The Overview Of Coronavirus(COVID-19) And The Basic Patient Education
2020 has brought a global crisis affecting the lives of billions. People are dealing with one of the deadliest viruses that have emerged on the Earth. The most common term on every lip today is COVID-19 that refers to the coronavirus. But, observing some precautions can save you from being the victim of this virus. Therefore, patient education is important. Please go through the article to get an overview of the do’s and don’ts in the scenario of the corona.
What is COVID-19? : COVID-19 is the medical term for coronavirus, which is a deadly infectious disease. The recent discovery of this brand-new virus has left the entire world into a pandemic situation. The actual name of this virus is SARS CoV-2. The virus generally spreads through saliva or nose discharge of an infected person as he/she sneezes or coughs. Hence, you have to take appropriate protection to save yourself from getting infected.
This virus came into existence in Wuhan, China during December 2019. There are a lot of controversies regarding its origin. But, nothing is conclusive. Eventually, it spread throughout the globe at lightning speed, engulfing lakhs of innocent lives. As per the recent reports till may 2020, more than 6 million people across 213 countries have been affected by the coronavirus. The death number is increasing day by day. However, more than 2.6 million people have already recovered from this deadly disease.
Symptoms of Coronavirus: If you want to have full protection, then you must be aware of the symptoms of coronavirus. The most common symptom is fever. But, older people or those who are having several health issues can get fever in the later stage of the disease. The other symptoms that tell that a person is being infected by Covid-19 are as follows;-
- shortness of breath
- pain in joints and muscles
- sputum production
- Loss Of taste
- Loss of Smell
The symptoms are not the same in every person. Some even have sneezing, running nose, etc. that seem to be quite normal in the beginning. But, after the test, they are found to be COVID positive. The initial cases also showed chest tightness as well as palpitations.
It has also been seen in around 89% cases, the patients are having fevers after being hospitalized. Even the infected persons also go through tastelessness and loss of smell. In medical terms, there is a time-gap known as the incubation period. This is between the time of getting infected and the time of development of the symptoms. The usual range of this period may be from 2 to 14 days. Hence, whenever you are observing any of the symptoms mentioned above, see a doctor immediately and get yourself tested. Some people can also have complications such as multi-organ failure, blood clots, heart inflammation, pneumonia, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and many others. It becomes quite challenging for doctors to treat such patients.
What are the preventive measures in Coronavirus?
No medicine has been discovered to prevent infectious disease. The only remedy is taking proper precautionary measures to reduce the chances of getting affected. If all of us join hands and do the needful, we will definitely succeed in defeating this dangerous virus. Let us see what the necessary steps are that you should take in order to fight Corona.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This will kill the germs and will lessen the chances of spreading the virus.
- Do not touch the face, mouth, or eyes. Hand-touch can transmit the disease quickly. It is more important when you are coming from outside as there are high chances of getting contaminated when you are outdoors. As a result, the germs can infect your body instantly.
- Following social distancing is very important. Try to have at least 1 meter, that is, 3-feet distance when you are communicating with someone. This is because, when someone sneezes, coughs, or simply talks, the saliva droplets or other liquids can come on your face. So, if the person, by any chance, has got the infection, it will infect you too.
- Avoid any crowded place in this terrible scenario. The reason is that there are more chances of getting in touch with an infected person amidst crowds.
- You must ensure that you and all the people living in your house, apartment, or locality are maintaining complete hygiene. If you see any diversion, take necessary action immediately or try to make them understand the risk of a non-hygienic living. Always wear masks and gloves when you are going out or while talking with someone. Also, make sure the others are following the rules as well. Tell them about the instructions given by the government and to abide by them. You can avoid several diseases like flu, influenza, Covid-19, etc. if you follow good respiratory hygiene.
- You should avoid traveling and remain in the homes. Home quarantine is the most effective way to break the chain of transmission of this deadly virus. In this way, you can protect yourselves as well as society at large. In case you have a cough and cold, then it is always better to go for self-isolation. If you can maintain these small points, you can easily get rid of the virus.
- Whenever you are having fever, cough, and cold or trouble breathing, do not waste time. Immediate medical attention should be sought and follow all the instructions given by the physician. Calling in advance will allow you to get the correct treatment on time. The national and local authorities have all the information related to corona patients in a particular area. Therefore, through a small step, you can carry out the duty of protecting society from further spread of the virus.
