Schools, colleges, offices, and shopping malls are closed. Meetings, events, and examinations are postponed. Flights are cancelled. The demand for sanitizers and face masks has been increased. These are the effect of the outbreak of novel Coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19.
Many people have a myth that Coronavirus disease and COVID-19 are two different things. But, both terms mean the same. Actually, COVID 19 is the abbreviation of Coronavirus Disease 2019. 19 refers to the disease first being detected in 2019.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of related viruses. These viruses can cause illness in animals, birds, and humans. In humans, coronaviruses cause Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI) which are generally mild, such as some cases of the common cold. But rare types of coronavirus may cause lethal diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI)
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
COVID -19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Overview
COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This disease was first discovered in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019. And this disease has spread globally since 2019.
WHO (World Health Organization) now has officially declared COVID 19 as an ongoing pandemic and a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
In India, it has been also declared as an epidemic. Schools, colleges, shopping malls, and offices have been instructed to be closed by the end of March by several Indian state governments. The Indian government is also taking the appropriate steps to curb this disease as soon as possible.
Symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 are fever, dry cough, tiredness, and shortness of breath. The less common symptoms of COVID-19 are muscle pains, sore throat, diarrhea, runny nose, and sneezing. It has been also noted that some people infected with coronavirus disease, however, do not show symptoms or feel sick at all. It has been also noted that children seem to have milder symptoms than adults.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people (80%) recover from COVID-19. The novel disease can develop into a severe illness, especially in older people or people who already have medical conditions. People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure or diabetes should be very careful and attentive. They are more likely to develop a serious illness due to infection of the novel coronavirus. People who are suffering from fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek instant medical attention.
People infected with COVID-19 may experience:
- Fever (mild to high fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Cough and sneezing
- Shortness of breath (severe cases)
How does COVID-19 spread?
People may catch COVID-19 from other people who have the virus. The main reason human to human transmission of COVID-19, the spread of respiratory droplets generated by sneezing and coughing. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other persons when touching such objects and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth may get infected with COVID-19. Hence, it is imperative to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick with the flu.
Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Precaution is required to stay safe. You can reduce the risk of getting infected with lethal coronavirus by adhering to the following do’s and don’ts.
Dos for prevention of COVID-19
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap & water.
- Drink lots of water and liquids. Drinking warm water is better.
- Eat nutritious food (lots of vegetables and fruits).
- Practice respiratory hygiene.
- Clean surfaces such as kitchen seats and work desks – regularly with disinfectant.
- Regularly clean work surfaces and objects in continual use, such as mobile phones and computer keyboards.
- Take adequate sleep and rest.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, handkerchief or flexed elbow.
- Wear facemask while outside.
- Seek medical care early if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Don’ts for prevention of COVID-19
- Avoid crowded places like malls, theaters, parks, etc.
- Do not travel and holidaying.
- Avoid handshake, say Namaste.
- Avoid close contact with any person. Maintain a distance of 3 feet while talking with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Don’t touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid hugging and kissing while greeting.
- Don’t spit in public places.
- Don’t make disposal of napkins or tissue papers in open areas.
- Avoid touching surfaces, like pubic railing, door, and gate.
Treatment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease)
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent this lethal disease. There is also no specific medicine to treat COVID-19. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. The WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. So, people need to be very careful and attentive, not panic.
If a person has a mild symptom of the coronavirus disease then they can take self-care.
- Rest and sleep
- Keeping warm
- Drinking plenty of liquids
- Using a room humidifier
- Taking a hot shower to help ease a sore through or cough
If the symptom develops into fever and cough or difficulty breathing, then they should seek medical treatments quickly.