The term ‘Coronavirus’is not a fresh virus to the world. It is a large family of viruses which is known for over 50 years, which can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more serious forms which reported in past such as SARS and MERS. The word ‘corona’ is due to its microscopic appearance of a crown!
However, novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is a new virus that affects people who have recently been in the area of Wuhan, Hubei province ofChina. It is a new strain that has not been previously identified in human beings. This deadly virus now has become a tragedy with mortality to over 8700 individuals and over169 countries, including a drastically increased mortality rate in Italy.
2. How does it transmit?
It is reported that most of the cases identified so far had contact with live animals and the seafood market in Wuhan. But now human to human transmission is happening at a deadly speed. This is mainly via direct contact with infected people and droplets. Also, contaminated surfaces and objects can spread the virus too.
3. Who are at risk?
People who had close contacts with confirmed patients ofCOVID-19 are at higher risk of getting the disease. Close contact could be living in the same household, same workplace or traveling in the same enclosed vehicle for more than 15 minutes. People who have co-morbidities such as asthmatics, diabetes mellitus, coronary heart diseases, chronic kidney diseases or immunocompromised, maybe at a higher risk.
4. What are the common symptoms ?
Understanding the common symptoms and signs may help you to decide whether you are infected or not. Fever at any point of illness, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing are the commonest symptoms reported so far. Also, some patients have had diarrhea. In severe stages, it can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and death.
5. If a person does not show above symptoms, can he be free of the disease?
Maybe he doesn't because there is an incubation period or sleeping Period of the virus of 2 to 14 days. Although a person is healthy now he can be showing symptoms later.
6. Is there a definite treatment for this disease?
Not yet. There is no specific treatment recommended for the 2019 novel Corona infection.
There is no vaccine developed against the prevention of this virus yet. Patients only receive supportive treatment. But there are trials conducted worldwide to find a definitive treatment for this pandemic.
7. What can I do to prevent getting the infection?
Here comes the important part. Prevention is always better than cure, isn’t it?
·, First of all, it is better to avoid close contact with people who are suffering from acute respiratory infections.
· Wash your hands properly after coughing or sneezing, when caring for the sick. Practice standard handwashing such as before, during and after you prepare food, before eating, after toilet use, when hands are visibly dirty and also after handling animals or animal waste.
It is better to clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
· Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.
· Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
· Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.
· It is advised to wear face masks in crowded places.