We all are getting updates about the coronavirus that is quickly spreading through its origin country, China, and this is causing fear just as quickly due to internet information and through social media. Therefore, it is important for all, to at least understand what it is, how it spreads, its symptoms and the ways to reduce the chances of contracting the illness.
What is coronavirus and how it spreads:
Coronavirus is a kind of virus like any other common cold virus that causes an infection in your throat, nose or sinuses. They are termed as zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and humans. It’s spread is mainly in the same way as other cold-causing viruses i.e. through infected people sneezing and coughing (droplet infection), physical contact with an infected person, or by touching the belongings of the infected people.
According to the WHO, the signs of infection include fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. In more severe cases, the virus can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome and even death. The incubation period of the coronavirus remains unknown. It could be up to 10 days.
Preventive measures for Coronavirus
There is no vaccine for coronavirus. In order to prevent a coronavirus infection, you need to do the same things you do to avoid the common cold:
- Wash your hands properly with sanitizers or warm water and soap
- Cover your mouth and nose when someone is sneezing or coughing
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is suffering from a fever or cough
- Avoid direct contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas
- Make sure you avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products
If you are mildly sick, you should
- drink plenty of liquids
- stay home and rest
- Avoid self-medication
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should consult with a medical expert.
The article has been contributed by Mr. Amol Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus