How to live with the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak?
With the whole world on a massive panic alert about the recently discovered strain of Coronavirus COVID-19, you must be on your toes! Read on to know how to live with the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak.
What we know about the saga of Coronavirus, so far?
Reports in late 2019 about an unidentified viral flu were made which was assumed to be linked with the Coronavirus strain. The viral strain was believed to have emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan. later on, it was suspected that the viral outbreak was a result of a failed lab experiment in China, although there is no evidential proof supporting both reports. so far, it is confirmed that the strain is not man-made and have originated from nature.
On Jan 7, scientists identified the pathogen as a new Coronavirus.
Since then, the virus has managed to reach other countries, both in and outside Asia. Government authorities described this as an outbreak and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the situation to be a public health emergency.
To date, the novel Coronavirus strain has caused 78,191 infections in China and 2,918 across 37 other world countries. In China alone, the virus has claimed 2,718 lives. It also led to one fatality in the Philippines.
Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans.
How to live around the epidemic?
You should know what you are dealing with first.
The nCoV is a new strain of Coronavirus that has been recently discovered in humans. Earlier, it was not identified as a viral strain that could infect humans. World health organization has introduced the Coronavirus as the novel viral strain belonging to a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
The mode of transmission of Coronaviruses is from a primary animal to an intermediate host, which then finally gets transmitted to humans.
How it spreads?
Coronavirus spreads from the carrier animal to the intermediate host. When humans come in close contact with the infected animals, they contract the virus. Infected humans are the main source of spreading of virus between humans. When a healthy person comes in close proximity to the infected one and takes in their liquid droplets in the form of cough or sneeze, they become infected too.
Though not completely supported, some theories point out that the virus may accumulate on a surface or get carried around with dust particles. Touching or coming in contact with such areas may result in contracting it.
What are the symptoms that an infected person show?
The symptoms start appearing after 2- 14 days of exposure. You might be affected if you show these symptoms:
Some common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and breathing problems. Fever, cough.
When conditions persist untreated, severe infections can cause Pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome and in most severe cases- death!
Prevention and treatment:
Prevention is better than cure. And in this case, there is no cure so far. Hence, the best possible way to combat this disease is to avoid exposure.
National Centre for Disease Control has recommended preventive measures against Coronavirus. These includes:
Follow good hygiene practice. Thoroughly wash your hands after coming from outside. Wash properly for at least 1 minute.
Do not come in contact with a person who is visibly showing signs and symptoms of coughing and sneezing.
Wear special protective masks around infected people. If you work in a medical facility, wear protective gears issued to all medical centres.
Keep your distance with a sick family member. It is recommended to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet while interacting with them.
If you are taking care of a sick family member, then wear protective gears such as masks, gloves. Discard them after use to prevent further transmissions.
You never know which area is susceptible to the virus, hence avoid touching your face, especially eyes.
Cook animal products properly. Abstain from consuming raw or undercooked meat and eggs.
Stay home if you are sick. Preventive measures work both ways. Try to remain quarantined until you get your results for CoV-19 back clear. Try to make arrangements to work remotely or from home.
While coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with a tissue, then discard it properly.
Keep your surroundings clean and clear of any visible grime. Get the best disinfecting products and regularly keep the most susceptible places clean.
Follow NCDC recommendations for using a face mask.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Get yourself tested early. The symptoms of the virus remain dormant and the infected person doesn’t show any signs of the disease for over 2 weeks. Your near-by hospitals must have arranged special testing centres for CoV-19. You should go ahead and get your tests done. It won’t count as being over-cautious if you decide to jump the gun.
Shoulder your social responsibilities:
You have certain responsibilities towards society to fulfil. Speaking with this context, you should uphold your side of the duties by spreading awareness and correct information about the disease.
Avoid infodemic- an epidemic caused by information(mostly false). Do not create or participate in any sort of false allegations or rumours. The public is already stressed enough.
We all know what happened when the Chinese authorities in Wuhan suppressed all the initial danger alerts for CoV-19. People don’t like to be kept in the dark. The local authorities need to make any sort of related alerts transparent and maintain decorum.
The Government of India is raising awareness and implementing preventive measures all over the nation. It is the ultimate responsibility of local authorities and state officials to make accurate information accessible to the public, and also to avoid panic and misinformation. They should also keep a check on any false rumours or baseless claims made on the areas affected or death toll in various regions.
Rumors such as Coronavirus being a man-made strain is widely dismissed by the scientists worldwide. Any conspiracy theories related to the virus being a failed bioweapon should be dismissed at all costs.
Keep yourself updated on the current news and follow only the reliable source available on the web.