There is a panic atmosphere everywhere with the news of coronavirus outbreak in several countries apart from the origin country China. A lot of questions are there in everyone's mind.
In this blog post I will cover the basic information, queries and protective measures you can take to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus infection.
What are coronaviruses?
It is a large family of viruses that get transmitted from animals to humans and human to human. Currently we are facing a newly identified strain which is novel coronavirus or (COVID-19).
Including COVID-19 there are seven coronaviruses that have affected humans so far and can cause health problems ranging from common cold to severe fatal diseases. Still various known coronaviruses are circulating in animals.
According to scientists, coronavirus is capable to mutate into two new forms one of which is said to be immune to vaccine. Coronavirus infects nose, throat or sinuses and attacks the respiratory system. It brings pneumonia like symptoms such as fever and difficult breathing.
The virus originated in Huanan seafood wholesales market in Wuhan city where both dead and live animals are sold. The market is very popular among the locals as one can get a variety of animals including snakes, fishes, birds, rats, peacocks, beavers, dogs, wolf cubs and foxes.
Live animals are kept in cages and slaughtered on your order. You can well imagine how difficult it would be to maintain the standard hygienic conditions here.
It is still not confirmed which animal has the virus come from, but it is believed it has spread through bats. Experts said that snakes can also be the host animal of the virus as they are known carriers of coronaviruses.
How the virus spread?
The main carriers of Coronavirus are respiratory droplets. It spreads when you come in contact with an infected person and inhale the droplets that come out when the person speaks, coughs or sneezes.
Also chances for transmission of virus increases when you touch your face, nose or eyes with your hands after coming in contact with a contaminated surface which could be a doorknob or someone else's phone.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Coronavirus can cause illness ranging from mild cold to fatal diseases that could end up taking lives. People who are exposed to virus have reported to suffer from fever, cough and shortness of breath.
In such cases, antibiotics didn't work. The only barrier for the virus is a strong immune system. A healthy and strong immune system increases the chances of recovery for an infected person. Most of the people died of coronavirus are said to have in already poor health.
It is rightly said that precautions are better than cure. So basic protective measures for corona virus are as follows:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand wash or simply with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to kill viruses/germs that may be present on the hands.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with your hands.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue while coughing and sneezing and throw the tissue into dustbin after use. If you don't have tissue, then use your elbow instead of hands while coughing and sneezing.
- Always cook meat thoroughly.
- Don't be in proximity to anyone who is showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
- Use face masks to protect yourself from tiny respiratory droplets while going out.
- If you have returned from any place that is infected from coronavirus, stay at home for at least 14 days and don't come close to anyone.
- If you have fever, shortness of breathing or coughing, don't wait. Immediately see a doctor. Stay indoors until the doctor advices.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces at home such as doorknobs, handrail, switch boards etc. with a disinfectant.
As per WHO COVID-19 virus can survive for few hours or several days depending upon the environment and surface material specially frequently touched hard surfaces. Therefore, washing hands frequently with alcohol-based soap and wiping the common surfaces with a cleaning spray is a good idea to stay protected.
I have tried to cover the basic information of coronavirus here, but I know there would still be many questions on your mind regarding COVID-19. I will come up with some more information soon.
Till then take very good care of your health and be aware of all the precautionary measures to stay away and protect others from covid-19.