The four stages of COVID-19 explained

Photo courtesy: CDC on unsplash
Photo courtesy: CDC on unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global health crisis afflicting almost every country and territory in the world. As the virus spreads across the globe, different countries are in different stages of the COVID-19 infection. 

Here is a guide to the four stages of the novel coronavirus: 

Stage 1: When cases are only imported from affected countries and therefore only those who have travelled abroad test positive. At this stage there is no spread of the disease locally. 

Stage 2: When there is local transmission from infected persons. This will usually be relatives or acquaintances of those who travelled abroad who test positive after close contact with the infected person.

At this stage, fewer people are affected, the source of the virus is known and is therefore easier to perform contact tracing and contain the spread via self-quarantining. Countries like India are currently in Stage 2. 

Stage 3: This is the stage of community transmission. In this stage those who have not been exposed to an infected person or anyone who has a travel history to affected countries, still test positive. In other words, people are unable to identify where they might have picked up the virus from. Countries like Singapore, Italy and Spain are currently in Stage 3.  

Stage 4: This is the worst stage of the infection where it takes on the form of an epidemic. Massive numbers are infected and it is very difficult to control and contain the spread. This is what China dealt with. 

This article has been compiled based on information put out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)