We are in the midst of the vigorously progressing pandemic of COVID-19. Everybody has suffered a long period of lockdown. And now when everything is opening slowly and gradually, many questions come to my mind whether this opening is safe or not? Should the government have waited for more? Are we going in the right direction? Are we left on our own now? Is the situation going to get better or worse? When will the vaccine reach the common people?
As these questions kept coming to mind, more urge to write something about it came to the heart.
Daily Tactics Guru is sharing all the information regarding the ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus Disease and some personal opinions with you all.
What is Coronavirus?
Corona viruses are a group of viruses which cause respiratory diseases in human beings. The diseases range from common cold to highly infectious diseases like MERS and SARS. The name corona has its origin from the latin language which means ‘crown’ or ‘wreath’. The human coronavirus was first studied by June Almeida and David Tyrrell.
COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by SARS CoV2. 2019-nCoVacute respiratory disease, or in more simple words, Corona, can be easily communicated from one person to another through physical contact. Novel coronavirus is identified as a new stain of Coronaviruses which is responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in humans.
The coronavirus disease which has now converted into a pandemic, was first identified in Wuhan, in Hubei province of China in December 2019.
Novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 takes 3-14 days to show symptoms after entering the respiratory tract of a newly infected person.
Some of very common symptoms of this disease include high fever, fatigue, dry cough, shortness of breath, and sometimes loss of taste or smell. Some people may experience nausea, diarrhoea, sore throat, headache also. But if the case becomes severe, it can result in multiple organ failure, septic shocks, blood clotting.
All the symptoms are nonspecific and can be misinterpreted for another disease.
Transfer of COVID-19
The virus primarily spreads through secretions of mouth and nose. It can spread easily by droplets produced while sneezing, coughing or talking. These droplets enter the body of an uninfected person if he/she comes in close proximity to the patient.
The virus can remain suspended on a non living surface for a very long time. If an infected individual touches a surface and then another person comes in contact with that contaminated surface, the virus can easily infect this new person. Transmission can also take place through the suspended droplets in air containing viruses.
Sometimes, people infected with coronavirus do not show any symptoms. They remain asymptotic, but can play a critical role in transmission of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted disease but can easily be spread through kissing as the sputum and saliva of the infected individual contains large amounts of virus in it.
The standard method of diagnosing COVID-19 is rRT-PCR from a nasopharyngeal swab. CT Scans of chest and lungs also prove to be helpful but are less recommended. Other different techniques are also developed by different countries to diagnose coronavirus.
Blood tests are reportedly of great help in diagnosing the disease but they have to be taken at least twice, and the results are not immediate.
Antibody tests are also used as one of the diagnostic techniques. In this procedure, the person is tested for the presence of certain antibodies. Antibodies are produced by the body to fight against a disease causing antigen. The presence of the specific antibodies indicates that the person is infected with the disease, or may be in the past.
Anybody tests can give accurate results only after 14-15 days of infection.
Pathophysiology of Coronavirus
Coronavirus can infect the throat, sinus, trachea, and lungs. Novel coronavirus may also cause respiratory failures as it may affect the brain stem by invading the Central Nervous system. It also impacts on the functioning of gastrointestinal organs and cardiovascular systems.
It is an old proverb that prevention is always better than cure. Some common preventive measures which can be taken are:
- Hand washing
WHO recommends washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with a good soap and water. If the soap and water is not available, a hand sanitizer containing 70% percent of alcohol in it can also be used.
Hands should be washed often throughout the day, before meals or touching your face, mouth and eyes,
- Masks or Face Coverings
A mask which covers the nose and mouth is a good option. The mask acts as an obstacle between the virus and your mouth or nose and thus prevents the entry of the virus.
If a proper mask is not available. You should keep your face covered by a cloth or a scarf whenever in a crowded area or out of your house.
Face shields are also a better option as they cover the eyes as well.
- Social Distancing
The novel coronavirus only spreads if we come in close vicinity with an infected person but. Maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from people in crowded places may prove to be helpful.
This term has come into so much usage since the spread of this pandemic. In simple words we can say, isolating oneself from others in a closed surrounding, for some time, if you have travelled to a suspicious place or find some symptoms in you.
This is helpful in preventing the spread of viruses to other people.
- Maintaining proper Hygiene
You should wash your clothes after coming back from outside. When a commodity is brought from outside, it should be kept away in a corner of the house for sometime and thoroughly cleaned before its usage.
- Flattening the curve
This is done by slowing the rate of spread to decrease the risk of unavailability of treatment and reducing the addition of new patients. It also includes slowing the rate of community spread of the disease.
- PPE KIT
This consists of personal protective equipment like surgical mask, gloves, eyeglasses, shields, head cap, shoe cover, body cover with a hood. It helps in overall protection of the body from the Coronavirus.
When to be suspicious if you are infected or not?
- If in a containment zone.
- If you travelled to a place recently where there is community spread.
- If you develop fever, dry cough and body pain or shortness of breath.
- If you have a previous history of cardiovascular or pulmonary disorders.
- If there is a patient of COVID-19 in the family.
What to do if suspicious?
- Consult your doctor immediately.
- Quarantine yourself from others.
- Increase the intake of fluid and supplements.
- Don’t get stressed.
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Treatment for Covid-19
Currently no specific vaccine is developed to cure COVID-19. Several organizations of different countries are working hard to develop vaccines for the treatment of Corona.
No proper medication is also known for the treatment but a number of effective methods used together can help in its treatment.
The US National Institute of Health recently recommended Dexamethasone for people suffering severely. Hydroxychloroquine is also being used in the treatment of COVID-19.
Supportive care systems for patients suffering severely from corona includes pain relievers and cough syrups, or ventilators for some for emergency supply of Oxygen during shortness of breath.
Immunity Boosters for Covid-19
Several natural immunity boosters are available in the market these days. Intake of essential oils, vitamins and minerals, supplements may improve the immunity of the body. Yoga and meditation, breathing exercises and morning walks are also helpful. Diet plays a very important role in boosting immunity. Take a proper balanced diet containing carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats and calories etc. Avoiding fast food and increasing the intake of lots and lots of fluid also increases the immunity of the body. Proper sleeping hours and cycle is also a very crucial factor. Stress and anxiety can be harmful to your health. And when in doubt, consult your doctor immediately.