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What is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus Disease)?

The Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a virus that was first identified on January 13, 2020, as a result of research conducted in a group of patients who developed respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) in Wuhan Province, China, in late December.

The outbreak was initially detected in those found in the seafood and animal market in this region. Later, it spread from person to person and spread to other cities in Hubei province, especially in Wuhan, other provinces of the People's Republic of China and other world countries.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause disease in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections, from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Novel Coronavirus Disease is caused by the SAR-CoV-2 virus.

What are the symptoms?
Although it has been reported that there may be asymptomatic cases, their rate is unknown. The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. In severe cases, pneumonia, severe respiratory failure, renal failure and death may develop.

How is it found?
It is transmitted by coughing and sneezing of sick individuals and inhaling droplets scattered in the environment. After touching surfaces contaminated with respiratory particles, the virus can also be taken by taking the hands to the face, eyes, nose or mouth without washing them. Contact with eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands is risky.

Who Is More At Risk?
Information so far regarding COVID-19 infection has shown that some people are at greater risk of getting sick and developing severe symptoms.

80% of cases have mild disease.
20% of cases are treated in hospital conditions.
The disease usually affects people aged 60 and over more.
People Most Affected by the Disease:

those over 60
People with serious chronic medical conditions:
Heart disease
chronic respiratory disease
like cancer
Health workers
Are Children at Risk?

In children, the disease appears to be rare and mild.

No deaths have been observed in children so far.

Are Pregnant Women at Risk?

There is limited scientific evidence regarding the severity of the disease in pregnant women who develop COVID-19 infection.

However, the available evidence indicates that the severity of illness among pregnant women after COVID-19 infection is similar to adult cases of COVID-19 who are not pregnant, and there are no data to suggest that infection with COVID-19 during pregnancy has an adverse effect on the fetus.

So far, there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy.

How is the diagnosis made?
Molecular tests required for the diagnosis of the new coronavirus are available in our country. Diagnostic testing is performed only in the National Virology Reference Laboratory of the General Directorate of Public Health and in designated Public Health Laboratories.

What are the Ways of Protection?
It is recommended not to travel abroad as much as possible. In cases where it is compulsory to go abroad, the following rules should be observed:

The basic principles recommended to reduce the overall risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections also apply to Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). These;

Hand hygiene should be observed. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used when soap and water are not available. There is no need to use antiseptic or antibacterial soap, normal soap is sufficient.
Mouth, nose and eyes should not be touched without washing hands.
Avoid contact with sick people (at least 1 m away if possible).
Hands should be cleaned frequently, especially after direct contact with sick people or their environment.
Due to the high presence of patients, health centers should not be visited if possible, and contact with other patients should be minimized when it is necessary to go to a health institution.
When coughing or sneezing, the nose and mouth should be covered with disposable tissue paper, in the absence of tissue paper, the inside of the elbow should be used, if possible, crowded places should not be entered, if it is necessary to enter, the mouth and nose should be covered, and a medical mask should be used.
Eating raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Well-cooked foods should be preferred.
Areas of high risk for common infections, such as farms, livestock markets and areas where animals may be slaughtered, should be avoided.
If any respiratory symptoms occur within 14 days after the trip, the nearest health institution should be applied by wearing a mask, and the doctor should be informed about the travel history.