What is COVID-19?
Photo via RheumNow
COVID-19 is defined as an illness caused by a novel coronavirus, now called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV), and was declared a global health emergency on January 30th, 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A couple of months later, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic on March 11th, its first such designation since declaring the H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009, as reported by Medscape.
So, why did the WHO declare the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic and why do we need a vaccine for it?
The WHO defines a pandemic as a global spread of a new disease that “is able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way” in multiple regions.
COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
One Twitter user, Isyraf (@isyrafhamim_) shared why the world is rushing for a COVID-19 vaccine, and how it is different from HIV and dengue.
He said, “Dengue is not a pandemic, it is an epidemic. Epidemics begin and end in communities. Dengue spreads through animals, not pathogens.”
He further explained that the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is not a pandemic, but an endemic, which is always present in a certain population or region.
“Endemic does not spread as quickly as a pandemic. Most people who get HIV get it through unprotected sexual relations or sharing of needles or syringes.”
The registration for the COVID-19 vaccination is expected to kick off in March, and this will be on a volunteer basis.
Stay safe, guys!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat