COVID-19 is the deadly disease caused by novel Coronavirus has affected 162 countries and territories across the world.
The facts and figures are changing rapidly and reportedly, Liberia, Africa is the latest country to have been affected. There are close to 14,000 new confirmed infections with 114 total cases and 3 deaths in India alone.
Kolkata is the latest Indian city to have been affected by COVID 19. A man, who recently returned from England has tested positive and is now admitted to a hospital – making it the latest Indian State to fall prey to this menace.
(Live Statistics – Courtesy: Worldometer)
Background – Know your enemy
- For the uninitiated, “corona” means “a crown or something resembling a crown”. This virus family got its name as it has a barbed edge (or so-called ‘crown’) around it when looked at under a microscope.
- In December 2019, a new strain of the virus was confirmed in Wuhan, China. The new virus, subsequently identified as being from the coronavirus family is biologically similar to the SARS virus which claimed north of two hundred lives in 2003.
- WHO declared a global health emergency in the wake of this new threat. Subsequently, COVID-19 was declared as a ‘pandemic’ from the earlier classification of ‘epidemic’ in order to better assist countries with under-developed health systems to control the spread of the virus.
Official COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines
- CLEANSING: Thoroughly and periodically clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand-wash or wash them separately with soap and clean water. If you don’t have any of the above, utilize an alcoholic shaving lotion and mineral water for washing.
(Courtesy: Alfaisal University)
- DISTANCE: You need to keep at least 1 meter (or 3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone coughing or sneezing. They might be carrying the virus.
- TOUCH: You should take care to avoid touching nose, eyes, and mouth with your fingers.
- RESPIRATORY HYGIENE: You and your peers need follow proper respiratory hygiene. This includes covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
(Courtesy : WHO & NCDC.GOV.NG)
- STAY HOME: Stay home if you feel sick. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention and get yourself treated immediately. Isolate yourself if you feel unwell, even with lukewarm symptoms such as headache, mild fever (37°C or above) and slight runny nose.
- WEAR A MASK OUTDOORS: If you can’t avoid going out for whatever reason, compulsorily wear a mask to avoid infecting other people. The virus in question is 50-200nm wide, so an N95 mask should be a good choice.
(Courtesy: Deccan Herald)
- BE UPDATED: Keep up to date on the latest COVID 19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID 19 is on the loose). Avoid traveling to those areas especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
- DIAL EMERGENCY HELPLINE: If you have any reason to believe you might have been infected, DO NOT DELAY/ PONDER/ POSTPONE SEEKING MEDICAL HELP. PICK UP YOUR PHONE AND DIAL THE RELEVANT EMERGENCY NUMBER.
TOLL-FREE HELPLINE NUMBER: 1075
HELPLINE EMAIL ID : email@example.com
(Courtesy: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India)
What are the most common symptoms of COVID 19 infection?
Fever, tiredness, and DRY COUGH (NOT WET COUGH) are the most common symptoms. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea and sometimes pneumonia. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t even feel sick, which is a big cause for concern.
Is the virus heat resistant?
GOOD NEWS – IT IS NOT! Unlike other SARS virus strains, this Coronavirus dies when exposed to about 25-30°C. So properly cooked food and heat-disinfected clothes should stand you in good stead.
How is the virus getting transmitted?
In most cases – People to People, either directly or indirectly. Saliva, bodily fluids, mucous – you get the drift.
Will I contract Coronavirus from consuming meat?
Uncooked and directly contaminated meat can be dangerous. Although 165 degrees is universally considered to be a ‘safe cooking temperature’, it is not necessary for all types of ingredients.
Will I die if I contract the virus?
Mostly, NO! The virus affects the respiratory systems of healthy people, but those are largely treatable. It becomes fatal when aged people having previous medical conditions like lung and heart ailments, diabetes, etc. contract the virus. So elderly people must take the strictest precautions to defeat this pandemic.
Do antibiotics work against coronavirus?
Nope. Antibiotics work only against bacteria, they are useless against viruses.
Have any vaccines or effective medicines developed to combat COVID 19 yet?
Unfortunately, nothing to date. But WHO has informed us that a proper vaccine should be ready within 15-18 months. We sincerely hope things do not get further out of hand by then.
Should I reject incoming parcels from COVID 19 affected areas, say China?
According to scientists, the virus cannot live outside of a living body for long, as it requires a host for survival and reproduction. A parcel transported long distances, most probably having been exposed to varying temperature and humidity conditions in the process have a very low probability of infecting you.
WRAPPING UP WITH A MASSIVE SUCCESS STORY
So after all that gloominess, finally something to smile at! Here’s a success story for all of you to take inspiration from. YES, COVID 19 MIGHT BE DEADLY FOR THE TIME BEING BUT IT IS CERTAINLY NOT INVINCIBLE!
Watch this space for informative content!