All You Need To know About COVID19 | Aakash Healthcare

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All You Need To know About COVID19

Today, we are faced with the greatest challenge the world has seen in over a generation: Coronavirus or COVID19. It’s everywhere and in everything and the world has come to a standstill. This article will course over a few salient facets of the virus and help dispel some of the many myths that are now associated with it. Roughly around the beginning of 2020, a live animal market in the city of Wuhan seemed to have become the birthplace of a virus that spread at an unprecedented pace, infecting thousands in that city alone; today there are more than twelve million confirmed cases of Coronavirus all over the world with almost sixty eight thousand deaths, and the numbers do not seem to be slowing down soon and randomised clinical testing is yet to begin anywhere in the world. This is what makes the situation so challenging: the virus is new and health experts are still grappling with understanding it while also putting their lives on the line everyday on the frontlines of this war against COVID-19. 

Symptoms of COVID19 

 As stated, the virus is still being studied but here are some symptoms that can be associated with coronavirus. It is understood that a person may carry the virus anywhere between two days to two weeks, at times showing no symptoms whatsoever (a simple carrier) but could Pass it on to someone else who may experience severe symptoms. Shortness of breath is a common symptom in very severe cases and life support may be needed. A dry and severe cough with no reprieve coupled with a headache or body aches (mainly in the chest and back), random chills running across the body with a running nose, feeling cold and a low grade fever (just above a hundred degrees ) that could get worse. These are symptoms that can be associated with the flu as well and therefore anybody who experiences them should definitely get a COVID- 19 test immediately or at least visit their doctor. Remember not to waste time as it can save you and many more.  

Causes of COVID19 

Coronaviruses like COVID-19 and SARS are a family of zoonotic viruses that develop in animals before being transmitted to humans, this transmission occurs upon close contact with the host animal and whoever first contracts the virus from it. Once infected, a person can seamlessly transmit the virus to others via respiratory droplets; by sneezing or coughing in close proximity to others who will get infected if they inhale or consume droplets by chance.  

Diagnosis of COVID19 

Coronavirus can be diagnosed like other common viral infections using blood, saliva or tissue samples. A swab test is used primarily in India wherein a cotton swab extracts a sample from the nasal area but other countries use blood tests as well. An antibody test is another method being touted in order to test more people. Some countries are facing massive problems diagnosing their populations as they have imported faulty test kits but India has been extremely efficient owing to its developing indigenous and reliable testing kits.  

Treatment of COVID19

 There is no approved vaccine or cure for COVID-19  as of today but be rest assured the medical community is leaving no stone unturned in developing and finding the same. Treatment currently focuses on symptom management and treatment like outer coronaviruses like SARS and MERS. Antiviral and/or retroviral treatments, steroids, assisted breathing are some methods used in case of severe cases.  

Outcomes of contracting coronavirus 

Most people who contract COVID-19 will report either mild or moderate symptoms that any common cold or cough could provide as well. Some people will be infected without displaying any symptoms. But the bleakest outcome of contracting coronavirus is a form of pneumonia called 2019 novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia (NCIP). One in every four coronavirus patients admitted across facilities in Wuhan was in need of respiratory assistance (via ventilator) owing to this pneumonia and about five percent of all those who were admitted: died. Acute respiratory distress syndrome, cardiovascular shock, heart attack, irregular heart rate, Pulmonary Thromboembolism are associated complications owing to severe infections. These mortality rates are according to statistics provided by the People’s Republic of China but other countries like Italy, Spain and America are reporting higher death rates.  

Prevention of COVID19 

Today, prevention is the cure when it comes to this pandemic as no health system across the world can handle the sheer volume of cases if no preventive measures are taken to halt the spread of the virus. Countries across the world are in lockdowns with people staying home in order to stop the virus from spreading further. The most effective way to prevent contracting this virus is maintaining at least six feet distance from people aka social distancing, this effectively eliminates the risk of transmitting infected particles to others.  

The virus has been known to survive for a few days on plastic and cardboard surfaces and that is why people are urged to wash their hands frequently for twenty seconds with either a soap, hand wash or sanitizer ideally with warm water. Remember to keep your hands away from your face.  

If a person is feeling any symptoms, they should self-isolate at home along with anybody else they came in contact with and not step out of the house as they are putting many others at risk. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and try and cough into your elbows rather than into your palms. Disinfect the things you use frequently like your mobile, laptops and wash your utensils thoroughly. 

Dr. Parinita Kaur 
Internal Medicine 

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