It’s March 2020, and within a few months, Coronavirus has made the lockdown of the whole country inevitable. Furthermore, the panic created among the masses is on top of that. But as they say, knowledge is power, you can better prevent yourself from the virus by learning more about it. So here is each and everything you need to know about novel Coronavirus aka COVID-19.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
The coronavirus belongs to the family of viruses that infects human beings and animals. The specific type of Coronavirus that the world is facing right now is SARS-Cov-2. The disease it causes is known as COVID-19. Since it’s a newly found virus, there has been very fewer studies on it. Hence we don’t know what actually happens when it enters the human body. But apart from that, we are aware of symptoms of COVID-19. One more thing we know about the virus is its highly contagious nature. The virus can cause mild to severe illness; which in worst cases, can turn into death.
IS CORONAVIRUS A PANDEMIC?
Globally 2,46,295 confirmed cases have been reported of coronavirus. Out of which 81,139 are from China, 35,713 from Italy, 17,361 from Iran, 14,769 from Spain and rest of them are from other countries like the United States, France, United Kingdom and many others. Total reported deaths from coronavirus until today are 1,018. Considering that situation, WHO (World Health Organization) has announced Coronavirus to be a pandemic.
WHEN AND WHERE DID THE CORONAVIRUS EMERGE?
COVID-19 is a new strain that has emerged from Wuhan, the city of China, in December 2019. It has now spread to different countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Iran, Pakistan and many others. There is no cure discovered for this disease yet. The patients are treated symptomatically. The Chinese centre for disease control has revealed that 80% of the suffering people faced mild symptoms, 15% of them faced severe symptoms, while 5% of the patients were critically ill due to the coronavirus.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
The signs and symptoms of novel coronavirus resemble the symptoms of common cold, flu and pneumonia. It causes fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath. People with weak immunity may also suffer from nausea and diarrhoea. The emergency symptoms of coronavirus are; severe difficulty in breathing, confusion, bluish lips or face and persistent pain in the chest. At this stage, you should rush to the hospital emergency.
HOW DOES CORONAVIRUS SPREADS?
The coronavirus spreads from person to person through airborne droplets. If an infected person, coughs and sneezes in a close environment in front of others, the other people will eventually catch the infection. The virus can also transmit through high touch surfaces. If an infected person is carrying viruses on his hand and touches the surface, he will transmit the virus on the surface. If a healthy person touches that surface again, he can catch the virus easily.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM CORONA VIRUS?
You can protect yourself from coronavirus by wearing a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands frequently and sanitize them with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Do not touch your face, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.
Keep disinfecting the high touch surfaces like switchboards, doorknobs, fridge doors and keys etc. Avoid going to overcrowd places and maintain a distance of 1 foot from the one who is coughing or sneezing. Cook the meat and eggs at high temperature. Wash the fruits and vegetable properly before use.
Try to isolate yourself at home as much as you can. Avoid going out for unnecessary tasks and also avoid international travelling..
WHY IS WASHING HANDS NECESSARY?
Washing hands frequently is necessary because there is a fair chance of carrying the virus in your hand which you have caught by touching any surface. The coronavirus resides on the surfaces for a long duration, if you will touch the surface where viruses are present you can easily get infected.
WHEN WILL I HAVE THE SYMPTOMS AFTER EXPOSURE?
The incubation period for coronavirus may vary between 2 to 14 days. Within this period, the person will not show any symptoms. You will have the symptoms after 14 days of exposure. There is a chance of transmitting the virus to others in this phase as well.
WHO IS AT RISK?
The older adults, immunocompromised people and the ones with comorbidities like heart diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes and lung diseases are at higher risk of getting worse symptoms of coronavirus.
DOES EVERYONE WITH SYMPTOMS NEEDS TO GET TESTED?
No! Not everyone having flu symptoms needs to get tested for COVID-19. If you are suffering from cough, fever and sore throat, try to isolate yourself at home. Avoid exposure to other people, so that you do not transmit your infection to others. You should only go for a test if you are having severe symptoms like shortness of breath, high-grade fever, and severe fatigue. Not everyone with flu-like symptoms can be tested for coronavirus because it is not possible to test such a large number of people.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE AS TREATMENT?
You should only take paracetamol if you are facing any of the coronavirus symptoms. Do not take anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen, and cortisone. They have shown adverse effects on the people suffering from coronavirus. Further, if you are uncertain about your health, connect with a professional doctor through Instacare Corona Response Unit for Corona consultation. Through this service, you’ll be able to get an expert opinion, remotely, safely, instantly.
WHAT IF I HAVE A TRAVEL HISTORY?
If you have a travel history in the past 14 days, you should self isolate yourself. You can transmit the virus to others, even if you have no symptoms. After 14 days it can be confirmed either you are infected or not.
HOW IS TEST DONE FOR CORONAVIRUS CONFIRMATION?
The confirmation test for coronavirus is a swab test. The doctor takes the swab from your nose or both, the nose and throat. Then, they dip the swab in a solution that releases the cells and perform genetic coding of the sample and match it with that of COVID-19.
The health-care personnel performing the test should take special care of themselves. They require wearing a protective suit, gloves, gowns, face mask and face shield.
CAN A PREGNANT MOTHER PASS CORONAVIRUS TO HER CHILD?
It is unknown that either the pregnant mother passes the coronavirus to the baby or not. Until now, the pregnant mothers who were suffering from coronavirus have not transmitted it to their young ones. The samples of breast milk and amniotic fluid were also tested for coronavirus, but they were negative for it.
How can I boost my immune system?
You should strengthen your immune system to protect yourself against coronavirus, therefore, take the following measures to boost your immune system.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Take multivitamins.
- Exercise daily.
- Quit smoking.
- Keep your blood pressure and blood sugar under control.
What other safety measures I should take?
Lastly, in this critical time of coronavirus pandemic, avoid your exposure to people as much as you can. Self isolates yourself at home, plan about your groceries and medicines, store all of them at once. If you are having any symptoms of coronavirus, ask someone else to bring the food, grocery and medicine for you. Avoid travelling in public transport, ride-sharing or taxis. Also, avoid close contact with your pets as and keep disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. For more information, visit InstaCare.