Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can lead to sicknesses like the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the world, the understanding of what causes this disease continues to evolve. Detected initially in China, it has quickly spread across the globe to every continent apart from Antarctica. This in turn has triggered a pandemic designation by the World Health Organization. While the virus is called SARS-CoV-2, the disease caused by it has been named COVID-19.
The Known and the Unknown
There is still much to be understood about the complete clinical picture because this virus is still new to scientists. COVID-19 has mild to life-threatening clinical manifestations, according to doctors at a well-known COVID19 treatment hospital Coimbatore. However, many people have been able to recover without any approved treatment. Believed to have originally occurred from animal-to-person contact, the disease now spreads person-to-person, although people in the community are now developing this infection without any known prior exposure. Scientists all around the world are working around the clock to help understand how best to prevent, as well as treat this infection. Besides, in order to develop therapeutic medications and a vaccine, research becomes an indispensable tool to better understand the biology of the pathogen. There are steps that you can take to protect yourself and the others while we are still learning more about the evolution of COVID-19 and its clinical profile.
What is COVID-19
1. Symptoms are similar to the flu
The symptoms of COVID 19 include cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath. They can look very similar to influenza because the latter is also a viral respiratory infection. The only way to truly confirm the cause of the infection is a diagnosis, taken by a swab. However, data suggests that COVID-19 and influenza have different modes of spreading. Significant efforts at the initial onset of cases were dedicated to isolating those exposed to the virus because COVID-19 seems to transmit easily. No vaccines are available for COVID-19 unlike influenza. While scientists are working on development of treatment options and vaccines, some are already being tested.
2. Primary transmission is through droplets
The primary transmission of COVID-19 happens between people in close contact with one another. Through a sneeze or cough from someone who is showing symptoms of COVID 19, the virus can be transmitted in droplets that become airborne. The transmission of COVID-19 is similar to other respiratory viruses, the later being related to breathing. Often when an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus mainly spreads through small droplets. The virus does not seem to be transmitted through the fecal-oral route which means hand-to-mouth following direct contact with vomit or feces. Evidence says that certain microparticles can stay in the air after loud speaking or singing and cause infection. However, the incubation period (the window before symptoms occur) lasts an average of 5 days. Experts are unaware of how the virus transmits during the incubation period but believe that it is most likely to spread when an individual is showing symptoms. It is important to take preventive measures like avoiding touching your face, mouth and eyes and using proper hand hygiene.
3. Certain individuals are at a greater risk
Although the illness has generally been mild for young adults and children, certain populations are more at risk for serious illness. Individuals with underlying conditions such as lung and heart disease, and diabetes and elderly people are the most vulnerable populations. These people should take additional preventive measures such as avoiding crowded spaces and non-essential travel whenever possible.
4. Protect your family and yourself
The best COVID19 Treatment Hospital Coimbatore encourages everyone to exercise precaution in addition to staying informed. Follow these steps to help protect yourself and others from the spread of infection:
- Wash your hands: The best option is soap and water. Use hand sanitizer with an 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth or eyes: Wearing glasses or gloves will help remind you not to touch them.
- Cover coughs/sneezes, throw away used tissues immediately: Additionally, avoid sharing private items like eating utensils, bedding, towels, or glasses.
- Clean surfaces routinely: Disinfect and clean high-traffic areas, including sinks, handles and doorknobs.
5. Know what to do when you are sick
Monitor your symptoms carefully if you are feeling sick. If you have the symptoms for COVID-19, which can include shortness, cough, or fever; contact a physician at the best corona treatment hospital for guidance. Please remember –
- Because of the risk of infecting others, you should not go into your physician’s office first. Call your physician ahead instead, to discuss appropriate next steps.
- Unless you are seeking medical care, stay home.
- Try to restrict your movement away from others, to one area of the house. Disinfect and clean surfaces.
- Wear a face mask to avoid infecting others if you are exhibiting symptoms and do decide to seek help.
Go to the emergency department or call your doctor if you are having trouble breathing and need emergency care.
How likely is it that I’ll catch COVID-19?
Almost every place in the globe has been affected by COVID-19. Your chances of getting the disease are reasonably low if you aren’t in an area where COVID-19 is spreading locally. Take the risk seriously if your area has a high number of cases. Follow your local public health authority’s guidelines wherever you are. It is important to keep yourself informed as the situation is changing rapidly. According to professionals from the best corona viral treatment hospital, it is important to stay informed and take the same daily preventive measures as you would, to avoid any kind of infection.
Why are the symptoms of some people more serious than others?
4 out of 5 people have a mild to moderate illness and recover, although people of all ages can be infected with COVID-19. More likely to become seriously unwell are people over 60 years of age with pre-existing medical conditions. These conditions can include cardiovascular, high blood pressure or diabetes. Children, however, seem less affected.
Is the virus only spread by sick people?
COVID-19 can also be spread by people who have no symptoms. According to studies, people who do not get symptoms at all as well as people who don’t have symptoms yet, could be responsible for 40% to 60% of the infections. It seems that the day before they get symptoms is when people are most infectious.
For how long are people contagious with COVID-19?
Although the virus can be detected up to several people in samples from infected people, the virus isn’t necessarily active and infectious. According to one small study, the active virus swabs upto 8 days in sputum (mucus and saliva) samples and upto 4 days after symptoms onset in the throat.
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
A swab is taken by a professional from your upper respiratory tract, from the back of your throat through your nose or mouth. To detect genes from the virus, the swab is then analyzed in a lab. Rapid tests are more common now, and use respiratory swabs that can be analyzed where the person is tested. Antibody tests can identify possible immunity and infection.
Is there a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19?
Vaccine production is a time-consuming and complicated process. It usually takes years. Sometimes, pharmaceutical companies can accelerate this process like with new influenza viruses. The first vaccines are already being licensed, as COVID-19 is a very high priority.
It is being tested to see if COVID-19 vaccines could be made from pre-existing drugs for other diseases. These other diseases are malaria, ebola and HIV.
The Pandemic’s Effect on Mental Health
Self-isolation and quarantine are most likely to cause a negative impact on one’s mental health. Loss of freedom, uncertainty, boredom and separation from loved ones can cause a deteriorating mental health status. Measures at the societal and individual level are required to overcome this. Both children and adults are experiencing a mix of emotions under the current global situation. They can both be placed in an environment that is new and potentially damaging to their mental health.
More and more of us are making huge changes to our daily routines as countries introduce measures to restrict movement as part of efforts to reduce the number of people infected with COVID-19. Here are the key takeaway points from the questions answered above:
- Understanding the transmission patterns, clinical features, and management of COVID-19 are as important as understanding the effects of the COVID‐19 outbreak on the mental health of various populations.
- Taking a break from social and traditional media, involvement in different sports activities and healthy exercises and spending time with family members including elderly people and children can all help to overcome mental health issues.
- In the prevailing situation, public awareness campaigns focusing on the maintenance of mental health are urgently needed.