Know about COVID-19
Origin of the coronavirus
On December 31, 2019, a cluster of cases with pneumonia was reported in Wuhan of Hubei province in China. After two weeks a new variant of coronavirus was identified, which was called 'severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Over a few weeks, it spread to18 other countries. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). On March 11th, it was declared a pandemic and had spread to over 100 countries.
As of March 31, 2020, almost all countries and more than a million people are affected by the disease. In terms of fatality, it is around 3.44%.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 as per WHO are as under
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are
dry cough and
Other symptoms may include aches and pains, nasal congestions, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste, headache, conjunctivitis, smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes.
The symptoms are usually mild and may begin gradually.
Most of the people (i.e. 80%) recover from the disease without requiring any hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who get infected may become seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people and those with underlying medical problems are at very high risk of developing a serious illness. People of all ages who experience fever or cough associated with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath should obtain medical care immediately. (Reference https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses#:~:text=symptoms )
Transmission of coronavirus
As per scientific brief published by WHO according to the evidence available, the virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. Droplet transmissions occur when a person is in close contact with someone who has certain respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing and sneezing) and is therefore at risk of having their mucosae exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets. The transmission also may occur through fomites in the immediate environment. Hence, the transmission of the COVID-19 virus may occur by direct contact with infected people and contact with surfaces in the immediate environment. Airborne transmission may also be possible in certain specific circumstances in which procedures or support treatments that generate aerosols are performed; i.e., non-invasive positive-pressure ventilation, tracheostomy, endotracheal intubation, bronchoscopy, etc.(reference: https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19-implications-for-ipc-precaution-recommendations )
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) , COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person, usually through close contacts (i.e. within six feet). That could be by physical contact, like a handshake or touching contaminated surfaces.
As per FAQ’s published by the Health ministries of various states in India, people can get affected with COVID-19 from others who already have the virus. The disease can spread from one person to another through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then can catch COVID-19 by touching these objects and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also get COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out. Studies to date suggest that the virus is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through air.
Current Scenario of coronavirus
Based on the data compiled by worldometers site as of June 18, 2020, there are over 84 Million reported cases across the globe, 44 Million recoveries, and over 4 lakhs causalities on account of COVID-19. The list of top-20 countries with COVID-19 cases as per worlometers website are as under :
For the latest count of the county, wise cases refer https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
As per WHO guidelines, practicing hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene is important and is the only best way to protect oneself.
At least one -meter distance must be maintained between yourself and others. This is very important in case you are standing by someone who is coughing or sneezing. Since few of the infected persons may not yet be exhibiting symptoms maintaining a physical distance with all is a good idea.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health Affairs, India - stay aware of the latest available information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the national and state as well as the local public health authority. Many countries have seen cases of COVID-19. Few Authorities in China and other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping the outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so regularly follow the latest news.
The chances of being infected or spreading COVID19 can be minimized by taking some simple precautions:
• Regularly wash your hands or clean your hands using an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitizers will help to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
• Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and someone who is coughing and sneezing.
When someone coughs or sneezes they might release small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which can contain viruses. If you are very close, you can breathe in the droplets
• Avoid any touching of eyes, nose, and mouth since hands might touch many surfaces and can gather up viruses. Once the hands are contaminated, they can transfer the virus to the eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, it may enter your body and can make you infected.
• Make sure that you, and all the people in and around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose adequately with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
. By following this you can protect the people around you from the deadly viruses.
• Stay home in case you are feeling unwell and seek medical attention. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
• Keep up to date information on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to any places – especially if you are an elder person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease since you are at a high chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
To date, there are no vaccines or specific antiviral medicines available to prevent or treat COVID-2019. Possible vaccines and some few drug treatments are under investigation phase. They are being tested through clinical trials.
As of today, three of the medications have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) —chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. However, the World Health Organization announced that the testing of hydroxychloroquine in the trial for finding the treatment of COVID-19 has been halted after the new data shows no benefits on the patients. Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, WHO expert mentioned that the investigators leading the Solidarity Trial had reviewed the recent evidence and had decided to stop recruiting the new patients.
The status of major clinical trials are as under :
Russian Health Ministry has confirmed that clinical trials of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus have begun in the country as of June 18, 2020, joining the global race for developing the COVID-19 vaccine. As per the statement issued by the ministry two forms of vaccine (liquid and powder) are being developed by the Gamaleya research institute and is planned for testing on two groups of volunteers comprising of 38 people each.
To conclude prevention is the only best way to avoid COVID-19 since there is no cure available.
- The information provided in the website is gathered from various sources available