The Deadly Disease Coronavirus (COVID-19): Few Questions And Answers
Deadly Disease Coronavirus: 2019, December marked the beginning of a black period in the history of mankind. A new name became the subject-matter of the headlines-Coronavirus (COVID-19). Wuhan of China became the first place of its attack. Gradually, the virus spread across the globe like wildfire. The eminent scientists of all countries are putting their heart and soul in the research of a vaccine that can prevent this deadly virus. However, no definite solution is found yet. The countries are going through continuous lockdown. Thus, this virus has adversely affected the health, business, and economic conditions. There is a scarcity of food, personal protection equipment, and people are out of money. Hundreds are facing unemployment issues. To help the public at large at this difficult stage, we will provide some questions and answers.
What is COVID-19 or Novel Coronavirus? How did it get the name?
Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19) is absolutely a new type of virus that has emerged on the Earth’s surface. This is a disease that has no similarity with any of the previously identified diseases that circulate among humans. Hence, the procedure for diagnosis is also different. The diagnosis will not match the processes involved in coronavirus 229E, HKU1, and similar diseases. So, special types of care and treatment will have to be arranged for the COVID-19 affected people.
The novel coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China. In the earlier stage, there was no proper name for the disease. After that, when the disease started spreading in other countries also, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the same on 11th February 2020. Previously, the experts used to refer to the disease as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV” as it emerged in December 2019. However, the new name of the disease is Coronavirus Disease 2019, the abbreviation of which is COVID-19. There are various coronaviruses that cause mild respiratory problems. However, as the virus causing COVID-19 is new for humankind, the word novel is attached to the same.
How is the virus transmitted from one person to another?
The rapid transmission of COVID-19 mainly occurs from the infected persons to the others. The carrier of the virus is the respiratory droplets from the coughs and sneezes of the infected person. If you are taking appropriate protection, these droplets can fall on the nose or mouth or can enter the lungs also during inhalation. The chances of transmission are more when the person comes in close contact with the affected person, say within the distance of six feet. At present, the world is witnessing a ‘community spread’ in several corners as this virus is transmitting at a random speed. The term ‘community spread’ means people of a particular geographical area are getting affected by the disease. Among them, some are not sure how they got the infection.
As the infected persons can spread the disease quickly among a hundred more, it has been recommended that the patients developing the symptoms for the disease should stay in isolation. So, as a responsible citizen, everybody should stay at home quarantine and break the chain of infection. Quarantine means separating a person with a contagious disease with the rest of the world. For COVID-19, the minimum isolation period is 14 days. Therefore, somebody leading a quarantined life is not a risk for society.
Why are we observing a rise in the cases?
The cases of coronavirus are increasing rapidly, mainly due to the carelessness of the locals. Besides, sometimes the government also does not generate accurate records on a timely basis. Laboratory testing requires a lot of time. As a result, the day count varies depending on the scenario. So, in the absence of the correct reports showing the exact number of people affected, an increase in the number of cases is quite evident. Even some people who did not show any symptoms also got positive reports for COVID-19. For how long a person should be kept in the hospital varies on different factors as per the facts and circumstances of each case. Also, the doctors take the decision after consulting with the state and local health officials.
What are the precautionary measures to prevent coronavirus?
The precautionary measures that everybody should take to prevent the spread of coronavirus are as follows;-
- Wash Your Hands: After coming from a public place, or sneezing or blowing your nose, you must wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds. In case of unavailability of soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Please avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Avoid Close Contact: Please do not come in close contact with any person suffering from any kind of disease. Sick people have the highest risk of being infected. Hence, maintain a safe distance, even at home. Always try to maintain a minimum distance of six feet with others. Avoid any kind of gatherings or crowded places like the mall, cinema halls, etc.
- Cover The Mouth: It is very important that you wear proper masks to cover your nose and mouth whenever going out or communicating with others. In case you do not have a mask, you can use a cotton cloth and tie it around your face. But, you must keep in mind that wearing masks is mandatory to protect yourself and the others from the infection. However, you cannot avoid social distancing even if you are using a mask.
- Protection during Coughs and Sneezes: Even if you are in a private place, never cough or sneeze in the open air. You must cover the face with a tissue or hanky and throw the same in the bin. After that, you must wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer.
