Coronavírus / Covid-19 – ZAP

What is Covid-19?

COVID-19 is the official name given by the World Health Organization to the disease caused by a new coronavirus, SARS-VOC-2, which can cause severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia.

This virus was first identified in humans at the end of 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which was detected in China at the end of 2019, and its name means “severe acute respiratory syndrome – coronavirus 2”.

Although it is a new virus and there is still no extensive knowledge about it, it is known that it is different from others, despite having some genetic similarity to SARS.

The World Health Organization decided to give the disease caused by SARS-COV-2 a name that was easy to transmit and that did not indicate any geographic location, animal or group of people. The name, COVID-19, results from the words “corona”, “virus” and “disease” indicating the year in which it appeared, 2019.


According to the World Health Organization, WHO, the most common signs of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are similar to those of a flu:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)

Some patients have muscle pain, nasal congestion or runny nose, sore throat and diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and start gradually.

At this stage, it is important to know if the patient has been in a area with many cases you are contacted an infected person to make the diagnosis.

In more severe cases, it can progress to severe pneumonia with acute respiratory failure, kidney failure and even death.

O estimated incubation period of COVID-19, until the onset of symptoms, is between 2 and 14 days, according to the latest published information.

How to act in case of suspicion

In Portugal, anyone who suspects they are infected or have symptoms – in particular fever, body aches and tiredness – you should contact the SNS24 hotline through the number 808 24 24 24 to be directed by health professionals.

DGS asks that if you have symptoms, do not go to the emergency services.., keeping in preventive isolation at home.

How it is transmitted, how to prevent

COVID-19 can be transmitted by:

  • respiratory droplets
  • direct contact with infected secretions
  • aerosols in some therapeutic procedures (eg nebulizations)

The General Directorate of Health (DGS) recommends the strengthening of security measures, such as cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, use a tissue or your arm and throw the tissue in the trash.

DGS also recommends to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution and avoid close contact with patients with respiratory infections.

According to information from the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, have been infected and that they can transmit COVID-19.

What is the treatment?

Currently, the treatment for COVID-19 is directed at signs and symptoms that patients have. There is still no specific treatment for this infection, according to published information.

There is still no vaccine against SARS-COV-2, which is being searched for by the world scientific community.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only act against bacteria. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus, so antibiotics should not be used for its prevention or treatment. They have no results and may contribute to increased antibiotic resistance.

More information:

Chronology from the Covid-19 Pandemic

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