5 things to know about coronavirus

Since 15 March 2020, Europe has become the main focus of the coronavirus. While Italy is the country most affected by the pandemic, Belgium and France are not to be outdone. Answers in five questions.

1. What is the coronavirus?

Warning: coronavirus is not a disease. Rather, it is a family of viruses, which are the cause of multiple pathologies: from simple seasonal colds to much more serious illnesses such as SARS in 2003... or the disease we are currently experiencing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named this new coronavirus "Covid-19", short for coronavirus disease 2019. Discovered at the end of 2019 in China, the disease is qualified as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Covid-19 has now spread worldwide, and is found on all 5 continents.

2. What are the most common symptoms of coronavirus?

The main symptoms found in patients with COVID-19 are :

  • Fever
  • A dry cough
  • Fatigue

Some patients may also have a runny nose or sore throat. In some cases, the infection results in a loss of smell and taste. In the most severe cases, breathing difficulties may occur.

3. How is the coronavirus transmitted?

According to current research, Covid-19 is only transmitted between humans via "droplets". Droplets are the tiny secretions that are released when you cough or sneeze.

When they touch a surface or object where the virus has landed, the hands act as a "vehicle" for the disease. It is then by touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) that you become infected.

An infected person coughing in front of another person can also transmit droplets, if they land on the face (or on the hands, and then touch the face).

4. Is coronavirus fatal?

According to a study conducted in China, Covid-19 is benign for 80% of the population. This is particularly the case for children and adolescents. Children and adolescents can be infected, but the infection is often harmless to them. 

For the remaining 20%, Covid-19 contamination is of much greater concern. Indeed, some people are at risk of serious health complications (respiratory difficulties) or even death. First concerned: the elderly and people with co-morbidities (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases). 

The OMS sets the mortality rate for Covid-19 at 3%. While this rate is much higher than seasonal influenza (0.1%), it remains well below recent epidemics such as SARS (9.6%) or Ebola (50%).

5. What do we need to think about in anticipation of a death?

Fearing the worst in case of coronavirus contamination is normal: in France, nearly 9 out of 10 people say they are worried about the current health crisis. In this situation, anticipating certain decisions can help you avoid an emotional overload in the event of bad news.

Ask yourself these few questions:

  • Have you planned your estate? If so, what documents are there to prove your last wishes? Where are they kept?
  • If you have not planned anything, do you wish to make a will? You may need a notary to attest to its validity. In this case, Morning Blue will help you choose your notary.
  • Do you have any last wishes regarding your funeral? If so, you can already choose a funeral home.