The coronavirus is an RNA virus. It is an enveloped virus with a genome of single-stranded RNA. In humans, they can cause various diseases, ranging from the common cold to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). It is called that because it can be observed as a crown when viewed under a microscope.
The majority of coronavirus is not dangerous and can be treated effectively. Most people at some time in their life have this virus and, although they are more frequent in autumn or winter, they can be contacted at any time of the year. What happens to coronavirus in babies and children? Here you have everything you need to know!
How Coronavirus Transmits
Its origin is unknown and it is transmitted in a very limited way in humans. The most common form of transmission occurs through saliva or respiratory droplets that occur when talking, sneezing or coughing. Therefore, the following recommendations have been made from the World Health Organization:
- Avoid direct contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
- Wash your hands with soap frequently, especially if you have had sick people.
- Minimize contact with wild or farm animals and, of course, extreme hygiene measures.
- Cover your nose when you cough and use tissues and throw to blow your nose.
- Cook eggs and meat well.
In the case of babies and children, the most common disease is SARS ( severe acute respiratory syndrome )
This disease began in 2003 in China, affected more than eight thousand people and caused more than 700 deaths. In December 2019, the first cases of a new outbreak were reported in Wuhan (China), since then the new infected have been increasing and spreading over more parts of the United and several deaths have occurred.
Signs And Symptoms Of This Respiratory Disease
In most cases, the coronavirus begins with a high fever and then other symptoms can develop, such as:
- Body pain
- General discomfort
- respiratory distress
- Secretion and runny nose
- sore throat
- Shaking chills
And after several days a dry cough tends to appear, in most people then develops pneumonia.
How the diagnosis is made
Since its signs are similar to other viruses or respiratory infections. A good physical examination should be done and tests that rule out other infections, such as blood tests. Similarly, nose, throat a chest tomography or a chest x-ray can be performed to diagnose pneumonia and antibody tests and SARS virus isolation.
When to see a pediatrician or doctor
When the fever is for more than 48 hours and some of the symptoms described above are mainly associated, with signs of respiratory distress, it is advisable to go to the pediatrician or family doctor to make a more in-depth diagnosis.
It is important to know that most people recover from SARS, but there is still a risk of death between 9% and 12% if it is not controlled in time. So it is important to see a doctor or pediatrician in case of presenting any of the symptoms already mentioned.
There is no specific treatment for the virus. What is done is to treat the patient in the same way that viral pneumonia is treated, ranging from oxygen placement, resting, drinking plenty of fluids to administering antiviral medications, high doses of steroids to reduce lung inflammation. Sometimes, antibiotics and blood transfusions are prescribed.
Can this virus be prevented?
It really can be done, although there is currently no vaccine for this virus or specific treatment as we already mentioned. To prevent the disease you must maintain basic hygiene, such as frequent hand washing, avoid contact with infected people.
There is a type of virus that is spread by animals (MERS-CoV). So the best way to prevent them is to avoid visiting farms, markets or stables where there are pigs, chickens or other animals. If so, take general hygiene measures.
We should know that there are several types of coronaviruses in humans, we already mentioned the SARS and MERS. But there is also the cold coronavirus, which is the one that produces the common symptoms of a cold, and its most severe form also causes pneumonia in older adults And newborns.
In this regard, UNICEF specialists indicate that it is important to maximize protection measures against the COVID-19 coronavirus, both in children and pregnant women, which mainly consist of the following:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with a disinfectant that contains alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow bent or with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and discard the tissue in a closed pot.
- Avoid direct contact with a person who has cold or flu symptoms.
- Go to the doctor if you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
- The use of a mask or mouth cover is also recommended in the presence of respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing to protect other people. If there are no symptoms, it is not necessary to put it on. If you wear mouth covers, you must use it and dispose of it properly to ensure its effectiveness and avoid the risk of virus transmission.
As it is a new virus, there is not yet enough information about how it affects children or pregnant women.
It is known that anyone can become infected, regardless of their age, but so far there have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 in children.
The disease is rarely fatal, and so far the fatalities have been elderly people who already suffered from a disease.
As with other respiratory infections such as influenza, you should seek medical help as soon as you or your child begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus. It is important to avoid going to public places such as work, school or public transport in these cases so as not to infect others.
At the moment there is not enough evidence to determine if the virus can be transmitted from mothers to fetuses during pregnancy, nor of the consequences that this can have later on the baby.
On February 2, 2019, a baby with a coronavirus was born in Wuhan, China, but doctors do not know exactly how it was that the newborn contracted the disease.
According to the BBC, one possibility is that he has contracted the virus in his mother's womb. Although it is also possible for the baby to contract the virus after birth when coming into contact with his mother.
In any case, to protect children and pregnant women from the coronavirus, adequate precautions should be taken to prevent exposure to the virus and seek medical assistance if symptoms such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties begin to occur.