration between Kyoto, Oxford,
and Georgia State University – settled on the possibility that around 17.9% of people
suffering from COVID-19 will remain completely asymptomatic. If you happen to fall within this category,
you’re at the least risk of developing the more severe form of the disease or undergoing
serious health complications. However, it’s worth noting that being asymptomatic
actually puts you at far greater risk of infecting others through a lack of caution. This is why, even if you think you’re not
infected, it’s positively vital to maintain good hygiene and social distancing. Interestingly, the majority of asymptomatic
cases appear to be in children, with 90% of the cases of paediatric Coronavirus in China
being asymptomatic to mild. While the grand majority of people who contract
COVID-19 will display symptoms, a large chunk of those people will only experience a mild
cold or flu-like virus. According to data sets from China, around
80.9% of their cases were mild. If you are lucky enough to fall into this
category – and statistically, you’re likely to be relatively young and healthy, with little
to no chronic underlying health conditions – you’re most likely to experience fever
and a severe cough. It definitely won’t feel good, but you won’t
be under any serious threat of death from what you’re experiencing. In a lot of cases, the disease tends to run
its course within a three-week period – from an incubation period that tends to last from
five days to two weeks, and symptoms that present for around five to seven days before
the sufferer begins to recover. Once again, if you find yourself in this position,
the generally accepted advice is to contact and inform your doctor (if possible), remain
isolated, maintain good hygiene, eat and stay hydrated, and treat issues like pain symptomatically
with safe, over-the-counter medication. According to data gathered from the Chinese
outbreak, that appears to have remained consistent for the world at large, around 13.8% of the
cases appear to present severe health issues for the sufferer. These sufferers are likely to be older than
50, and suffer from underlying health conditions like severe respiratory issues, diabetes,
high blood pressure, cancer, and cardiac illnesses. However, it’s important to note that there
are always outliers – young people and people without underlying health issues can occasionally
experience severe symptoms, so don’t use your age and health as an excuse to throw
caution to the wind. Initially, people who experience a more severe
case of COVID-19 will run the gamut of standard symptoms – high fever, coughing, shortness
of breath, chest pains, breathing difficulties, and in some cases even headaches and digestive
issues. However, the key difference between mild and
severe cases is that severe cases are more likely to develop into a more serious infection
of the lungs. Most commonly, people are at risk of developing
pneumonia. Pneumonia is a dangerous form of bacterial
lung-tissue inflammation. The tiny air sacs in the primary bronchi,
which are the tubes that connect the lungs to your trachea, become inflamed through infection
and swell, causing severe breathing difficulties in sufferers. If you’ve been suffering from COVID-19 and
the symptoms actually appear to worsen after five to seven days of experiencing them, watch
out for the tell-tale signs of pneumonia. These include rapid heartbeat, sweating and
shivering, loss of appetite, chest pain, fatigue, joint pain, and in some severe cases coughing
up blood in one’s phlegm. If you believe you have pneumonia, do not
hesitate to contact a healthcare professional and get yourself to a hospital immediately. Pneumonia is a severe and life-threatening
ailment, and must be treated as quickly as possible to ensure best results. To avoid developing pneumonia from a case
of COVID-19, same rules apply: Prevention is more effective than treatment. Maintain social distance and good hygiene. Eat well. Remain hydrated. And take extra precautions if you know yourself
to be in one of the high-risk groups. Finally, according to the Chinese data, around
4.7% of the cases of COVID-19 develop into critically dangerous illnesses for the sufferers. While these cases are relatively rare, that’s
no reason to be any less cautious. People with critical conditions are the most
likely to die from the illness. Death can occur from untreated pneumonia,
severe acute respiratory disease, and sometimes even kidney failure. While, like the severe symptoms, this is most
common for people in the disease’s risk groups, this can technically happen to anyone. This is not an excuse to panic and do anything
irresponsible or dangerous, just to maintain vigilance and caution. COVID-19 is still an incredibly new disease. Information evolves quickly as scientists
learn more about the condition and its processes. It may feel scary, like we have no control
over this situation, but the fact is that we have a lot of control over an extremely
important factor here: Our own actions. To do your part in both helping yourself and
society combat this illness, maintain good hygiene and social distancing, don’t buy
into or spread misinformation about the disease, follow government guidelines, and avoid things
like panic buying. We, as a society, can get through COVID-19,
but only if we’re all sensible and responsible in our actions. For more information, the CDC and the World
Health Organisation are excellent sources. Thank you for watching this episode of The
Infographics Show! Keep an eye on your feed for more information
about COVID-19, and in the meantime, you can watch “How To Stay Safe from the Coronavirus
(COVID-19)” and “Why New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Could Be Deadlier Pandemic Than SARS.” In the meantime – stay safe, stay indoors,
and wash your hands.

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