Coronavirus in Bihar! Things you need to know about COVID-19


What is Coronavirus?

  • Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARs (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus. This particular coronavirus stain which has been affecting people currently is called SARs COV-2. This causes a disease called COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease- 2019).
  • The incubation period (that means the time period when the person is infected to when he/she first shows the symptoms) of this type of coronavirus is 14 days. So, that means an infected person can move around infecting others for 14 days before he she actually realizes about their own illness.

Image Courtesy: Aljazeera

Coronavirus: First Signs and Symptoms.

First signs of this disease were seen in Wuhan, China.

  • People who were affected showed the following symptoms: respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
  • About how a persona catches this disease is similar to how we catch any respiratory disease, like how we catch a common cold.
  • This disease is highly transmittable; the virus travels through droplets when one coughs or sneezes.

Image Courtesy: BBC

Basic Precautions that everyone should take.

  • As one of the main vectors of disease is air, using face masks is highly recommended.
  • Dispose these masks on a regular interval
  • Use hand sanitizers when you touch some alien surface which is touched by many people.
  • Wash your hands whenever possible.
  • If possible avoid meeting people who have recently returned back from an epidemic area and haven’t got themselves thoroughly checked.
  • Avoid trips and tours.
  • Avoid public gathering if you live an epidemic region or your region has reported cases of COVID-19
  • Do not panic, be cautious but don’t lose calm about this disease.

Image Courtesy: Worldometers.info

The myths and questions surrounding this disease.

·       Cold weather and snow CAN kill the new coronavirus.

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

·       Taking a hot bath does prevent the new coronavirus disease

Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

·       The new coronavirus can be transmitted through goods manufactured in China or any country reporting COVID-19 cases.

Even though the new coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures. If you think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

·  The new coronavirus CAN be transmitted through mosquito bites.

To date, there has been neither information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Image Courtesy: Worldometers.info

· How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.

However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

· Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?

No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.

· Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.

· Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against

·  Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Image Courtesy: Worldometers.info

· Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

·  Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

·  Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care.

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Who to visit if you think you have this virus?

  • No specific cure has been found yet for COVID-19.
  • If in doubt get yourself checked at a good hospital, follow the line of treatment they suggest.
  • Get yourself checked don’t try to neglect the upper mentioned symptom.

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Quote of the day-“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
― Roy T. Bennett

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