COVID -19: Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 is an emerging contagious disease caused by a newly discovered corona virus. The disease outbreak initially occurred in Wuhan, China in December 2019. At present this disease has affected most of the country around the glove and is considered to be as pandemic.

The major sources of contamination are droplets from nose and mouth of a person infected with COVID-19. The disease transmission occurs if healthy people are in contact with infected people.Therefore, it is important to stay more than 1 meter away from a person who is sick. Also, these droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Depending on the environmental conditions, the virus particle remain in different objects for certain period of time (such as air – 3 hrs, copper- 4 hrs, cardboard – 24hrs, stainless steel – 2/3 days, polypropylene plastic – 3 days). People after touching these objects or surfaces may touch their nose, mouth or eye which favors the entry of virus to the body.

The general symptoms are not commonly differentiated from normal flu or cold. Most people will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness like fever, nasal congestion, dry cough, sore throat, aches and pain, diarrhea. People with strong immunity may even recover without special treatment. But the intensity of disease is high when virus finds the host with lower immunity. Older people and those who are suffering from underlying diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes etc are more prone to the severity of the disease.

The symptoms after infection typically develops (Incubation period) in 1-14 days, being average at 7 days. So, A 14 day quarantine is important for every person who is suspected to suffer from COVID-19.

There are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19 and many clinical trials are ongoing evaluating potential treatments. (Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19), n.d.)Therefore with a objective of prevention is better than cure, WHO has suggested following precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
    Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places  – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
    Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

  • Follow the guidance outlined above (Protection measures for everyone)
  • Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (37.3 C or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
    Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
    Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Five new countries have reported cases of COVID-19 in past 24 hours (Hageman, 2020). Since there is no vaccine and medical treatment available at present, one should be consciousness about health and sanitation. People having strong immunity after being infected may not suffer but they can transmit virus to other people who are weak. So, it is better to stay safe and let other to stay safe as well.

By the date of 22 March, 2020, 09:55 GMT updates about COVID-19 is as:

Corona virus cases: 308,615

Death: 13,071

Recovered: 95, 834

(COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, n.d.)

References:

  • COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC. (n.d.). Worldometer. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
  • Hageman, J. R. (2020). The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pediatric Annals, 49(3), e99–e100. https://doi.org/10.3928/19382359-20200219-01
  • Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19). (n.d.). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses



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