Coronavirus Covid-19: How to understand the disease in order to protect yourself


Coronavirus is a family of quite common viruses affecting humans and animals. They may cause mild diseases as a common cold to a severe acute respiratory syndrome. They are transmitted from person to person through contact or respiratory track.

China reported WHO a new Coronavirus strain by the end of 2019: Covid-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019).

It is presumed this strain was transmitted from bats to other animals and from them to humans; after that it started passing from human to human. Due to its fast worldwide spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

It is vital to be informed, to follow prevention recommendations and to keep calm.

¿What are the symptoms?

The virus starts with symptoms similar to those of flu:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Incubation period goes from 3 to 6 days, to a maximum of 14. The disease is in most cases mild. In rare cases, it can become severe. The development of the disease and its severity will depend on the patient’s previous condition.  Those suffering from diseases that affect the immune system or are under treatment that lowers their defences. People over 65 are included in this category, as well as those suffering from chronic conditions and tend to decompensate. It must be highlighted that, until now, more than 80% of the cases have been mild.

¿How do you know the difference from a cold?

Although it is always better to visit an Emergency Centre if you are in doubt, if you have not travelled abroad and you were not in contact with somebody infected with Coronavirus, there is no reason you could have caught the disease.


¿What should I do if I start having these symptoms?

If you have traveled to a country where the virus is circulating or have had contact with any sick person, call free at line 107 or consult the City of Buenos Aires chat via WhatsApp

It’s important to take the precaution of staying at home, not going to work or to places with big conglomerates of people because this facilitates the spread of the disease. If you need medical attention in Hospital Alemán, go to the Emergency Center. We have marked all the access with information, and you will be received by trained personal who will assist you.

¿Which are the regions or countries where there is risk of transmission?

The areas considered at risk of local transmission by the National Ministry of Health are at present:

  • China
  • Europe
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Iran
  • United States of America
  • Brasil
  • Chile

Source: Document containing information and recommendations on the new coronavirus COVID – 19. – National Ministry of Health.

¿How do you protect yourself from infection with Coronavirus Covid-19?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the standard precautions to avoid respiratory viruses.

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Cover coughs and sneezes with the bend of your elbow or a tissue.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing plates, glasses, bedclothes and other home objects if you are sick.

Avoid contact with sick people.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects you frequently touch.

Stay home when you are sick.

¿Why is it important to wash hands?

One of the main individual protection measures against respiratory diseases is frequent hand washing using water and soap or alcohol based hand sanitizer.

  • Wet your hands under clean running water and use soap between the fingers, the back of the hand and under the nails for at least 30 seconds. After that dry them on air or using a clean towel and throw it into the trash.
  • Alcohol based hand disinfectants must be rubbed for 20 seconds.  These may be good too, provided they contain at least 60% alcohol. They are useful when you are at places where it is not possible to wash your hands with water and soap.
  • Wear a facemask if you have the virus or if you caring for someone who is sick.

¿Is there a treatment?

There is no cure to date, but there are clinical trials with antivirals used for other diseases, as HIV, for example, which has a molecular similarity to the Coronavirus.

At present, treatment is symptomatic, to control fever and general discomfort.

It must be highlighted that antibiotics are not effective or useful to treat this disease.