If we look at any new channel or even any newspapers there is one subject that is grabbing all the headlines today. Yes, we are talking about coronavirus. It is new virus infection that is sweeping across the entire world. It is believed that this disease also known as COVID-19 in medical terms has already affected 180 countries across the world. It is creating huge panic amongst billions of people across the world.
According to official figures released from various countries of the world, around 500,000 people have been impacted by this viral infection and the numbers are galloping at rapid speed. It also has resulted in the death of around 20,000 people across the world.
Recent history perhaps has not seen such a devastating pandemic disease that is turning the world upside down in terms of health and also economic stability. As the world struggles to find its feet, there is no doubt that we are passing through one of the toughest times in our history. Hence, it would be interesting to know more about this infectious disease, its symptoms, the possible treatments and do’s and don’ts for overcoming this problem.
What Is Coronavirus
This is basically an infectious disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus. This virus spreads through droplets of discharge or saliva from the nasal cavities of an infected person. This happens when the infected person sneezes. it also could spread through the mouth when a person coughs.
The main method of infection is through the droplets of infected persons that may land on your body, face, hands and other parts of the body. If you use a hand that has been infected and touch your mouth, nose or eyes, it is highly possible that you will end being infected by the virus. The virus is also known to be alive in various surfaces for different periods of time. These surfaces include:
■ wood and other such surfaces
Hence, you must be careful when you touch these surfaces to prevent spread of the disease to yourself and also other members of the family.
What Are Symptoms of COVID-19?
Each disease and illness comes with its own symptoms and coronavirus also has no exceptions to the rule. However, the problem with the treatment of this virus is that the symptoms are almost similar to other illnesses and infections like common cold & cough, headache, flu and other such diseases. Hence, it would be wrong to be careless about the symptoms and associate the same with common cold or cough or even flue. This is because many of the symptoms associated with coronavirus overlap with other common and are less dangerous diseases.
Coming to specifics of the symptoms, the infected persons may continue to remain asymptomatic for around two weeks or fifteen days. On the other side, there could be many people who may start showing symptoms from day three or day five. The symptoms are almost same as flu and could include dry cough and fever.
In some very rare cases, sore throat and nasal blocks have also been repeated. In almost 80% of the cases, the symptoms begin and end here and the patients recover fully because of the powerful immune system of the body. However, in around 20% of people, mostly elderly people above sixty, there could be severe chest infections coupled with difficulty in breathing. These people require special care and hospitalization where they may require artificial respiratory support ventilators. They also would require oxygen support because of improper functioning of the lungs.
What are Death Rates?
We would like to mention here that the overall death rates are still around 3 to 4% across the world, though it is quite high in some European countries like Italy, Spain and Iran. As we read this article, even the USA is facing severe problems in terms of galloping death rates.
Based on limited information available, there are some common patterns as far as death rates across age groups are concerned. Infants and babies below the age of five are perhaps more immune to coronavirus when compared to people above the age of 20. The death rate amongst infants and children is just around 0.20 per 1000 compared to around 5 per 1000 in case of elderly people above the age of 70. Therefore, on the whole it is quite obvious that if the right treatment is given at the right time, the chances of death get reduced quite significantly.
Who Are At Risk?
Elderly statesmen and women above the age of 60 are at a higher risk as far as coronavirus is concerned. Senior citizens especially those with pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and weakened immune system because of cancer are the ones who must be careful if they test positive for Covid-19. Those who regularly consume alcohol and cigarettes are also at higher risk of contacting this virus.
What Are Treatments?
Most of the treatments are focused towards addressing the symptoms associated with covid-19 infection. This is because there is no medicine that can treat this virus right now. However, many doctors believe that the generic medicine hydroxychloroquine could help in slowing down the spread of the virus. However, the drug should be given to the patients based on doctor’s prescription because of the possible side effect risk that it carries.
Instead of going by reviews about various methods of treating coronavirus a better option would be to show a doctor, or get in touch with a local hospital or nursing home and let them handle things. It would be dangerous to get into self-medication and at best one could take some medicines for containing fever. They include OTC drugs like Tylenol.
How To Prevent From Infection?
Social distancing, self-quarantining (in case of doubt of infection) and other such things are the best ways to stay away from the risk of this disease. Further, regular washing of hands with quality soap or alcohol-based sanitizer is another preventive step. When coughing or sneezing, it would be better to use a handkerchief of tissue paper.
Many countries have gone in for complete lockdown. Though it certainly is a very painful and difficult situation, it would be better to adhere to the instructions of the state because it might help to slow down the spread of coronavirus and give time to the health infrastructure to put more treatment facilities in place.
To sum up, there is no doubt that coronavirus is a big challenge to modern day civilization. As the medical industry struggles to find a cure or vaccine, the only option now seems to be in a proactive mode and stop the spread of infection from one person to another.