COVID19

About the Virus

Introduction

  • 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
  • Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.
  • However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.
  • The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Coronaviruses are also said to be zoonotic, meaning Animal to Human transmission is possible.

What is Covid-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus known as SARS-CoV2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2).This name was chosen because the virus is genetically similar to the coronavirus responsible for the outbreak of SARS in 2003. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. 

How is Covid-19 spread?

According to current evidence, Coronavirus can be transmitted via respiratory droplets and contact routes. However, studies to ascertain the possibility of airborne transmission is ongoing.

 

  • Droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1-2 meters) with someone who has respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing or sneezing) and is therefore at risk of having his/her mucosae (mouth and nose) or conjunctiva (eyes) exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets. Transmission may also occur through fomites in the immediate environment around the infected person. Therefore, transmission of the COVID-19 virus can occur by direct contact with infected people and indirect contact with surfaces in the immediate environment or with objects used on the infected person (e.g., stethoscope or thermometer). 

Incubation Period

1 – 14 days

Symptoms of Covid-19

Common symptoms include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients also experience body aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, loss of smell (anosmia) and diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. It’s important to note that some groups of infected individuals will not exhibit any symptoms; They are referred to as asymptomatic carriers. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Diagnosis

Case Definitions
1)Definition for Suspected case
A. A patient with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation and a history of travel to or residence in a country/area or territory reporting local transmission of  

COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset.

OR
B. A patient with any acute respiratory illness AND having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID19 case in the last 14 days prior to onset of symptoms;
OR
C. A patient with severe acute respiratory infection (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness breath) requiring hospitalization with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation.
2) Probable case
A. A suspect case for whom testing for the COVID-19 virus is inconclusive.
OR
B. A suspect case for whom testing could not be performed for any reason.

3) Confirmed case :- A person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.

Treatment

Treatment is mainly supportive, there is no available evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.

How can I protect myself?

There are some basic things everyone can do to reduce their risk of catching Covid-19:

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, including the palms and backs of your hands, between your fingers, your fingers, your fingertips, and your nails.
  • While washing your hands with soap and water is preferable, if you are out, or do not have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. This must also be done for at least 20 seconds with enough rub for your hands to stay wet for the whole 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, particularly if you have not washed your hands
  • Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Then, immediately wash your hands thoroughly Stay at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Stay at home or away from other people if you feel unwell with a fever, cough or shortness of breath
  • Try to find information about places that are affected by Covid-19 and avoid going to those places Consider avoiding large groups or gatherings of people, for example, social events, community meetings and cultural activities
  • Try to avoid shaking hands or hugging other people
  • Only wear a mask if you are ill or if you are looking after someone who is ill. Masks are not very useful in stopping you from becoming infected. There is now a worldwide shortage of masks so only use a mask in these circumstances
  • If you do use a mask, wash your hands before putting it on, after touching the mask while you are wearing it, and after taking the mask off and throwing it away.
  • Single-use masks should only be worn once, and multiple masks should not be worn at the same time. Masks should be taken off and replaced as soon as they are damp
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