Coronavirus: COVID-19| How to keep it off the hook?
Recently, an outbreak of the coronavirus (specifically known as COVID-19) in China has been a reason for global concern. People are freaking out thinking of all possible outcomes. The virus is reported to be originated from a seafood and meat market in Wuhan, China, in December and it is continuously spreading to other countries including India. There are some cases of coronavirus in India but they are all being taken care of. China is majorly affected by the virus with quite a lot of reported deaths.
The symptoms of COVID-19 can take some time and may not show up instantly. Its symptoms include
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
The symptoms of COVID-19 can range from very mild to severe. People in their old age or those who have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, might be at higher risk of serious illness. It is very similar to existing respiratory illnesses such as influenza. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Causes and Risk Factors
It's not very clear how contagious the new coronavirus is but it is noticed to be spreading from person to person who is in close contact. There are high chances of the virus being spread by respiratory droplets released when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes. There are several risk factors for COVID-19 such as
- Travelling to an area with the ongoing spread of the virus or residing there.
- Having close contact with the person who has COVID-19.
- It can be a family member, close friend or health care worker who takes care of an infected person.
There is no vaccine discovered yet to prevent infection with the new coronavirus but you can take some steps to reduce the risk of infection. The initial three cases noticed in Kerala, India have recovered completely and are out of danger. You can use these standard precautions suggested by the Indian Health Ministry for avoiding respiratory viruses:
- Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water.
- It is suggested to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Every time you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue.
- Don?t touch your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren't clean.
- Avoid close contact with a sick or infected person.
- Don?t share dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items with anyone if you are sick.
- Make sure to clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
- Don?t go to work, school and public areas if you're sick.
Do you need to wear a medical mask?
It is not recommended to wear a facemask for protecting yourself from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 if you?re healthy. However, people wear masks to avoid any infection. You should wear a medical mask if you have symptoms such as coughing or sneezing to protect others. And in case you are wearing masks, then they must be used and disposed of properly to avoid any increase in the risk of transmitting the virus. Besides, using a mask alone is not enough to stop such infections and you must follow the preventive measures as described above to tackle the virus.
Can children go to school?
If you notice any of the symptoms of coronavirus in your child, seek immediate medical help and strictly follow the instructions provided by the doctor. Give your children proper rest and don?t let them go to public places to prevent the virus from spreading.
But if your child is healthy and not showing any symptoms such as a fever or cough and unless there is a public health advisory, warning or official advice has been issued affecting their school, it?s best to let them attend the classes regularly. Instead of keeping them at home, teach them good hygiene practices and methods of prevention from the virus.
Key Facts About Coronavirus
- The virus is not transmitted by air as it doesn?t settle in the air but is grounded.
- Coronavirus can stay on your hands, clothes or objects around you.
- Washing clothes or being exposed to the sun for around 2 hours will kill the virus.
- The incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from 1-14 days but most commonly around five days.