Tackling Coronavirus through simple yet effective measures

The news of Coronavirus Infection was reported in January this year from Wuhan, China. The panic rampantly spread all over the globe until now. 2809 patients have died from this infection, more than 2700 from China alone and mortality is yet continued but the good news is that more than 32000 patients have also recovered from it because 80 percent its patients have recovery rate.

This infection is most dangerous for old age people specifically with weak immunity and only two percent infected patients show serious health condition. However, there are 82500 patients suffering from it. In Pakistan two persons have been detected with the infection one from Karachi and other from Islamabad.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

According to research, Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Simple practices can help contain coronavirus. Although there is no need to get annoyed but the severity of the matter cannot be ignored; it yet may be another mistake. For this a coordinated plan is the need of hour at national and international level. The infection can be controlled and patients be recovered only if state machinery help assist them.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The symptoms of infection appear maximum in 14 days.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue.

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful:

Smoking, Taking traditional herbal remedies, Wearing multiple masks, Taking self-medication such as antibiotics.

In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider. While World Health Organization (WHO) is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Remember, a mask should only be used by health workers, caretakers, and individuals with respiratory symptoms, such as fever and cough and common people are not needed the masks.

Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes. Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is). Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the colored side). Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.

Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin. After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.

Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water. Shortages of Masks are leading to panic. Mouth masks have become rare commodities and were sold even 50 times expensive. Use disposable handkerchief or tissue. Don’t worry and don’t panic. It is an infection and it will be controlled.

Concluding, If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose because according to a survey, a person normally touches his face 23 times a day. Avoid shake hands or hugging others as precautionary measures.

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