Covid-19, Everything you should know about
COVID-19, Corona Virus, Quarantine, or the Immunity, well, these are unquestionably the most searched terms in 2020. Originating from Wuhan, China, Coronavirus spread like a wildfire and has engulfed almost the entire globe now. And that is why WHO labels the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic.
More than hundreds and thousands of people are getting positive with coronavirus every day, see the latest update of Corona cases worldwide by WHO. And look here the status of COVID-19 cases in India.
People have so many questions in their mind like what this virus exactly is? How does it spread? What are the symptoms? What’s the cure? And so on.
Thus, we bring here everything you should know about coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus?
So, let’s first understand what indeed is this coronavirus that is now the biggest concern for every country.
The name ‘coronavirus’ comes from the Latin word ‘corona’, which means ‘wreath’ or ‘crown’. If we see this virus under an electron microscope, it seems similar to solar corona or halo (the bright crown-like gases that surround the sun and the stars).
Coronaviruses are mainly a large group of viruses that cause disease ranging from the mild illnesses such common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and, COVID-19.
These viruses are said to be closely related to the strain of viruses that causes illnesses in birds and mammals. The SARS virus, for instance, which was first identified in Foshan, China in November 2002 was transmitted from civets and bats to humans, while the MERS virus spread from camel to humans.
Why is this coronavirus disease known as COVID-19?
This is also a common question people asks. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by coronavirus- COVID-19. In this, ‘CO’ stands for Corona, ‘VI’ stands for Virus, ‘D’ stands for disease, and ‘19’ is used for the year when the virus emerged.
Where has the Novel Coronavirus come from?
Little is known about its origin, but the first case of this disease was identified in Wuhan China. According to Chinese researchers, the virus could have transmitted from an infected animal species to humans at a wet market, where snakes, poultry, seafood, bats, and farm animals were sold.
One study also found that this new coronavirus’s genome is 96% identical to one coronavirus found in bats.
Many animals, including bats, carry a lot of coronaviruses in them.
But scientists say that all coronaviruses cannot be spread to humans directly from animals and they need some intermediary source which is a camel in case of MERS and cat in case of SARS.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The most common symptoms in an infected person are high fever, weakness, dry cough and breathing difficulties. In some cases, people may also experience diarrhoea, headache, body ache, loss of smell or taste, and discolouration of fingers or toes.
In most severe cases, it may lead to chest pain, pneumonia, loss of speech or movement, multiple organ failure, and even death.
Most infected people feel the symptoms within 5-6 days after coming in contact with the virus, while in some people it may take more days to develop symptoms. However, the incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days.
One thing which is also noticed by doctors is that some infected patients can also be asymptomatic, meaning they do not show any signs of the disease despite having the virus in their body.
How does Coronavirus spread?
If we look at the number of cases increasing every day, we can assume how fast this virus is spreading. Unlike other flu viruses, this novel coronavirus spreads more easily and quickly.
Initial stages of the study said that each corona infected person on average passes the infection on to 2 people.
People who are in very close contact with the virus-infected people can speedily catch this disease. The virus can also spread through small droplets of mucus or saliva from the mouth or nose of an infected person when it coughs or exhales.
Anyone can pick the virus from these droplets landing on surfaces like doorknobs or tables or other objects around them. It is best to maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from others so that you won’t breathe in the droplets sprayed from the infected person’s mouth or nose.
Research says that the new coronavirus can survive on any surface for a few more days, that is why it is essential to clean or sanitize all places that people touch regularly. However, the initial study suggests that the virus does not spread through the air. But after denying it for the last 3 months, WHO now is reconsidering COVID can be an airborne disease. We may come soon with a new post on this.
Who is at higher risk to get positive with Coronavirus?
Although anyone can get this disease, people above 60 years or with preexisting health problems like heart or lung disease, hypertension, diabetes or other conditions are at high risk, says a report published by WHO. The symptoms of the illness appear mild and rare in children.
What is the treatment for the coronavirus disease?
The world is struggling to come up with Vaccines, Medicines, cure for COVID19 but unfortunately there is no major breakthrough so far. However, many of the symptoms can be treated with certain existing medicines but it is entirely based on the patient’s medical condition.
Are there medications available to cure this disease?
Doctors worldwide are using several antiviral medications such as Chloroquine, Lopinavir, Remdesivir, Ritonavir, APN01 and Favilavir to ease the symptoms.
Several other antiviral drugs will also be studied in clinical trials, including the SOLIDARITY trial to cure this illness.
How to prevent Coronavirus?
The most effective way to prevent the infection is to stay away from people who have been exposed to the virus.
According to CDC guidelines, you can take the following preventive measures:
- Cover your nose and mouth with facemask or cotton cloth or scarf
- Avoid crowded areas as much as possible
- Stand at least 6 feet away from any person who appears to be sick
- Do not use public transports
- Wear disposable gloves
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with detergent or soap and clean water before consumption
- Properly wash your hands before and after handling raw food
If you are unwell, follow the below-mentioned steps to prevent the transmission of disease:
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.
- Dispose of used tissues safely in a trash can
- Rub your hands properly for at least 20 seconds while washing with soap and water
- Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if the soap is not available. Rub it in your hands together until they feel dry.
- Do not touch your nose, eyes and mouth unless you have recently washed your hands
- Do not share towels, dishes, glasses, eating utensils, or bedding with other people at home
- Clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces like phones, tabletops, doorknobs, counters, drawers, bathroom fixtures, toilets, tablets and bedside tables in your room and bathroom.
What to do if you think you have signs of COVID-19?
Follow the below steps, if you think you might have infected from Coronavirus:
Stay home- If you have a mild illness, you can recover at home. So, staying at home is the best thing you can do to take care of yourself and the people around you. Let it be known to the doctor if you think you may have been exposed to the virus. However, avoid using public transportation like taxis, metro or bus.
Distance yourself from other people: This is very important so that the virus does not spread to other people in your home and community.
Take care of yourself- Take proper rest and stay hydrated. You can have immune-booster drinks to make your defence system strong enough to fight the virus itself. You can have over-the-counter-medicines such as paracetamol or acetaminophen to feel better.
Stay in Touch with the healthcare provider- if you have trouble breathing or any other emergency warning sign, call the doctor immediately.
Do We Need To Afraid of Coronavirus? What Statistics Say?
The World Health Organization informed that COVID-19 is not as fatal as other coronaviruses including MERS and SARS.
WHO mentioned that over 80 per cent of patients have mild symptoms and will recover in a week or two.
In around 14 per cent of cases, the virus caused severe disease like difficulty in breathing and pneumonia.
In 5 percent of reported cases, the patients have critical illness including septic shock, respiratory failure, and multi-organ failure and that all is dependent on patients’ age and pre-existing health conditions.
The latest reports suggest that only 2% of patients die because of coronavirus. You can check the country-wise latest corona status here.
So, these were all the valuable information that you should know about CoronaVirus. One should follow all preventive measures to protect yourself from COVID19
You should be alert but don’t get panic if you become COVID positive. Share this article as much as possible so that the right information should reach people across the world.