Coronavirus(COVID-19): Causes, symptoms and treatments
The deadly COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the coronavirus has wreaked havoc all over the world. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions regarding its spread, symptoms and preventive measures.
Coronavirus: What is it?
To the layman, it sounds like a highly contagious disease which has affected more than 100,000 people in around 97 countries. In reality, the novel coronavirus or the COVID-19 is a family of viruses which originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It may have spread from person-to-person or through animals though the chance of the latter occurring is more of a rarity. The disease is also said to have a 3.4% mortality rate according to the WHO as of March 3rd, 2020. It has also resulted in a global death toll of more than 3,800 people.
Causes, Symptoms and Preventive Measures
The disease can affect a person in two ways depending on its severity. In case it is mild in nature, the most common symptoms include fever, dry cough and fatigue. Some patients also experience a runny nose, diarrhea, sore throat as well as body aches. If it is deadly or serious, it might lead to difficulty in breathing and in extreme cases, death. This is usually if the person is either old or has a weak immune system.
The method by which the virus spreads is similar to that of the common cold. It is an airborne disease and spreads as tiny droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person. A healthy person can become a victim either by inhaling these droplets or by physically touching a surface where these droplets may have landed.
What are the chances of you getting infected?
It depends upon where you are located. In some countries such as China, South Korea, Iran and Italy, the numbers are huge. This has led to drastic measures by the government like shutting down schools and other public places, and sometimes even quarantining entire cities. But in India, the toll is relatively low, just about 40 confirmed cases. The World Health Organization has called it worse than the SARS epidemic of 2003.
Countries are doing their best to reduce its spread by providing immediate healthcare to all as well as keeping their citizens regularly informed about the disease.
Dos and Don’ts
- Clean your hands, regularly and thoroughly, by washing it with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizers.
- Try to practice respiratory hygiene as well.
- Use face masks though it only reduces the chances of you getting infected.
- Inform local officials if you have visited any of the infected countries recently.
- Go outside in case you experience any of the symptoms (If you cannot do that, you should avail medical help as soon as possible).
- Spread misinformation regarding its spread or cure.
The spread of the virus is large as the numbers indicate. It has led to disruption, devastation and worse, death. It seems as if we cannot escape this dilemma but we mustn’t lose hope. Even though these are trying times, there is nothing that is impossible if the world acts in a united, global manner.