Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 and measures to prevent it. 

  • The Coronavirus has long been known as one of the viruses causing common cold (along with rhinovirus).
  • However due to animal-human contact, mutated strains of coronavirus have developed that are capable of causing more serious illness than just common cold.
  • From time to time these mutated strains have caused epidemics such as SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012.
  • The present #COVID19 epidemic is another such emergence of a mutated strain, originating from Wuhan in China. This virus is genetically similar to the SARS virus, hence called  SARS-CoV-2.
  • #COVID19 is the name of the disease and SARS-CoV-2 is the full name of the virus causing it.
  • The symptoms of #COVID19 are cough, fever, difficulty breathing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue.
  • Complications such as pneumonia can be life-threatening.
  • There is no cure or vaccine for the virus as of today.
  • However if you are an average healthy individual like the majority of the population, your body’s immunity will be able to fight off the virus and will cause only mild illness with no complications and you will recover soon.
  • Complications are more likely to occur in those with weak immunity such as elderly/young children/those with diabetes, asthma, COPD/those taking steroids for a long time.
  •  Even in children, the disease has been of a milder and less severe form than seen in adults. Researchers are trying to determine the cause for this.
  • Pregnant/lactating women should also be careful and maintain precautions though there is no evidence regd mother-child transmission or adverse pregnancy outcomes so far.
  • The evidence for this is that in 98000+ cases detected so far, 3383 deaths have occurred(3.4%), 55000+ have recovered, rest are being treated and observed.
  • The majority of deaths have been in vulnerable groups such as elderly and those with pre-existing diseases.
  • However there is still a need to maintain precautions and basic hygiene.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water/sanitizer before and after eating food, after using the washroom, after being outdoors, after touching surfaces that are used by many others such doorknobs, computers, phones etc.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, nose or shaking hands. Or, wash your hands before touching.
  • Avoid being in crowded places.
  • Do not travel abroad.
  • All this is even more applicable if you are among the vulnerable population.
  • Use a tissue while coughing/sneezing and dispose it off, or use your bent elbow if you can’t use a tissue.
  • Regarding masks, only wear a SURGICAL Mask if you are frequently coughing/sneezing. This is so that you won’t transmit your infection to others.
  • Wear a mask while visiting your doctor.
  • Also wear a mask if you are taking care of or in frequent contact with someone who is ill.
  • If you are healthy or not a caregiver, there is NO NEED for you to wear a mask. Save them for those who really need them.
  • DISPOSE OFF the mask after one-time use. DO NOT use the same mask again as it will contain germs, defeating the purpose. Wear a new one. Replace your mask if it becomes damp.
  • This is the proper method of wearing and disposing a mask. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t1jgiLQVbsc
  • In India there have been 31 positive cases so far. All of them have been travellers. There is no evidence of local community transmission so far.
  • Hence if you have symptoms such as cough, fever and have no travel history or none of your close contacts have travel history, you likely DO NOT have #COVID19 and DO NOT need to get checked for the virus. You are likely suffering from infection caused by another virus or bacteria.
  • So there is no need to panic or get overly worried regarding coronavirus.
  • So far there is no substance proven to provide protection against coronavirus so DO NOT believe whatsapp forwards of magic remedies.
  • In general, maintaining a healthy diet containing plenty of fruits and vegetables, pulses, whole grains and avoiding junk food/soft drinks/smoking/alcohol can maintain your immunity and give your body a better chance of fighting the virus.
  • There is no need to panic or spread rumors. All agencies worldwide are working to combat the virus. So far the Indian govt has done a decent job in controlling the spread of the virus and providing information.
  • Only follow reliable sources such as @moh_fw, #WHO and #CDC-Again, DO NOT panic. #COVID19 is not a fatal disease in the vast majority. Just follow basic hygiene and common sense and you and your loved ones will be safe.