13 Mar 2020

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE: DON’T WORRY! DON’T GET SCARED! WE WILL FIGHT IT TOGETHER! 

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS? 

  Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and circulate among many different species of animals such as camels, cattle, cats, and bats. These coronaviruses are transmitted from animals to human and also from human to human, causing mainly respiratory tract infections ranging from the common cold to severe pneumonia. The Novel coronavirus outbreak initiated at Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, having some link to large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread and later, spread between humans. 

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus -2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name given to the 2019 novel coronavirus. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is the name given to the disease associated with this virus. Previous epidemic diseases like SARS and MERS are also due to the viruses from the Coronavirus family.  

On 11th March 2020 WHO has declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) as a Pandemic affecting more than 100 countries. (To be precise 125 countries). 

 

HOW DOES CORONAVIRUS DISEASE SPREAD (TRANSMITTED)?

  • PERSON TO PERSON (DIRECT CONTACT): The novel coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person contact. The respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes can land on the mouth or nose of person in close contact (Within 1-meter distance) and when such nearby person inhales it can catch the infection. 

  • FROM CONTACT WITH CONTAMINATED SURFACE:  The droplets from an infected person can land on the nearby objects such as tabletop, doorknob, handrail etc. The virus can survive on these surfaces for several hours, and other people can catch the infection by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

The time between exposure to the virus and the development of symptoms is approx… between 2-14 days. At present, it is rare for the people who are infected but do not show the signs and symptoms of the disease to transmit the infection, but the risk can’t be ruled out.

 

 WHO IS AT THE RISK OF SUFFERING FROM COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) INFECTION?

  • People living in, or visiting, the areas where the disease is spreading are at the increased risk of catching coronavirus infection.

  • People visiting overcrowded places like Public gatherings, Shopping complexes, public transports, Stadiums etc. are at increased risk of getting infected with the coronavirus.

  • Healthcare professionals and the people who are always in contact with many other people due to professional requirement (E.g. Bus conductor, cab drivers, Teachers and Students)

  • Illness due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection is generally mild in (80% of cases), especially in older children (>10 years) and adults (<60 years). 

  • It can cause serious illness in 17% of cases. About 1 in every six people who catch the infection needs hospital care.

  • people who are especially at increased risk of suffering from severe disease are those with:

  1. Old Age

  2. Having pre-existing medical conditions such as High blood pressure, diabetes, Heart and Lung diseases, Kidney failure, Asthma, etc.

  3. Pregnant Lady

  4. Very young children

  5. People undergoing treatment for cancer (Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy)

 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS INFECTION?

  • Some people become infected with coronavirus but do not show any symptoms or feel unwell. 


coronavirus-

 

  • Around 1 out of 6 people (Only 17%)suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can become seriously ill and develop:

  1. Difficulty in breathing (Respiratory distress) 2.

  2. High fever

  3. Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  4. Blood coming out through cough

  5. Bluish discolouration of nails and lips

  6. Drop-in blood pressure   

    This kind of severe illness can occur in only 16-17% of cases, especially in people with old age, suffering from hypertension, diabetes or any heart/lung disease, Kidney failure or severe Asthma.

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF ILLNESS? IS THERE ANY TREATMENT AVAILABLE AGAINST COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease)? 

  • Though Currently, there is no vaccine or antiviral medicine available that can cure coronavirus infection and Antibiotics are of no use still there is no need to panic. 

  • If you feel unwell and suspect of having the disease (fever, sore throat, etc.), the first thing to do is  Do Not Panic! Immediately visit the: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ (Ministry of Health and Welfare, Government of India Website) and follow the guidelines mentioned (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/FINAL_14_03_2020_ENg.pdf) or contact on 24×7 helpline number: +91-11-23978046 .

  • HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19? (PREVENTIVE MEASURES AGAINST CORONAVIRUS INFECTION) 

    PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE! SINCE THERE IS NO CURATIVE TREATMENT OR A VACCINE AVAILABLE AT PRESENT AGAINST THIS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS, PREVENTION IS THE ONLY AND BEST OPTION TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE:

    TO PROTECT YOURSELF FOLLOW THE PREVENTIVE MEASURES MENTIONED BELOW: 

    • Frequently clean your hands even if they are visibly clean

    • Thoroughly wash your hands often with soap and water (Soap is more effective in killing the virus than alcohol-based sanitizers as it can easily break the envelope of the virus) for a minimum of 20 sec. (including webs of your finger from front and back of the hand) especially after sneezing. Coughing or blowing your nose, having been in a public place or after handshaking with people.

    • Wash your hands after touching surfaces at public places like:

    1. Elevator buttons

    2. Doorknobs

    3. Handrails

    4. Tabletops, etc.

    • In case a Soap and water are not available, then one can use alcohol (60%-alcohol) based sanitizers to clean your hands.

    • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or with handkerchief/tissue while coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue in a closed bin immediately.

    • Wear a mask if you are suffering from fever, cough and sore throat and if you are present in a situation of overcrowding at high-risk surroundings.

    • Routinely clean and disinfect your home, including frequently touched surfaces (Tables, doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, handles, etc.) with at least 70% alcohol-based disinfectants.

    • Do not spit in public

    • Avoid unnecessary touching to your eyes, mouth and nose.

    • Avoid visiting crowded and poorly ventilated places as the risk of catching an infection is increased in such areas if people are having the disease are present.

    • Avoid close contact, maintain a distance of 1 meter from a person who is coughing or sneezing.

    • If you are staying in a high-risk area, try and be as much as at home. Avoid going out unless it is absolutely required. 

    • Avoid travel to high-risk locations (Cities or countries) unless it is absolutely essential.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

WASHING HANDS THOROUGHLY WITH SOAP AND WATER / A LIQUID SOAP IS MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WAY THAN HAND SANITIZERS AGAINST CORONAVIRUS:

  • According to the latest research, the soap molecule buries its way into the corona virus’s shell/envelope which is made up of fats and protein. The chemical bonds which hold the virus together are not very strong, so the intrusion of the soap molecule is enough to break the virus’s shell/envelope. It pulls the virus apart, disintegrates it and makes it soluble in water. Which is then flushed down the drain.

  • Water is used along with soap which helps in removing any accumulated dirt within skin crevices thus even the hidden virus gets exposed to the soap.

  • For sanitizers to be effective, the alcohol content in them needs to be very high (>60%), which may not be the case with many hand sanitizers.

  • Sanitizers with high alcohol content can be harmful to sensitive skin.

  • Since one does not require to use the water with sanitizers, it fails to remove the dirt and hidden viruses within skin crevices.

Thus using a liquid soap/soap and water to clean hands is a much better way to protect our self from the coronavirus threat.

 

As of now (13th March 2020): COVID-19 in numbers:

  • Total number of People infected with Novel coronavirus Disease worldwide (COVID-19): 1,29,167 

  • Number ofCountriesaffected:125. 

  • Number of People recovered: 68,656.

  • Number ofactive cases:  55,762 

  • ReportedDeaths: 4749. 

  • Number of cases in India: 73 

The infection is spreading all over the world at an alarming rate. Countries like Italy, China are already facing a situation of lockdown with many other European countries on the same path, WHO has declared COVID-19 as a Pandemic. 

   There is a situation of panic all over the world! Getting scared is not going to solve the problem! We should make our-self ready to fight against it! If we take care and follow the preventive measures correctly, we can keep our-self safe! Let’s get ready to fight against COVID-19.

The Helpline Number for corona-virus: +91-11-23978046  

The Helpline Email ID for corona-virus: [email protected]  

Coronavirus helpline number Maharashtra:  Landline: 020-26127394,

BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) Helpline no: 1916

FOR LATEST UPDATES ON COVID-19 PLEASE VISIT: 

http://www.mohfw.gov.in/

REFERENCES:

मराठी हिन्दी

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