What is COVID-19?
The spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is constantly evolving, the data overlap and are often a source of completely uncontrolled fake news and information. This article aims to provide clarity by using only evidence-based information. However, authoritative and updated sources are available online in real time to follow the progress of the epidemic or the pandemic.
The excess of "unnecessary prevention" can overload health services, induce unnecessary health costs (for example protective masks, unreported diagnostic examinations, and unnecessary visits), taking away important resources. Instead, all those individual and social behaviours that are at minimum or no cost should be encouraged because they are useful for preventing and mitigating other pathologies and for strengthening social and psychological cohesion and support, which are also fundamental in a time of crisis.
The infection is transmitted from each infected person to 2-3 other people. For this reason, it seems that the numbers are constantly increasing, but these are the consequences of the first infections. Hence, it is important to implement measures that can restrict the spread of infection.
Coronaviruses are RNA viruses that lead to infections of the upper respiratory tract. However, some have tropism to the lower respiratory tract and lead to more serious diseases such as SARS. The main mechanism of morbidity and severity of SARS is the so-called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Therefore, after infection of the lower respiratory epithelium mediated by the interaction of the virus surface protein with the ACE2 receptor, a violent acute inflammation of the lungs is triggered which leads to the formation of a fibrin layer on the alveoli, thus preventing gaseous exchanges (a mechanism known as interstitial pneumonia). ARDS is a condition that requires complex interventions such as the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
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