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Coronavirus Outbreak: Everything You Need To Know

All About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is Coronavirus?

The entire world has come to a standstill like never before. All of this was caused by a virus that has rapidly across the world. The virus is called as coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are the name of a virus family under which there are multiple individual viruses. These mainly cause illness in animals or human beings. When a human being gets this virus it majorly attacks the respiratory function that causes something as simple as the common cold to very dangerous diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The latest disease discovered because of coronavirus is COVID-19.

What is (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is the latest disease that is caused by a coronavirus that was found recently. This disease causes the infected person to have a running nose, throat infection, difficulty in breathing, etc. which could for some human beings turn fatal as well.

The COVID-19 name comes from CO- corona VI- virus D- disease and 19 – 2019 (the year the disease started)

How Did This Outbreak Occur?

The first outbreak of coronavirus which is COVID-19 started in the wet market of Wuhan, China in Dec 2019. This market sells a wide variety of sea creatures and birds. Because the place was packed with animals and was butchered in the same place, it was difficult to maintain uniform hygiene. Through one of the animals or birds, this virus jumped into human working in the vicinity.
As COVID-19 is a contagious disease and spreads through contact of nasal or mouth fluid, the disease spread rapidly and as of now, around 123 countries have coronavirus with 137000 positive cases and 5088 deaths.

Symptoms of COVID-19?

Most of the diseases that occur due to coronavirus is primarily on the respiratory functions and body parts. So the nose, throat, lungs, and breathing are what gets affected when the person’s contract COVID-19.

Below mentioned are the symptoms of COVID-19

1. Fever

The person infected with COVID-19 starts having mild to high fever. But if the person is just having fever and no other symptoms, chances are the person is having flu rather than corona

2. Cough

A person infected with COVID-19 will have a sore throat and have a consistent dry cough. Again if it’s just the cough then it might not be corona but if it is fever and dry cough then it could be the virus infection

3. Running Nose

Along with the fever and dry cough, the person infected with coronavirus will have a continuously running nose.

4. Breathing Issues

Along with running nose, the person with COVID-19 will have breathing problem due to congested nose of just having difficulties to take deep breaths

5. Diarrhea

Some humans along with the symptoms like fever, cough and breathing issues can also have diarrhea.

How COVID-19 Spreads

The biggest issue with the recent disease COVID-19 caused by coronavirus is that it is contagious and that’s the reason this disease spread across the world like wildfire.

Below mentioned are how COVID-19 spreads.

1. Staying within 6 feet of COVID-19 patients

When you stay within 6 feet of COVID-19 patient without wearing a mask and washing your hand with sanitizer then there is a high probability of the virus transmitting to you.

2. Shaking hands with COVID-19 patients

This virus spreads or jumps from one person to another through physical contact. So if you shake hands or touch the COVID-19 patient and subsequently touch your face or eyes, this virus will get transmitted to you.

3. Standing near when the COVID-19 patient sneezes or coughs

This coronavirus spreads through fluids that come out when the affected person sneezes or coughs. Hence when you stand near the person when he/she sneezes or coughs then you could get the disease by accidentally inhaling the same fluid.

4. Touching the objects/places used by COVID-19 patients

Just like touching the patient, if the person has sneezed or coughed without covering it, then the fluid will stay on objects & places in and around the person. When a regular person touches them and subsequently touches his face or eyes, this virus gets into that person.

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 is a pandemic and has been declared the same by WHO as well. Hence it is very important to take all the necessary precautions to avoid getting infected by the virus.

Below mentioned are some of the measures that you need to strictly follow to stay safe and away from COVID-19:

1. Wash your hands regularly

The COVID-19 spreads from touching the infected patient or places where the patient might have sneezed or coughed. Hence when you go out of your home for work and come back, make sure you wash your hands with sanitizer or soaps for at least 20 secs to kill and clean any virus that might have come on hands.

2. Stay away from public gathering

As this virus is highly contagious, public gatherings make it one of the most vulnerable places where you can go. Hence it is very strongly advised to no go to any public gathering places like shopping malls, movie theatre, etc.

3. Maintain at least 6 feet distance from people

If you have no other option but to go out in public gathering place then make sure you maintain a 6 feet distance from other people. This will keep you safe from getting the virus through the infected person.


How To Protect Others From COVID-19

If you are unfortunately the one who has contracted COVID-19, then it is very important to take precautions to make sure this virus does not spread to your near and dear ones.

Below mentioned are the measures you need to take to keep your loved ones safe.

1. Self Isolation

If you have contracted COVID-19 then the first thing you need to do is practice self-isolation. As this is a contagious disease, stay away from others is the best thing you can do to contain the virus and stopping it from spreading.

2. Wear Mask

As this virus spreads through fluids from nose and mouth, if you are infected, you should wear a mask. Wearing a mask is the best way to contain the virus.

3. Keep Distance

Do not come in contact or touch anyone as this can make the virus spread to other people. Maintain a distance of 6 feet with everyone. Do not go to any public place until you are cured of COVID-19

Is There a Vaccine?

No. As the COVID-19 disease is very recent, research on developing a vaccine is in the process but currently, there are no vaccines for this virus. The development of vaccines takes a significant time as after the development it needs to be tested on animals first and then it will be tested on a live patient. Only when all these processes achieve success, the vaccine would be mass-produced for the general public.

Is There a Treatment?

Not yet. There is no direct treatment for COVID-19 per se but doctors can treat the patient by giving the medicines specific to the symptoms, for example, medicines for the common cold, sore throat can be given to cure it.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The doctor can determine if your signs and symptoms are explained by other causes, or there is a reason to suspect that you might have contracted COVID-19. The test conducted for COVID-19 is called “PCR tests” which takes swabbed samples from the patient’s nose and throat. If the test gives a positive result then you have COVID-19.

Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?

No. Although COVID-19 and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that happened in 2003 are closely related genetically as they come from the same family of the virus which is Corona they are very different from each other. In comparison to COVID-19, SARS was deadlier but was not as infectious as COVID-19. There has been no outbreak of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.

Should I Wear a Mask to Protect Myself?

You should wear a mask only if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are taking care of someone who has COVID-19. Otherwise, you don’t need to wear a mask and you are wasting a mask. Masks are very crucial and unnecessary usage of them has already caused an acute shortage of them. Hence don’t use them unless you fall under the category mentioned above.

How To Put On, Use, Take Off And Dispose Of A Mask?

Clean your hands with sanitizer which has alcohol before even touching the mask. Once you take it first check If the mask is in proper condition and see if there are any holes. Then check for the mask orientation to understand which is the top side. Place the mask on your face and pinch the metal strip so that the mask adapts to the nose.

Make sure you pull the mask down to cover the entire mouth properly. After use, which is 24hours for a disposable mask, carefully remove it without touching your clothes or anything else and dump it in a dustbin. After you have disposed of, clean your hands again with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap in case your hands are soiled.

About The Author

Skin Specialist in Pune

Dr Niteen Dhepe is a Board Certified Dermatologist and has developed himself as a pioneer in field of Cosmetic Dermatology and Lasers in India. He is the biggest entrepreneur in contemporary dermatology world of India.

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