What is COVID-19?

What is COVID-19 all about?

COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus strain. It is a new virus or disease that is contagious. Those who become infected with this virus, will experience mild to severe symptoms. The symptoms are more of the respiratory types. The virus affects aged people more than anyone else. Those who have a history of heart ailments, asthmatic symptoms and diabetes should be more vigilant.

The disease which is caused by this virus Covid-19, has several implications. The Coronavirus disease was first detected in 2019 in Wuhan, China. Therefore, the strain has been named Covid-19, according to the year.  COVID-19 is also known as the “Novel Coronavirus,” which means, it is a new type of coronavirus not previously discovered or identified.

Corona Viruses are a large group of viruses, which have been known to cause illness in humans and animals. It leads to respiratory infections which range from common cold to severe diseases. The various diseases are MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, whose full form is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

What are the various different kinds of symptoms of COVID-19?

The most commonly found symptoms of the coronavirus disease are:

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough and sore throat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Aches and Pains

If you have the above symptoms, then you should immediately call your healthcare provider. You can acquire information related to the virus and its symptoms from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India website.

Why is the entire world so worried about COVID-19 or the Corona Virus disease? 

Till date, we had only heard of pandemics and epidemics. However, the current generation is facing this for the first time. The world has witnessed the small pox epidemic and cholera epidemic. However, this is very new. The world does not even have a vaccine and that is bothering most.

The reasons everyone is so worried about Corona Virus disease are:

  • It is a new virus.
  • There are numerous facts, we don’t know about it.
  • There are no vaccines or medication available as of now.
  • It spreads like fire.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The disease mainly spreads through droplets from coughing and sneezing. You can either get infected through direct contact or through indirect contact. Direct contact means, that you are in close contact with someone, who is suffering from the disease. Indirect contact refers to contamination through cough and sneeze droplets, that survive on the surface for fourteen hours. If someone touches any such surface and touches his or her mouth, contamination can happen.

When is someone with the Novel Virus or COVID-19 contagious?

It can be contagious when someone has or does not have the symptoms. Moreover, it may also spread from people who are already infected, but do not display symptoms. Such people have a strong immune system, however they are at a greater risk of infecting others.

According to the CDC, Corona virus spreads mainly through close contact with infected persons. And through the cough and sneeze droplets from someone who is infected. also it spreads from fomites. People who are infected often have no symptoms or signs of illness. Some people without symptoms may spread the virus, as others are not aware that the incumbent has the disease.

Who is at a risk of contracting the COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a new disease that can affect some people more severely than the others. Older adults and people who have underlying conditions like asthma, cardiac diseases, diabetes, are at a higher risk than normal and younger people.

Do kidney ailments put me at a higher risk of infection?

Yes, people with a chronic kidney disease are at higher risk for more severe illness.

There are people, who are on dialysis. They have weak immune system. Therefore, making it hard for their bodies to fight infections. However, it is important for all to know that such kidney patients need to continue with their treatments and should take precautions as advised by their doctors.

There are people who had a kidney transplant very recently. Such people have not recovered fully and need to take anti-rejection medicines or immunosuppressive medicines. These medicines make the immune system weak, which can make it hard to fight viruses. However, it is still necessary to keep taking these medicines. It is also useful to wash both the hands, maintain good sanitary norms and follow the guidelines from their respective doctors.

Why do you need to wash both your hands and avoid touching the face?

Public health officials are encouraging washing the hands for 20 seconds. The virus lives on various surfaces for a long period of time. Therefore, you have to keep washing hands and eyes. You never know, where the contamination is. Most people have a habit of scratching their faces, biting nails, rubbing their eyes and noses. So, washing hands is really important. The infectious virus enters through the body’s opening.

How do I keep my hands sanitized and clean?

You can keep your hands clean by washing them frequently. It can prevent the virus from entering the body through the orifices in the body. You should wash hands before and after making food, before and after eating, before and after treating wounds, and also on handling various objects. If you have pets at home, you should increase the number of times, you wash the hands. It is advisable to clean hands with any soap, liquid hand wash and a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

What are the cleaning agents that work against the virus?

