=>In the year since COVID-19 emerged, the world has seen 85 million cases of the disease and counting. =>The pandemic showed the power of collaboration to create solutions quickly. =>Such collaborations can help protect the world against the future crises.On 31 December 2019, the world welcomed a new year unaware that several cases of viral pneumonia of an unknown cause had emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Forty-four people were ill, 11 – severely – and those cases were reported to World Health Organization’s Country Office.Those few cases of COVID-19 grew to a few hundred and then to a few thousand until that trickle became a flood, spilling out of mainland China and spreading across the globe. Just one year later, we’ve amassed 85 million cases and counting.We’ve learned a lot during the past year about how to address global crises, but in my mind, one lesson cannot be ignored: The need for more strategic collaborations across institutions and sectors.The power of collaboration was proven again and again. Shortly after the virus got its name, Chinese researchers published the first sequence of its genome. To widen its use, IBM scientists later processed all sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes, resulting in more than three million sequences – genomes, genes, proteins and other molecules. They added this data to IBM’s Functional Genomics Platform – a repository for researchers working to identify molecular targets for drug design, test development and treatment.That platform now sports more than 300 million biological sequences extracted from various microbial genomes, with the coronavirus’s genome the newest kid on the block. It’s all open source – another key ingredient for success, along with collaborations.Nearly a year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic, we have been hearing more hopeful news as governments have begun distributing vaccines to certain priority groups, including healthcare providers, first responders and at-risk individuals,including those over the age of 65 or under 65 with certain underlying conditions. Current Treatments for COVID-19There have been several breakthroughs this past year in how doctors treat COVID-19. Remdesivir, for example, is an antiviral given by intravenous infusion in the hospital and was the first drug the FDA approved to treat COVID-19. It has been shown to shorten the time to recovery in several patients with severe COVID-19.The FDA has also granted an emergency-use authorization for the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib to treat some cases of the virus by reducing inflammation. Emergency-use authorization was also granted for convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is blood donated by people who’ve recovered from COVID-19, and doctors use it as a type of immune-based therapy.Common Symptoms of COVID-19There has been a lot of discourse about all the symptoms associated with COVID-19. Over the last year, the CDC has compiled a list of the most common ones people reported, including:
*Fever or chills*Cough*Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing*Fatigue*Muscle or body aches*Headache*New loss of taste or smell*Sore throat*Congestion or runny nose*Nausea or vomiting*DiarrheaIf you or a loved one start to experience any of these symptoms 2-14 days after potential exposure to the virus, it’s vital to take a test and begin self-isolating immediately.What to Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms and are awaiting test results, the best thing to do is stay home and take care of yourself. It’s also important to notify everyone with whom you have been in close contact. An infected person can spread the virus up to 48 hours before they start showing symptoms.While you are isolating at home, be sure to stay rested and hydrated. Additionally, clean and disinfect surfaces every day and avoid sharing personal household items, such as dishes, towels, and linens.It’s also highly important to monitor your health. Call 911 if you or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms:*Trouble breathing*Persistent pain or pressure in the chest*New confusion*Inability to wake or stay awake*Bluish lips or face .When to End or Reduce Quarantine ?Whether you tested positive without experiencing any symptoms or you no longer feel sick, there are several situations in which you may be wondering if it’s safe to leave your home after self-isolation. By ending your self-isolation correctly and safely, you protect not only yourself from reinfection but also those around you from the spread of the virus.