Coronavirus- All you need to know!
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
What is Corona virus?
A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous. Often a coronavirus causes upper respiratory infection symptoms like a stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat. You can treat them with rest and over-the-counter medication. The coronavirus can also cause middle ear infections in children.
If Corona Virus is not dangerous, then why should we be panicked?
In early January 2020, the World Health Organization identified a new type: 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. By late January, there were 300 confirmed cases in China and a death count that was still in the single digits, but rising. There has been confirmed cases in USA and many people who had travelled overseas are placed under observation or quarantine in India too. Till the date this article has been written , we don’t have any confirmed cases in India.
What are symptoms of Corona Virus?
The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection, including runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes a fever. In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease, or people with weakened immune systems.
Are there any vaccines to prevent Corona Virus Infection?
Unfortunately there are no vaccines for preventing corona virus infection. That’s why we have to be careful not to get the infection in the first place.
How to prevent Corona Virus infection?
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Avoid close contact with people who are infected.
You treat a coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold:
Get plenty of rest.
A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat.
Treat fever and other symptoms in consultation with a physician.
Please re-visit this blog for more information on Corona virus as we will be updating as more information comes in.
UPDATES as on 03/03/2020
Washing Your Hands Is Best Defense Against Coronavirus, Not A Facemask
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.
Wash before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.Be sure to wash your thumbs, wrists and between your fingers, the most commonly missed places.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and face.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick or exhibit symptoms.Stay home when you are sick.
If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and disinfect your hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or an alcohol wipe.
Should I wear a mask?
It depends. N95 masks are in demand because they filter out 95% of all airborne particles, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet the agency has noted that only people with coronavirus symptoms should use protective masks as a measure to help contain the disease.
They are also recommended for health workers and others caring for infected patients.
The CDC does not recommend healthy people to wear facemasks.
How bad is the situation?
There have been at least 82,056 confirmed cases worldwide and 2,800 deaths — the vast majority in China. Experts says it’s good to remember that more than 80% of those cases have been mild, requiring little to no medical intervention, and it is much less deadly than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which are also coronaviruses.
Author Dr Rahul Padmanabhan is a consultant in Geriatrics and Gerontology based in Coimbatore.
Source: CDC website