ABC Medical Center > COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


Coronaviruses, which are a set of viruses with a common origin, have existed for thousands of years. According to recent studies its direct ancestor is considered to be around 12,000 years old.

Although not all strains of coronavirus affect humans, the variant originated in China in 2019 (SARS-CoV-2), which produces the COVID-19 pathology that caused the ongoing pandemic, has been explosive in its contagiousness and severity. Hence the importance of getting vaccinated and following all the indications to prevent the spread of this disease and its new variants.

It is possible to contract the virus by having contact with an infected person since it is spread through respiratory fluids that are projected when coughing, speaking, or sneezing, as well as touching surfaces or objects where these fluids have fallen.

Potential risks:

Most people who get sick with COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, although there are also asymptomatic cases. However, there are times when serious complications appear that can be fatal, especially for older adults or people with pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus, such as:

  • Obesity.
  • Cardiovascular pathologies.
  • Cancer.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Lung diseases.
  • Diabetes.
  • Smoking and drug addiction.
  • Kidney and/or liver failure.
  • Asthma.
  • Nervous system disorders.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Any disease or drug treatment that weakens the immune system.

A severe condition from COVID-19 can lead to serious complications such as:

  • Cardiac involvement.
  • Breathing difficulties and pneumonia.
  • Serious kidney damage.
  • Clots.
  • Presence of opportunistic viral and bacterial infections.
  • General organ failure.

Signs and symptoms COVID-19

During the incubation period, which ranges from three to 15 days after infection, the symptoms consist of cough, fatigue, and high fever, which may be accompanied by a lack of smell and taste.

Later, once the disease is established, the following symptoms appear:

  • Tiredness and shortness of breath.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Chills and runny nose.
  • Headaches, throat, chest, and back pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Conjunctivitis.

You should see a doctor or go to the emergency room when you experience:

  • Intense and permanent pain in the chest and back.
  • Uncontrollable sleepiness.
  • Serious respiratory complications.
  • Confused mind.
  • Blue skin tone.

Diagnosis and treatment COVID-19

Your doctor will analyze your clinical history and your symptoms, asking you to perform a test to confirm the diagnosis through a sample of fluids from your nose and throat that is analyzed in the laboratory.

Regarding treatment, since it is a virus, COVID-19 disease is not curable, there is only one antiviral drug indicated to treat it, remdesivir, which combined with baricitinib, an anti-inflammatory indicated for arthritis, has been effective in cases of patients connected to ventilators.


The best way to prevent it is mainly through the available vaccines, but if you have not yet had access to them, you should follow these recommendations:

  • Perform regular hand hygiene, especially if you are away from home or have had contact with other people. If it is not possible for you, disinfect your hands with a 70% alcohol gel.
  • Use a mask and glasses, avoid being in close contact with other people, and refrain from going to closed crowded places.
  • If you cough and sneeze, use a tissue or your own elbow to cover yourself.
  • Refrain from touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Avoid going outside, especially if you have symptoms. And if you do, try not to use public transportation.
  • Frequently disinfect everyday objects and surfaces.

Related centers and departments


  • coronavirus.gob.mx
  • who.int
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • imss.gob.mx
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Medina BRM, Castillo HN. La pandemia de la COVID-19. Una mirada desde la epidemiología crítica. Medisur. 2021;19(1):182-187.
  • Lovo J. ¿Covid-19: son las medidas no farmacológicas la respuesta?. Mul Med. 2021;225(1):.
  • Deloya-Tomas E, Pérez-Nieto OR, Zamarrón-López EI, et al. Guías ”primera línea” para la atención de pacientes con COVID-19. Posición prona en pacientes despiertos no intubados con SDRA. Med Crit. 2021;35(3):157-161. doi:10.35366/100006. 
  • Romero-Martínez M, Barrientos-Gutiérrez T, Cuevas-Nasu L, et al. National Health and Nutrition Survey 2020 Covid-19 methodology.. salud publica mex. 2021;63(3):444-451.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.