CoronavirusDernière modification le 15/06/2021
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold (some seasonal viruses are coronaviruses) to more serious diseases such as MERS or SARS. The virus that has been identified in China is a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The disease caused by this virus has been named COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The main symptoms are:
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- High temperature
- Feeling faint
- Muscle aches
- Breathing difficulties
One of these symptoms is sufficient to prompt a diagnosis.
The elderly and those with existing health conditions (diabetes, immune deficiency, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, etc.) are more likely to develop a severe form of the disease.
Close contact (within less than 1 metre) with an infected person is required for the virus to be transmitted, and the longer the contact, the greater the risk.
Transmission occurs via respiratory droplets containing the virus which are expelled when people cough or blow their noses.
There are two ways of becoming infected:
- If droplets directly reach the mouths or noses of people nearby (within a radius of 1 metre)
- It is also possible to become infected by touching a surface or object which has been contaminated with respiratory droplets (door handles, when shaking someone’s hand, etc.) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with your hand
Like many viruses, by circulating and transmitting themselves, the coronavirus that appeared last year in China makes copies of itself.
However, this multiplication is accompanied by some "modifications" of the genome. These changes are called mutations. Some of these mutations are favorable to the virus and allow it to survive in new people or new environments. Sometimes a mutation results in the emergence of a new, slightly different strain of the virus called a variant.
COVID19 mutates like any other virus.
Screening for Covid19 variants is sought during a positive test for the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Regarding the symptoms, for the time being, according to observations, the clinical signs observed in people positive for the English variant VUI-202012/01 are exactly the same as during an infection with Sars-CoV-2 / Covid19 (fever , cough, loss of taste and smell, breathing difficulties, etc.).