‘Coronavirus disease 2019’ – is the most spoken about, ever since its discovery in December 2019. Coronavirus has filled the air with disease, myths and speculations. The internet is painted with information about coronavirus. You can find loads of people talking about the symptoms, protective measures, and treatments too. Since it is such a new disease, very little is known about the treatment. That being said, there aren’t any vaccines available either. The coronavirus has taken us all by surprise. All this has contributed towards it now being declared pandemic. So, like every responsible human being, let’s first get educated about the infamous novel coronavirus.
Virus: Friend or Foe?
Viruses are small biological agents. They can stay and multiply inside anything living like plants, animals and us humans too! We can even exchange these viruses through food or even touch. Though infamous for causing diseases, not all viruses pose a threat to humans. Of the thousands of viruses that exist, only some can result in disease. And of those, only some lead to death.
Coronavirus: What’s New?
Coronaviruses are a huge family of viruses. Some members can cause simply a cold. Some on the other hand can be more dangerous causing diseases which are more severe like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). This family is once again in the spotlight. A new member has been discovered which causes a disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China. It is believed to have come in contact to humans through a live animal at a fish market. Since then, it has spread to approximately 140 countries including Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, USA, and India. The coronavirus has sent a wave of panic across the world.
Coronavirus Disease 2019: What Does it Do?
In most cases, the coronavirus stays in the throat producing milder symptoms similar to the flu and respiratory distress. In severe cases, it attacks the lungs, causing pneumonia, organ failure and possibly death. This however is more unlikely with the mortality rate being very low. So, the situations is not that bad! It is easier to catch COVID-19 if you have a weak immunity. This is because the body will not be strong enough to fight it. Which is why people of old age are more at risk as compared to other age groups.
Coronavirus: Telltale Signs
Since coronavirus affects the respiratory system, most of the symptoms include those like that of the flu. It causes symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, fever, chest pain, headache and others. But remember to not panic! For all you know, it maybe just a simple cold or flu. So if you feel like you have the symptoms, just contact your nearest medical facility.
Precautions: Keep in Touch? Maybe -Not so Much!
Although it was initially contracted from an animal source, it became clear quite early that coronavirus was spreading through humans which now is officially pandemic. To ensure the spread of the virus is contained, it is important that we follows certain guidelines. The Ministry of AYUSH has issued an advisory detailing the ways and means to inhibit COVID-19.
- Maintain personal, social and respiratory hygiene.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Stay at home if you feel sick.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands.
- Keep a safe distance (about a meter) from a person having any viral infection.
- Cough or sneeze on a tissue and correctly dispose of the same.
- Use masks while in public to avoid droplet transmission, but do not rely on these completely.
- If anyone in your neighborhood has travelled to any of the high-risk countries in the last 15 days and are hiding their visit, report the case.
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe!
Following all the guidelines and precautions may still make you wonder what more you can do. The answer is to stay healthy. As mentioned, a major portion of affected individuals includes those with low immunity. So maintaining good health works as the first step towards prevention. Stay calm and follow a balanced lifestyle. Sleep irregularities, stress, and physical lethargy all contribute to imbalances in the body. These in turn may affect your immunity and make you weak.
Do not be afraid to seek medical help even if in doubt. If infected, know that you can be taken care of. You will be quarantined for 2 weeks. After the symptoms and virus are gone, you will be removed from quarantine. Stay calm through the process and help your body heal.