The total number of Covid-19 cases has surpassed 33,404 within the US. Although transmission surveillance is integral to the pathogen’s containment, SARS-CoV-2 exhibits an irregular incubation cycle that complicates our data set.
Unlike similarly structured zoonotic viruses observed in the past, subjects infected with the latest coronavirus mutation tend to shed the most viral debris while asymptomatic or while symptoms are at their mildest. Some patients even test positive for the virus days after symptoms subside. All of these outcomes emphasize the utility of preemptive measures and medical austerity.
There are a variety of factors that determine an individual’s reaction to the strain animating our global pandemic.Some are behavioral, namely smoking, diet and degree of physical activity. Others regard medical history—with conditions like hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease dramatically influencing case severity. The remaining mechanisms are halved by age and the yet to be determined. As it stands, young people and travel-associated clusters contribute to the lion’s share of new cases.
The World Health Organization reports that more than 80% of laboratory-confirmed cases were defined as mild-to-moderate, 14% were severe and 6% could be described as critical. Oxygen levels in the blood are the most instructive predictors of prognosis, though lung damage that worsens by 50% or more within a 24 to 48-hour window informs supportive treatment methods.
Mild to moderate cases often include fever and respiratory complications but only severe cases require the aid of a ventilator. Patients with rapidly escalating forms of Covid-19 often exceed 12 to 20 breaths a minute by day five of infection.
Critical cases describe patients who suffer from either respiratory or multi-organ failure as a result of rapid progression.
With the help of comprehensive meta-research and interviews with prominent infectious disease experts, Ladders has supplied a range of symptoms that predictably accompany each classification, alongside approximate recovery lengths and peak transmission windows.
How the virus operates
Viruses are not living things but assemblies of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates that require the help of cells to spread within an organism. The coronavirus is thus composed of many intricate parts with a genetic encoding at its center encapsulated by a viral envelope.
Although the structure of SARS-CoV-2 is a product of mutation, it still relies on proteins to inject its genetic material into host cells. Once infected cells ingest the virus, it replicates its RNA and S-proteins throughout the body.
The pathogen invades lung cells fairly quickly after exposure, damaging hairlike projections that keep our airways clear of mucus and our lungs and trachea clear of debris. Within weeks, this cycle results in inflammation.
It can take between two to 14 days after contraction for the process described above to manifest as symptoms.
Eighty-eight percent of carriers evidence a fever early on and 89% develop one at some point during Covid-19’s progression. The inflammation-induced deterioration of healthy tissue is responsible for the shortness of breath and dry cough that is characteristic of SARS-Cov-2 infection. In severe and critical cases, prolonged inflammation can result in an excess of fluid in the lungs, causing our immune cells to overreact and destroy healthy material alongside infected cells.
Other onset symptoms include fatigue, sore throat, headache, gastric discomfort, muscle pain, chills, and a runny nose.
For mild to moderate cases, the majority of these symptoms will no longer be present by day seven. For severe and critical cases, the disease often progresses to pneumonia. Depending on the severity of this stage, some patients will be in recovery for weeks or even months while others will either succumb or develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Between 30 and 40% of patients who experience ARDS do not survive. It is not uncommon for survivors of ARDS to evidence permanent damage to the lungs. This outcome is often attended by lesions acquired during the recovery process; a process that lasts an average of two and a half weeks.
In short, carriers with mild to moderate forms of Covid-19 may experience intense prodromes even if their condition could not be described as dire. The majority of patients who die of the disease caused by the SARS-Cov-2 infection tend to do so between two and nineteen weeks.
These distinctions allow us to lighten the burden weighing down medical professionals and facilities. Individuals in recovery can remain contagious after their symptoms have subsided, irrespective of their severity. Moreover, severity is not instructive of infectious potential. To be safe, do not discharge yourself from self-quarantine until you have been free of symptoms for at least ten days.
Before then, remember SARS-Cov-2 fomites remain active for at least three hours in aerosols and can remain active on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for roughly three days. On cardboard, the virus remains viable for up to 24 hours. On copper, it takes roughly four hours for the virus to become deactivated. Additionally, the pathogen can live on glass smartphone screens for about four days.
Most household disinfectants can eliminate the layer protecting the virus’s genetic material. Products composed of 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1 % sodium hypochlorite have been studied to do so the most efficiently.
The only clinical care presently available is supportive and we are nearing our hospitalization threshold. While a large portion of the population remains vulnerable to the pandemic’s corrosive tour, either medically, economically or otherwise, it falls on advantaged communities to do what they can to suppress the growth curve and mitigate the factors obscuring the horizon.
Be sure to stay up to date via the CDC’s website. And consider reviewing some of the organizations established to supply food, supplies, and funds to those disproportionately affected by extended periods of consumer curfews.