The current outbreak of the new 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) has taken hold of several major countries across the world. China, its origin country, South Korea, Italy and Iran are some of the heavily impacted regions
The panic spread in India with the case of 15 Italian tourists, and their Indian driver, getting infected. You can find the current number of reported cases on the Government of India website. To keep the spread in check, the government is taking preventive measures such as universal screening of travellers on airports. Several labs are expected to open for testing and researching on the n-CoV.
Amidst all this, several healthcare experts have been releasing updates to keep the public informed and ready. Information on coronavirus is floating everywhere, and it is for the people to read and take precautionary measures to prevent themselves from getting the virus.
In this blog, we take a deep dive into everything you need to know about COVID-19, right from its symptoms, to how it gets transmitted, and what are some strict do’s and don’ts for prevention.
2019 n-CoV is from the large family of coronaviruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). And the worst thing about this new virus is that it has no conspicuous symptoms.
Mild health problems—such as coughing, sneezing, fever and difficulty in breathing are some of the symptoms of the infection. However in certain cases, there might be no symptoms at all. The infected may be a carrier of the virus, without being infected themselves, infecting several others in the process. Alternatively, the infected may develop severe cases like pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, even leading to death.
So if you are dealing with cough and cold in this weather, the only way to know whether you are coronavirus infected or not, is to consult with a healthcare professional. So far, there is no standard, direct test for 2019 n-Cov. But, the virus can be detected by running a series of tests.
The researchers are yet to uncover the exact dynamics of the transmission of the virus. However, here are a few channels through which it happens
Here are a few tips for you to protect yourself from the epidemic:
Wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water. Scrub carefully between the fingers and around the nails. Use hand wash, sanitizer and alcohol sterilizers to clean your hands, and don’t touch your nose or mouth otherwise.
Keep a safe distance from sick people
Avoid direct physical contact with sick people, especially from those who have flu, cold, cough or respiratory problems.
Cover your mouth
Keep your mouth covered with masks, cloth, or tissue papers when you are around someone who is coughing or sneezing. Also, if you are sick, use medical masks. To sterilize the mask or cloth, warm it up.
Heat up your food thoroughly
The virus can be transmitted by consuming infected animal products. The virus can not survive at high temperatures. Thus, you should heat up your food properly before consuming it.
Seek medical care
Always have early medical care from the healthcare professions even in cases of normal, mild symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever or having difficulty breathing. Self preventive care is helpful in these cases.
A list of things you should avoid:
Touching your face
The virus enters our body through the nose and mouth. Your hands can be infected if you have touched an infected place, especially in public places. Thus, avoid touching your face before washing them properly.
Direct contact with animals
Avoid unnecessary, direct contact with animals. The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. So, if you have pets, you need to take care of hygiene properly.
Don’t travel when you are sick
Make sure you are healthy before traveling. If you are not, seek medical care, immediately. Avoid going to public places, buses, and sharing taxis if you have a fever, coughing, sneezing.
Don’t take medicines without prescription
Eating normal antibiotics doesn’t help in 2019 n-CoV infection. You should only take the medicines prescribed by a healthcare professional if you are feeling unwell.
As always, prevention is better than cure. And keeping in mind the above tips can do the trick, protecting you and your close ones from the coronavirus infection. Stay healthy, and take care!