Coronavirus – the virus that originated from a “wet market” (which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds) in Wuhan, China, has managed to sneak to every corner of the world. As of now, 210 Countries and Territories around the world have reported a total of 2,656,391 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a death toll of 185,156 deaths.
Smallpox (15th – 17th centuries), Cholera (1817 – 1823), Spanish Flu, or H1N1 (1918 – 1919), SARS (2002 – 2003), Ebola (2014 – 2016) – as a human race, we have survived it all. History has taught us that together, through sheer determination and discipline, wars like these can be won.These are turbulent times but hope still prevails. Yes, there will be loss and mourning. Yes, we will have to sail the sea of grief and hardships to reach the shores of a disease free tomorrow. But we are armed and ready, with weapons of hygiene, discipline, awareness and will power. These will help us minimise the damage for this isn’t just about the survival of the fittest but also of the wisest. Staying informed can help you stay safe. After all, you cannot fight an enemy without having knowledge of it. Here is all you need to learn about COVID-19 so you can be better prepared to fight it.
What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by coronavirus. What is Coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In the case of humans, several corona viruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Today, this new virus has brought everything to a standstill. Every nation affected by it is making efforts around the clock to fight and overcome it.
How Does It Spread?
COVID-19 can be caught from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person. Droplets from the nose or mouth are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. One can catch COVID-19 if he/she breathes in these droplets. They are relatively heavy so they cannot not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. Hence, it is mandatory to stay at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces that we often come in contact with. If one touches these virus coated objects or surfaces, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, he/she may get infected. This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.
The most common corona symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. In the initial stages, these symptoms are usually mild. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
5 Simple Tips For Coronavirus Prevention:
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
1. Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This kills viruses that may be on your hands.
2. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
4. Follow good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Droplets spread viruses. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. To keep your body fit enough to fight the virus, search for some ‘health tips to boost immune system’ or ‘tips for maintaining good hygiene’ online.
5. Stay home and isolate yourself from the other members of your family if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
(Source of Information: World Health Organization)