Infection, prevention, and control commonly called IPC are the measurements set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that there is no further transmission of this novel Coronavirus to the health care workers, patients, and others in the community. In IPC measurements WHO define their outlines to tackle this deadliest Coronavirus in three steps. These outlines are important to stop the spreading of his deadliest virus. In the First outline, they basically clarify the virus in general like their mode of action and its transmission. In the second step, they highlight the Preparedness and Readiness to cope with the emergency situation. In the last outline, they highlight the Core component of IPC COVID guidance commonly called SOP.
So, start from the first outline, In the first outline, they basically define the virus in general including its structure, its mode transmission, its incubation period and the Symptoms of the infected person, but here we will discuss every step in detail to get complete knowledge of each IPC outline.
What is Coronavirus? Coronavirus commonly known as COVID-19 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA enveloped virus responsible for the respiratory infection in humans. In our previous decade, the two different pathogenic strains of this family cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Recently at the end of 2019, a novel strain of the coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 appeared in Wuhan, China is known as COVID-19. According to the statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 27 July 2020, they are more than 17 million affected persons while 666456 number of deaths reported worldwide. On the basis of its speed of spreading and affecting on 11 march, 2020 COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Structure and mode of transmission:
Coronaviruses (CoV) are zoonotic they equally infect wild animals and human beings. The novel SARS-CoV-2 has been reported to have a genetic structure with more than 80% similarity with SARS-CoV and 50% with MERS-CoV. Its structure consists of 4 types of proteins i.e. Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N), Membrane (M), and Envelope (E). The entry of CoV into the host cell is completed in a series of complicated steps including Receptor binding, proteolysis leading to virus-cell fusion. Receptor-binding occurs through S-protein which enables the virus to bind to the host membrane via Receptor-Binding Domains.
The S-protein of SARS-CoV & SARS-CoV-2 binds to the host cell through cellular receptor Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), whereas MERS-CoV utilizes Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP4). Besides upper respiratory tract and type, I and II alveolar epithelial cells of lungs ACE2 are frequently expressed in the heart, endothelial cells, enterocytes, kidney tubular epithelium, and pancreas. The transfer of the SARS-CoV-2 genome into the host cytosol is favored by certain factors of endosomal microenvironment such as low pH and availability of certain proteases including cathepsin-L. After the entrance of the virus genome into the cell, mature virions are formed as a result of viral replication leading to subsequent spread of the virus.
The incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those having different medical problems including heart disease, diabetes, lungs or respiratory disorders, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well aware of the COVID-19 virus, like how it causes and how it spreads.
In the second outline, World Health Organization highlights the Preparedness and Readiness to cope with the emergency situation.
Preparedness and Readiness are the actions that are actually taken before an emergency. If we talk about preparedness in the term of healthcare than, it is the knowledge, capacity, and the organizational system developed by the government response and recovery organizations and community and even individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to and recovery from the impacts of likely imminent, emerging or current emergencies. These actions will take place before an emergency and increase the abilities to respond to the emergency. And this would happen at all levels: national, regional, and facility level.
If we talk about readiness in the term of healthcare, readiness is the capacities and the system that should be in place to enable a rapid, effective response in a case of health emergency disaster and to be ready to aggressively contain the event before a further spread.
They are a few pillars of the public health response in readiness.
1=Country level Coordination, Planning, and monitoring.
2=Risk communication and community engagement.
3=Conduct Regularly operational review.
In the third outline, we will discuss the third outline set by WHO, and the core component of the IPC.
WHO recommended different IPC measures during health care when a person is suspicious or bring affected with a virus.
The recommendations are as follows: first, we encourage specific physical distancing. Next WHO recommended frequently hand hygiene (Wash Your hand 20 to 30 seconds to remove virus from Your Skin), especially after direct contact with sick people or their environment. Wear a medical mask (N95, FFP2, or FFP3) and as we know different masks have a different life span so change the mask accordingly.
These are the few basic levels of IPC Precautions measurements that should be used for all patients at all times, not just in times of outbreak, the minimum prevention measures that apply at all times to all patients, regardless of suspected or confirmed status of the patient. This risk assessment should be performed by healthcare workers is critical for all activities. This means assessing each healthcare activity and determining the personal protective equipment that is needed for adequate protection, regardless of their isolation status.
As our PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH) Said “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.