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Covid-19

Coronaviruses are a sizeable family of viruses that may cause illness in humans or animals. Several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A new virus called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was recently discovered.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease generated by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic that has affected many countries globally.

If you are suffering from any symptoms of COVID-19, visit your healthcare provider for treatment and medications.

Symptoms

COVID-19 is known to affect diverse people in different ways. Many infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and even recover without hospitalization. When someone is infected with coronavirus, it takes 5–6 days for the symptoms to show, however sometimes, it can also take up to 14 days

Most common symptoms are:

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness
  • Less common symptoms:
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on the skin, discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms are:

  • Experiencing difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

If you have severe symptoms, seek prompt medical attention. Before visiting your doctor or health facility, always call your doctor first. People displaying mild symptoms and are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.

Risks

Following are the people who are at more considerable risk from COVID-19:

  • Older people (that is people over 60 years old)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • A weakened immune system from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (having a body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • Severe heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure,
  • or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Also, the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state from immune deficiencies, blood or bone marrow transplant, or HIV,
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Smoking
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)

Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Spreading of Coronavirus

People can catch COVID-19 from following:

Infection from other people who have the virus: COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. If anyone breathes in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets, then he/she can be infected with the virus.

Surface Infection: These cough droplets also land on objects and surfaces around the infected person. Other people could catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, and then touching their nose, eyes, or mouth.

Testing COVID-19

For Covid-19, two kinds of tests are available: viral tests and antibody tests.

Swab Test: A special swab is used to take a sample from your nose or throat to test the load of viral infection in your body.

Antibody tests: This test informs you whether you had a past infection. However, an antibody test might not straight away show you the results because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies.

Treatment

Currently, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease. However, trials are going on to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19

If you exhibit minor symptoms of the COVID-19, such as a slight cough or a mild fever, there is usually no need to seek medical care. You can stay at home, self-isolate, and monitor your symptoms. You can follow national guidance on self-isolation.

But if you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, immediately seeks medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection. Also, be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.

Prevention

Following are some elementary precautions which you should take:

• Clean your Hands: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Cleansing your hands will kill viruses that may be on your hands.

• Social Distancing: You should maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This will help you to prevent breathing in the droplets, which may contain the virus.

• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth: Usually, hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Contaminated hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. Thus, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.

• Follow good respiratory hygiene: Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and then dispose of the tissue immediately. Wear masks to maintain respiratory hygiene.

Stay home: It’s better to stay at home if you are feeling unwell. This will protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

Get updated: Keep updates on the latest COVID-19 hotspots while travelling and if possible, avoid those places.

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