CORONA – All That You Need to Know About the Global Pandemic

Posted by on Friday, April 10, 2020

What is CoronaVirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause different  illnesses like the common cold to the more severe ones like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The currently prevalent Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been identified earlier in humans.

What are the common signs of this infection (COVID-19)?

Individuals infected with COVID-19 would exhibit these symptoms – Fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. 

In cases where the infection is severe, this can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, multiple organ failure, and even death.  It is noted that it takes anywhere between one and 14 days for a person infected with COVID-19 to exhibit symptoms.

How does it transmit?

The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person under all these circumstances – 

  • When an infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets fall on another one.
  • When a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, nose, or  eyes

People who show clear symptoms of infection are contagious and can transmit the virus as specified above. However asymptomatic people can also be carriers who can transmit the virus before they finally start to show the symptoms or may not show any if they have good immunity that helps them overcome it. Older adults and people with health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.  The virus has been spreading easily and sustainably in different parts of the world and has assumed the form of a community spread.

Precautions to Protect Yourself and Your Family – 

Personal hygiene and Social distancing are said to be the two most important precautionary measures. 

Your Preamble to Personal hygiene

  • Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, every time you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze; or use the restroom and before you prepare food or eat. 
  • Never touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When sick, always stay home and isolate yourself from other family members.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover it with a tissue and then discard it.

Social distancing –  Maintain at least 1,8 meters (six feet) between yourself and others. This is mandatory if the other person exhibits any symptoms of cold like cough, sneeze and touch your face only after thoroughly cleaning your hands. Though there is no evidence of transmission of the virus from pets at home, it is better to avoid close contact.

Countries Affected – 

This Epidemic has made inroads in countries all around the world. Listing a few countries where this has infected few thousands of people are: China, Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Corona in India – 

In India the total number of confirmed cases is 5734 (as on 09/04/2020) . In Tamil Nadu the number of cases tested positive for Covid-19 is 709 and the state is taking stringent measures to curb the spread of the disease. 

Vaccines & Drugs for Covid 19 – Big Pharmaceutical companies across the globe are engaged in the process of developing a vaccine for this virus. No specific vaccine has been tested completely and approved. Few countries have tried the usage of specific drugs on the patients and have found some success, though this varies from case to case. 

China – Favilavir, the first approved coronavirus drug 

United States – Chloroquine, a drug used to treat malaria and arthritis, were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested as a treatment for COVID-19

JapanFavipiravir, flu drug used in Japan is effective to a large extend

India – Has used TamiFlu and permission has also been given to use HIV antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 in case of a public health emergency. A mix of medications lopinavir and ritonavir, and another one of chloroquine  and oseltamivir have also been used.

 However, since no particular medicine is 100% effective, prevention is the best medicine at this moment.

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