If there is one word that’s dreaded by the entire world since the year broke into 2020, it’s COVID-19. An unassuming virus that originated in Wuhan, China, soon made the whole world scrambling to take cover from its vicious grasps.
While some countries managed to reign in the virus spread, some are still grappling with the rising death-tolls.
As an individual, here are the 10 things you must know about this deadly virus.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the name given to the disease caused by Coronavirus. Coronavirus comes from the family of viruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) as well as other viruses that cause mild common fever. Coronavirus is a new variation of this family. It has been previously unidentified in humans. The virus is transmitted between animals and humans.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 are mainly spread due to coming in contact with droplets produced by an infected person. These droplets are produced by coughing or sneezing. When a person is in close contact (1m) with an infected person, the mouth, nose and eyes of a healthy person get exposed to these droplets.
COVID-19 also spreads by indirect methods. These droplets can survive in the immediate environment and surfaces of the infected person. If you touch these surfaces and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose, the virus can spread to you.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. This 14 day period is known as the incubation period. The symptoms range from mild symptoms to severe illnesses. The major symptoms include
- Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Chest pain
- Headaches and chills
- Loss of taste and smell
This is not an all-inclusive list. Some might not have any symptoms at all, and some might only show a few of these symptoms, whereas, for others, these symptoms could appear in a worsened condition.
How to check symptoms online?
You can visit the World Health Organisation’s official website to check your symptoms online. You can also visit the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s official website to keep updated on the latest symptoms. Each state in India has also opened up their state official websites to educate its citizens on the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the treatments available?
As of now, there is no standard specific method of treatments available to combat the virus. The treatments are directed towards the symptoms. The treatments will depend on the clinical condition of the patient. A large percentage of people, with low-risk conditions, can get cured at home.
A large number of studies are being conducted around the world for creating a solution to this virus. However, no drugs have been properly approved by any country so far that could cure the disease.
How to safeguard against COVID-19?
The best method is prevention. Avoid getting exposed to Coronavirus.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do this after you have coughed, sneezed or have been in public places.
- Don’t touch your nose, ears and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Use sanitiser if you don’t have soap and water available at the moment. The sanitiser must have at least 60 per cent alcohol. Rub it in your hands till your hands become dry.
- Maintain at least 6 feet distance between people in public places.
- If you have a sick person in your home, avoid direct contact with him/her.
- Use a facemask while stepping out, so that you may not infect others if you have the virus.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze with a tissue. Throw this tissue in the trash. Wash your hands after this.
- Use detergent and soap to disinfect surfaces which are more prone to touch.
- Be alert for symptoms and monitor your health and temperature often.
- Stay home as much as possible and avoid going out for unnecessary purposes.
- Getting health insurance for COVID-19 can be a smart move as it can help you cope with the financial side of getting treatment.
Who are the most vulnerable?
- Senior citizens, regardless of their medical conditions.
- Adults who have underlying medical conditions such as respiratory illness, asthma, heart diseases, kidney failures, diabetes, neurological conditions, and with a weak immune system.
- Children, especially those with medical conditions.
- Pregnant women
- Smoking and obesity also increase your vulnerability to COVID-19.
What are the recovery and mortality rates of COVID-19?
The recovery and mortality rates of COVID-19 varies from country to country. In India. As of June 27th, 2020, the recovery rate is 58 per cent. The mortality rate stands at 3 per cent. India stands in the fourth position among the worst affected countries in the world. However, the death rate is comparatively lower, and India ranks 8th.
Where to check the COVID-19 statistics in India?
You can check the COVID-19 statistics at theGovernment of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare official website. It provided detailed information on the active cases, cured cases and death rates. It also has other important resources such as Helpline numbers, travel advisories, FAQs etc. You can also visit this website to get state-wise and district-wise statistics.
What are the DONT’S?
- Avoid touching or being in close contact with people.
- Do not spit publicly.
- Avoid using public transport.
- Do not take self-treatment if you notice any symptoms.
- Do not put shoes on places where you touch. Have separate racks to keep shoes.
- Avoid visiting elderly people.
Note: This article has been written by Ms. T. N. Arya