What is the origin of COVID-19?

According to WHO, COVID-19 is an acronym for coronavirus disease which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Numerous pieces of research have been conducted to identify the origins of SARS-CoV-2, but none of them has produced a definitive result. According to research, SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome) (2003) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory disease (2012) first appeared in bats. Then, both viruses spread through infected dromedaries (Arabian camels) to humans, whereas SARS-CoV is thought to have originated in nature and spread to animal hosts like civets.1 An ongoing international effort is being made by public health and scientific institutions to identify the SARS-ancestors, CoV-2's, which is crucial for preventing pandemics in the future.1

What are coronavirus diseases?

Animals and people can get sick from viruses in the broad family of coronaviruses. Colds and other common illnesses are caused by some, whereas Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by others. They belong to a distinct family of influenza viruses from the ones that cause seasonal influenza.1

Will climate change make COVID-19 worse?

There is no proof that COVID-19 illness transmission or emergence is directly related to climate change. Reduced transmission and patient care should be the main priorities because the illness is already well-established in the human population. However, because it affects environmental health factors and puts additional strain on healthcare systems, climate change may have an indirect impact on the COVID-19 response. More generally, the majority of newly developing infectious illnesses and nearly all recent pandemics have their origins in animals, and there is evidence that increased damage by humans to the environment may be a contributing factor in the formation of disease. Future outbreaks of other new illnesses should be less likely because of strengthening health systems, better surveillance of infectious diseases in cattle, humans, and animals, and more preservation of biodiversity and the environment.2

When was COVID-19 declared a pandemic?

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) proclaimed the COVID-19 new coronavirus outbreak a worldwide pandemic. During a news briefing, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted that the number of cases outside of China has climbed 13-fold and the number of countries with cases has increased three-fold over the last two weeks, and more growth is anticipated.3

How does COVID-19 spread?

People with COVID-19 emit infected droplets and aerosol particles containing the SARS-CoV-2 virus when they breathe, speak, cough, or sneeze. When breathed or in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, these infectious respiratory particles (droplets and aerosol) can spread SARS-CoV-2 from one person to another. When done in health and care settings, aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) have the potential to cause the respiratory tract to emit aerosols. The likelihood of transmission is greater when an infected individual is nearby (particularly within 2 metres). The infectious respiratory particles are more prevalent near the nose and mouth. Additionally, spending a lot of time in poorly ventilated interior areas will raise your chance of contracting an infection.4

Contact with virus-infected surfaces can result in indirect transmission; although the proportional risk is probably smaller than with other exposure pathways, this channel may still be crucial in environments with greater risks. According to contact tracing studies, the first five days following the beginning of symptoms are the greatest chance of transmission. The viral levels at the beginning of infection appear comparable between those who are asymptomatic and those who are symptomatic, and infected people who are pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic stages can still spread the virus to others.4

Can COVID-19 vaccine be transmitted through water?

Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus has not been found in water sources, coronaviruses are thought to provide minimal danger to human health. 

Infectious microorganisms in the water are neutralised by drinking water treatment techniques. Because SARS-CoV-2 is an encapsulated virus, its brittle, fatty envelope is easily damaged during therapy. So, drinking water that has been treated for COVID-19 does not provide a concern. 2 You cannot contract COVID-19 through water, even through ponds or swimming pools. However, if you visit a busy swimming pool and are close to other people, you run the risk of contracting an infection if there are individuals who are already infected with COVID-19.5

Where did COVID-19 originate?

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was made aware of a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause that had been found in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. From patient samples, a brand-new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was subsequently found.6

How long does the virus that causes COVID-19 last on surfaces?

The presence of the virus and the danger of contact are decreased by frequent cleaning of common area surfaces. A COVID-19-infected environment poses a lower chance of infection over time. Although it is not yet known whether there is no longer a risk from the virus, studies indicate that, in non-healthcare settings, the risk of a residual infectious virus is likely to be greatly diminished after 48 hours. Personal waste should be kept in storage for 72 hours when someone has COVID-19 symptoms as an extra precaution.7

Does dexamethasone work against COVID-19?

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid utilised for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties in a variety of illnesses. In the national clinical study RECOVERY in the United Kingdom, the medication was used in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and it was seen to improve critically sick patients. The medication was demonstrated to lower mortality by around one-third for patients on ventilators and by about one-fifth for people using just oxygen, according to early data shared with WHO.2

Patients who have severe or critical COVID-19 have an immune system overstimulation, which can be exceedingly dangerous to their health. The overstimulation is suppressed with corticosteroids.2

How can one stay physically active during COVID-19 self-quarantine?

If you have a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, avoid activity. Rest at home, get medical help, and make an advanced call. Observe the guidance provided by your local health authority. 

Throughout the day, take quick, active breaks. The weekly recommendations can be met with quick bursts of exercise. Some of the ways to stay active at home include dancing, playing with kids, and doing household tasks like cleaning and gardening. 

Whenever you can, stand up to cut down on your time spent sitting down. Aim for a 30-minute interval between sitting and reclining. To continue working while standing, think about building up a standing workstation by utilising a high table or stacking books or other objects. Prioritise your mental health by engaging in activities like reading, playing board games, and solving puzzles when you are inactive.

Attend a virtual fitness class. Benefit from the abundance of online workout classes. You may find many of these on YouTube for no cost. If you have never performed these exercises before, proceed with caution and be mindful of your individual limitations.8

Select the ideal activity to lower your chance of injury and maximise your enjoyment. Depending on your fitness level and current state of health, choose the appropriate intensity. While engaging in light to moderate physical activity, you should be able to breathe easily and talk with ease.


  1. Origins of Coronaviruses | NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [Internet]. Available from:
  2. Question and answers hub [Internet]. Available from:
  3. World Health Organization. WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020 [Internet]. World Health Organization. 2020. Available from:
  4. UK Health Security Agency. COVID-19: epidemiology, virology and clinical features [Internet]. GOV.UK. 2021. Available from:
  5. Episode #3 - Serological studies [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 14]. Available from:
  6. UK Health Security Agency. COVID-19: background information [Internet]. GOV.UK. 2020. Available from:
  7. COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings [Internet]. GOV.UK. Available from:
  8. WHO. Stay Physically active during self-quarantine [Internet]. 2020. Available from:

Ambria Pearce

Bachelor of Science - BSc, Neuroscience, University of Sussex, England

Ambria is currently a BSCs Neuroscience student at the University of Sussex. She has a particular interest in the brain-gut connection; where the brain has a direct influence on the stomach and intestines and the neural processes of mental disorders. She intends to further study neuroscience at a Masters's level. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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