- You should always be updated about the current position and scenario from the reports as per trusted sources. Do not rely on any kind of rumors. WHO and the local authorities are the best source from where you can get the correct information. Follow the rules and regulations formed by the government in this respect. Thus, act as a responsible citizen of the nation.
- Please wash your shoes and clothes regularly, after coming from outside. Also, don’t forget to wash or sanitize all tangible objects like money, bags, etc. This will wipe off all the germs that can contaminate your body.
The Spread Of The Virus : Coronavirus can spread in various ways. The most common source is the droplets of saliva or fluid from the running nose of an infected person. There are two major ways through which a person can come in contact with these things;-
Direct Contact: A person has the maximum risk of getting the infection from a Corona positive person from coming into close contact if he is having the face uncovered or not maintaining the 1-meter distance.
Indirect Contact: The droplets containing the virus can remain as it is on the clothes or shoes for several days. So, you should not touch any of such articles or come across the ground having the virus. Otherwise, you have all the possibilities to get infected by the disease.
So, now the precautions and the way in which the disease transmits are clear to you. Therefore, you should avoid these activities that can increase the chance of infection. Rather, you should also take appropriate actions if the people near you are not following these rules. Remember, only our joint efforts can beat this tough circumstance. Hence, we should forget all the quarrels and other disturbances and focus on the betterment of our society.
People Facing The Highest Risk : We are going to mention over here the persons who are most likely to get affected by COVID-19.
The highest chances of infection lie with the family members or the persons coming in close contact with the COVID-19 patients. The older people, aged more than 60 years, should avoid going to crowded places or hospitals. They are more prone to the disease than the younger generation. Also, the same thing holds true for people suffering from high blood pressure, heart syndromes, respiratory problems like asthma, cancer, or diabetes.
It has observed that children and pets are less likely to get the disease. However, some recent reports also show that if the owner is COVID positive, then his/her pet can be infected. This holds good for the children as well. So, everyone should maintain hygiene in every step to fight against coronavirus.
What You Should Do After Getting The Symptoms: The symptoms of COVID-19 are quite similar to the usual cough and cold and respiratory issues that anybody can have due to the season change. It is true that every person showing such signs is not infected with Corona. But, verification of the same is essential. Without proper tests, you cannot be sanguine that the person is not a victim of the deadly disease. As a precaution, the suspected persons should follow these instructions. This is the measure of protection for themselves as well as society.
The most effective step for preventing the coronavirus from spreading is through home quarantine. The persons who must be at home for the 14 days are as follows;
- Persons developing the symptoms
- Those who have a traveling history in COVID affected places
- People coming in close contact with the suspected or the infected COVID-19 persons
If these people see that these symptoms are prominent, they should immediately take medical help without any delay. Proper treatment and care are vital for curing the unfortunate victims.
Test For Corona: Although there is no vaccine yet for the coronavirus, the doctors have arranged for proper medical tests to detect the disease. If the doctor suspects that you have Corona, then you have to go through a series of tests. The first step involves taking a swab from the nose, and then the sample will be sent for the clinical lab. The doctors, as well as the nurses, should wear the requisite PPE kit while dealing with the COVID positive patients. Moreover, all the healthcare staff should abide by the necessary instructions for extra protection. However, all medical organizations are not conducting corona tests or admitting the patients. There are separate laboratories where these tests are being carried out. The people working in these labs should follow the testing instructions so that no one can get affected by the infected person. Let us take a look at the different kinds of tests that are applicable to the Corona suspected patients.
As mentioned earlier, the swab test is the first one to test the sample taken from the nose or throat. The primary residing place of coronavirus is the saliva. So, without conducting a swab test, nothing can be known with certainty.
The next step is the nasal aspirate. This test involves injecting a saline solution into the nose. After that, the sample will be taken with some amount of suction.
The tracheal aspirate is another technique of testing whether you are Corona positive or not. Here, the doctor will use a bronchoscope to reach the lungs by inserting it through the mouth. The doctors will collect the samples from the lungs only.
A thick mucus known as sputum comes in contact with the lungs and comes out as the person coughs. This process is called a sputum test, where the patient has to cough up the sputum. The fluid is collected in a special cup, or a swab test is taken for that.
Last but not least, a blood test is essential by taking a blood sample from the arm’s vein.
Apart from all these tests, another rapid test is also there. This is to test the different samples taken from the throat, nose, and lungs. Thus, this test is common in most of the CDC-approved clinics and hospitals that ensure a speedy recovery and accurate diagnosis of the disease.