The Council recommends that busy and over-used surfaces should be cleaned daily. Apart from cleaning the surfaces with disinfectants, you can clean hands with soap and water. Sodium hypochlorite is a bleach and you can use it as well. The other option is to wash hands with surgical solution. You can use ethanol that is diluted. Or else, you can also use doctor’s spirit. Moreover, you can also use surface wipes and hand sanitizers.

What do you mean by Flattening of – Curve 

Flattening the curve means the aim of slowing the spread of an infectious disease, like Covid -19 in an effort to keep the disease under control.

Certain diseases like COVID-19, can be contagious and can spread from one person to the other person. However, maintain such things as social distancing, which are used to help slow down the spread of the disease and also prevent a rush at hospitals.

The graph from the Centers For Disease Control shows the idea of what a flattening the curve is. The taller the curve, the more severe the outbreak is, with no intervention. The flatter the curve, it shows a possible outbreak with interventions. Flattening the curve can help reduce the pressure on hospitals and other parts of the health system. It gives a chance to respond without becoming pressurized with uncertainties.

Why COVID-19 does not have a medicine or vaccine yet?

COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus. Therefore, there is no vaccine. Moreover, past research work may speed up the search for Covid-19, however approval process may take 18 months to 2 years.

The potential treatments need to go through a three-phase clinical trial. Then only, the government can release it in the market.

How can we teach social distancing and the importance of social distancing?

There are various reports of people celebrating marriages and birthdays, without fear. In the process, they are contaminating others. There are a lot of young nurses and healthcare professionals working in close contact, are contracting the disease. During these trying times, everybody has to understand, that maintaining distances is the only way to stop the spread of the disease.

People of all age groups who need to be educated, on what this virus can do to them and the people in the family. A few older people are getting bored at home and are venturing outside.

There are researchers who are working day and night to develop a vaccine. The process of research and development are taking new turns and can take many years. When a vaccine is out, it also needs to be examined and checked to make sure it’s working and effective. Moreover, the elderly is over confident. They think, they know more.

Misinformation and stubbornness are the main reasons. Therefore, they have to be explained about the vulnerabilities in details.

How can we find COVID-19 facts from myths?

There are various myths associated with Covid-19. There are myths that high temperature can destroy the virus. However, this not true. Another myth is that, if you expose yourself to the sun, you can kill the virus. Another myth is that steaming, gargling, and bathing in very hot water can protect you against COVID-19. It is not true. Too much of steaming can damage your respiratory channel.

Trustworthy sources

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India, WHO or the World Health Organization is one of the trustworthy sources for Covid-19 information.

You should only believe in information from reliable sources. You should not pay much heed to news generated by social media. Most of the news bulletins are fake. Use your good judgement, to differentiate between the right and wrong. You should not trust all the sources in the market.

Social media: use caution

Everybody is representing the government today. Therefore, is commenting and distributing facts and figures. The posts on social media can be very misleading. They turn myths into facts under most circumstances and should be given a miss. The best way is to avoid reading them.

You can be part of the solution

You should take care to collect and disseminate proper information. Always make sure to follow the directives from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India. Moreover, you should also encourage others to follow the directives. If you see that someone is not listening, you can make arrangements to make them follow the government instructions.

How can I make a mask at home?

You can make a mask very easily. The common people do not need three-ply masks or N95. You can make a cloth mask easily at home. Just take a square piece of cloth and attach elastic bands on both ends.

Can COVID-19 cause kidney failure?

There have been reports of kidney failure for patients suffering from Covid-19. However, it is not entirely true, that the virus has caused it. The patient may be having other silent symptoms.

Know the  several kidney ailments

There are two forms of kidney diseases. These are two conditions. They are called acute kidney injury and the other one is called chronic kidney disease, which will lead to chronic kidney failure. The detection of the proteins and blood in urine swabs is an easy way of detecting kidney malfunction in people.

You are a high risk individual, if you are in any of these categories. If you had a kidney transplant, if you are on dialysis, if you are above 70 years and have been taking immune-suppressants. Moreover, if you are suffering from autoimmune conditions, you are in the high risk category.  If you are undergoing dialysis. These people must isolate themselves. Covid-19 is known to aggravate these symptoms, so you have to be careful.