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Viruses are small particles of genetic material (either DNA or RNA) that are surrounded by a protein coat. Some viruses also have a fatty "envelope" covering. They are incapable of reproducing on their own. Viruses depend on the organisms they infect (hosts) for their very survival. Viruses get a bad rap, but they also perform many important functions for humans, plants, animals, and the environment.

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.

WHO develops most up-to-date technical guidance for clinical care of COVID-19 patients based on ongoing assessment of new evidence generated by the international community and first responders. It also:

1. Develops guidelines on clinical management of COVID-19 infected patients, supported by the Guidelines Development Group.

2. Establishes and promotes the Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform for clinical characterization and management of hospitalized patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

3. Launches a series of webinars to evolve our understanding of the global health challenge of the Post COVID-19 condition.

4. Leads clinical care operations of the global supply chain aimed at ensuring that Member States can access (including carrying out inventory of) priority medical devices.

5. Manages:

  • The clinical characterization and management research working group, to advance clinical research;
  • The clinical knowledge exchange network, bringing together front line clinicians from all over the world, to share expertise and experience.
  • A multidisciplinary group of Public Health agencies, academicians, patient-led research groups, WHO experts and other stakeholders to expand the knowledge on Post COVID-19 condition. 

6. Develops training materials for health care workers based on the most up-to-date clinical guidance,

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Find out more about this novel coronavirus (nCoV) that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been emerging and circulating around the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Viral mutations and variants in the United States are routinely monitored through sequence-based surveillance, laboratory studies, and epidemiological investigations.

A US government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) developed a Variant Classification scheme that defines three classes of SARS-CoV-2 variants:

  1. Variant of Interest
  2. Variant of Concern
  3. Variant of High Consequence

The B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.617.2 (Delta), and P.1 (Gamma) variants circulating in the United States are classified as variants of concern.

Bringing a new vaccine to the public involves many steps including vaccine development, clinical trials, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization or approval, manufacturing, and distribution. Many different public organizations and private companies have worked together to make COVID-19 vaccines available to the public. While COVID-19 vaccines have been developed rapidly, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

New vaccines are first developed in laboratories. The virus that causes COVID-19 is related to other coronaviruses that cause diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Scientists have been studying these other coronaviruses to develop vaccines against them for many years, long before SARS-COV-2 was identified. The knowledge gained through past research on coronavirus vaccines helped to accelerate the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines.

Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown. So it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Added to the fear of contracting the virus in a pandemic such as COVID-19 are the significant changes to our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slow down the spread of the virus. Faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, it is important that we look after our mental, as well as our physical, health.

Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, nurses have answered the call to take care of those affected by coronavirus and to help prevent further spread of the deadly disease. The creation of clear nursing management guidelines can help nurses offer better care for patients with COVID-19 and optimize patient outcomes. Establishing and initiating clear guidelines, before the pandemic causes an overwhelming influx of severely ill patients, can ultimately provide better results. Knowing what to do before the tsunami of very sick patients can also keep your nursing staff safe, on track, and fully in control.

Nursing management for patients with COVID-19 infection includes assessment, diagnosis, the development of nursing care plans and goals, interventions, evaluations, and documentation.