Most importantly, while conducting all these tests, the health professional will instruct the patient to wear proper masks and follow other precautions too.
Instructions For Home Quarantine : Every country is going through a very tough time, both in terms of physical as well as financial conditions. The order of lockdown is prevailing in almost all countries. By now, people are well-acquainted about the positive and negative effects of lockdown. But, there was no other way to prevent the virus and its transmission. During your quarantined period at home, you should do the following activities and lead a hygienic life.
- Staying in a separate room is highly needed. Please avoid a distance of more than 1 meter with others.
- Ensure that there is only one caretaker
- It is always advisable to wear a mask(preferably N-95). In the absence of the same, you can also use a cotton cloth and tie it around your neck. It is very important to cover your nose and mouth completely to prevent transmission of the virus.
- The infected person must have separate towels, dishes, and similar other things. All the articles should be washed and cleaned very well.
- The floors, cupboards, and other furniture should be cleaned at least once during the entire day.
Duties Of A Frontline Worker: Many people have come on the frontline to help the poor and distressed people. They want to help those who are going through a miserable condition due to this lockdown. However, they are very much exposed to the risk of getting the infection. Hence, these frontline workers should follow some simple steps and also guide others to prevent the spread of the virus.
As a responsible citizen, you should follow all the necessary instructions like maintaining social distancing, washing the hands frequently, carrying sanitizers or soap always with you, and similar others. If, as a frontline worker, you need to visit an affected person in any medical facility, you must cover your nose and mouth with a proper mask or cotton cloth. It will be difficult to maintain social distance in a crowded place or slum areas. However, you have to spread awareness about the transmission of the disease to the residents of those areas.
You must not conduct any community meetings or other outreach sessions involving more than 10-12 people. In this way, you can prevent social gatherings and play a vital role in the prevention of coronavirus.
You have to self-monitor for the probable signs of Corona. In case you observe anything similar, you must report to the medical officer without any delay. Also, give special attention to the marginalized. You should remember that older people have the highest risk. Hence, it is crucial to pay frequent visits to old-age homes and ensure that they are not out of the supply of any emergency medicines or food.
The Correct Way To Wear Masks: From the above discussion, you must have noticed that masks are inevitable in this dangerous pandemic situation. But, it is very unfortunate that most of the people do not know how to wear the masks properly. So, here we will give some instructions so that you can utilize these masks in the best possible way and stay protected.
- Before wearing the masks, always keep your hands clean and sanitized.
- Always ensure that the mask is not loose.
- The mask should entirely cover the nose and mouth.
- Avoid touching the masks from the front. Always use the sides to hold them.
- It is better to change the masks every 6 to 8 hours. Even you should change it when it is moist.
- Cotton masks should be cleaned daily.
- In case of disposable masks, always use a separate bin to throw them. Avoid throwing them here and there as that can increase the chances of virus transmission.
Next Step For Corona Positive : The tests for Corona are carried out in separate steps. When your reports are positive, you should follow all the instructions given by the healthcare professional. These can give you some relief from the symptoms gradually. These steps include;-
- Drinking a lot of water, juices, etc.
- Take plenty of rest
- Take over-the-counter medicines
- Stay isolated in a separate room where no one can enter
If there are any signs of pneumonia, you should call for medical attention immediately. Along with the coronavirus, you can also have some other health complications. The only way to get cured is to listen actively to everything your doctor says without any questions.
If your reports are negative, then you should enquire whether any further tests are required. In order to prevent any further infection, please maintain hygiene and follow all the necessary precautions. Some people think that the transmission of coronavirus can occur through mosquitoes and flies. However, this is not at all true. The virus spread through clothes, shoes, bags, and their articles. So, try to sanitize everything to have maximum protection.
Precautions For Pregnant Women: The whole world is going through a tremendous critical situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pregnant women are in a very challenging situation where they have to take extra care of their health. We will discuss over here, some of the measures that you should definitely take during pregnancy. During this crucial period, a would-be mom is more susceptible to the infection of COVID-19. In fact, they can have a severe infection and other related complications in the delivery. Moreover, if they do not follow all the necessary steps, there are high chances that the child can take birth with the virus too. Hence, she should take all the provisions to protect herself as well as her unborn child.
- Do not touch the eyes, nose, and mouth without washing the hands properly.
- Do not come into close contact with any outsider.
- There is no need to go to work.
- You should avoid all kinds of non-essential travels
If the person follows all the rules, then it can surely reduce the risks of infection to a great extent.