What is COVID-19
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats. Rarely, coronaviruses that infect animals can infect people, such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. Recently, in December 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was transmitted, which was identified in Wuhan in China and caused COVID-19, which was then disseminated and transmitted person to person.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, which has a clinical spectrum ranging from asymptomatic infections to severe conditions. According to the World Health Organization, the majority (about 80%) of patients with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic (few symptoms), and approximately 20% of the detected cases require hospital care because they have difficulty breathing, of which approximately 5% may need ventilatory support.
What are the symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from a cold, to a Flu-SG Syndrome (presence of an acute respiratory condition, characterized by at least two of the following symptoms: feverish sensation or fever associated with sore throat, headache, cough, runny nose) to severe pneumonia. The most common symptoms are:
Loss of smell (anosmia)
Alteration of taste (ageusia)
Gastrointestinal disorders (nausea / vomiting / diarrhea)
Decreased appetite (hyporexia)
Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
How it is transmitted
Transmission occurs from one sick person to another or through close contact through:
Touching contaminated handshakes;
Droplets of saliva;
Contaminated objects or surfaces, such as cell phones, tables, cutlery, door handles, toys, computer keyboards, etc.
The diagnosis of COVID-19 can be carried out based on criteria such as:
1 – CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS is performed by the attending physician, who must assess the possibility of the disease, especially in patients with the association of the following signs and symptoms:
Fever, which may be present at the time of the clinical examination or reported by the patient (feverish sensation) of recent occurrence.
Respiratory tract symptoms (for example, cough, dyspnoea, runny nose, sore throat)
Other consistent symptoms including, myalgia, gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea / nausea / vomiting), loss or decreased smell (anosmia) or loss or decreased taste (ageusia).
In children, in addition to the previous items, nasal obstruction, dehydration and lack of appetite (lack of appetite) are also considered, in the absence of another specific diagnosis.
In the elderly, specific worsening criteria should also be considered, such as: syncope (fainting or temporary loss of consciousness), mental confusion, excessive sleepiness, irritability and lack of appetite (inappetence).
The clinical diagnosis of the disease should also be considered in patients with severe disease of the lower respiratory tract without a clear cause, as is the case of patients presenting with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In this syndrome, the individual presents with frank dyspnea / respiratory distress / difficulty breathing with oxygen saturation (O2) less than 95% in room air or bluish color of the lips or face (cyanosis) or complaint of persistent pressure in the chest.
In children, SRAG presents with the previous signs and symptoms, and characteristic signs of respiratory effort should be observed, such as the flapping of the nose, intercostal circulation, and, finally, changes in the coloring of the extremities that turn bluish. (cyanosis).
2 – THE CLINICAL-EPIDEMIOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS is performed by the attending physician in which it is considered:
patient cases with the association of the aforementioned signs and symptoms or SRAG MAIS history of close or home contact, in the last 14 days before the onset of symptoms, with a laboratory confirmed case for COVID-19 and for which it was not possible to carry out the laboratory investigation specific.
3 – CLINICAL IMAGE DIAGNOSIS:
case of respiratory symptoms plus fever or SARS or death due to SARS that could not be confirmed or ruled out by laboratory criteria AND with tomographic changes.
4 – LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS – If the patient has respiratory symptoms plus fever or SARS. The health professional may order the following laboratory tests:
Molecular biology (RT-PCR in real time) that diagnoses both COVID-19, Influenza or the presence of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), usually until the eighth day of symptom onset.
Immunological, which detects, or not, the presence of antibodies in samples collected from the eighth day of symptom onset. Being them:
Immunoenzymatic assay (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay – ELISA);