Maintain Hygiene and Cleanliness: Clean all the touchable objects, floors, or other surfaces daily that you come across frequently, such as tables, doorknobs, toilets, desks, and others. You can disinfect the non-washable goods like phones, laptops, etc.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
People who are having coronavirus can develop different types of symptoms. Sometimes, these are even seen much after the reports are generated, showing positive corona results. The most common symptoms include high fever, dry cough, and troubled breathing. Besides, there are a few less common signs, too, that indicate that you might have been infected by the virus. These are sore throat, diarrhea, aches and pains, headache, skin rashes, and many more. However, you will understand that the health condition is taking a serious turn when you are suffering from acute chest pain, shortness of breath, or loss of speech or unsteady movements. So, if you have any of these, an immediate call for medical help. Always remember that you cannot compromise with your health as well as that of your family. Hence, without any delay, take the initiative to go through the tests. Once you are assured of the reports, whether you are having COVID-19 or not, you can think of the next steps.
What should you do after developing any of the symptoms?
Coronavirus has already taken millions of lives across the globe. The way it is spreading, getting paranoid is very natural. However, if you are always afraid about what is going to happen in the next moment, it will not do any good. The proper solution will be to take appropriate precautions and to follow all the instructions of the government in this regard. By taking some small steps, we can protect ourselves as well as the whole society.
If you or any of your family members are showing any kind of symptoms of the corona, it is essential that you maintain home quarantine strictly and do not move out of the house except for extreme emergencies. Before going to any medical facility, it is better to explain all your symptoms to your doctor over the phone. In case the symptoms are mild, the doctor will only advise you to drink a lot of liquids, stay at home, take sufficient rest, and keep a watch on the symptoms. If you observe any betterment, you should communicate that too. However, in case of the development of some more symptoms, do not hesitate to share that with your physician. Your health is very crucial. So, always wear a mask and avoid crowded places or public transport.
Who has the highest chances of getting affected by the virus?
The virus causing COVID-19 can infect anyone irrespective of their age. However, medical history suggests that majorly two groups of people have the highest risk of getting affected by the disease. One section includes the older people who are aged 60 years or above; the other group consists of sick people. Sick means those who are suffering from some acute health problems like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or any other chronic disease. The risk will start increasing for the people above 40 years of age. Hence, adults should behave in a more responsible way to protect themselves as well as others from the harmful hands of this virus. Special circulars and advice are there from the WHO for these two groups of people. These are steps to ensure that they get full protection from the infection of COVID-19. Such people who are not staying in isolation are exposed to vulnerabilities for getting the infection. Hence, there should be a special arrangement of treatment and social care for these people.
What are the different types of tests associated with coronavirus?
There are different kinds of tests associated with coronavirus to identify whether a person is having COVID-19 or not. These are as under;
Swab test: This is the first and primary test where the samples of fluid are taken from the throat or nose. It is quite painful for the patient while the samples are collected.
Sputum test: Sputum is a kind of thick mucus. This is collected when you cough and kept in a separate cup.
Blood test: A blood sample is also taken to check whether your blood contains the virus.
Rapid test: This is the most popular test that involves the collection of fluid samples from the lungs, nose, or throat. It is prevalent in most of the CDC-approved health organizations and ensures an accurate diagnosis more quickly.
There are many other tests, but during all the tests, you can feel a bit uncomfortable. However, these effects are temporary in nature. After the test is over, the respective places will heal slowly.
When should a person get admitted to the hospital?
When a person severely develops any of the symptoms, he or she should go to the medical help immediately. The hospital authorities can decide to admit a suspected patient immediately and put the person in an isolation ward. There are no separate hospitals as per the WHO recommendations for COVID-19 patients. However, some countries can choose to build separate cells to keep the affected persons separate from the general crowd. Moreover, every patient should abide by the WHO infection prevention suggestions so that they can protect the other patients, medical staff, and visitors.
Does any protected immunity develop after treating the corona infection? Is there any chance of recurrence of the disease?
There is no conclusive evidence until now that persons recovering from the coronavirus infection have developed any antibodies. Hence, you cannot say with certainty there can be no chances of recurrence of this deadly disease. Immunity develops a pathogen through natural infection. It is a multi-step process, and so it is not easy to develop the protected resistance power to prevent the further occurrence of COVID-19. Some think that antibiotics have the potential to treat or prevent the disease. However, this is not true.
What is the recommended PPE for healthcare professionals dealing with corona patients?
All healthcare professionals dealing with corona patients should take extra protection for themselves. Personal protection equipment or PPE is a must for people working in healthcare units. FFP2 and FFP3 respirators are the best to provide respiratory protection. Besides, the ideal PPE kit should also contain goggles or face shields to protect eyes, long-sleeved water-resistant gown, and medicated gloves for hand protection.