Q-What is coronavirus?
A- They are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Few of them have made jump from animals to humans including Novel Coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The recent outbreak has been caused by Novel Coronavirus, also called COVID-19.
Q- How does COVID-19 spread?
A- The virus spreadS mainly between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It can also spread through contact with contaminated objects or from someone who may not show the symptoms of being sick but can possibly transfer the virus. The virus enters the body through mouth, nose and may also enter through eyes.
Q- What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A- A sick person or someone who has caught the virus can show symptoms similar to that of flu, such as:
Shortness of breath,
In case of serious conditions, the person can feel breathlessness and fatigue due to lack of oxygen in the body.
Q- How serious problems can the virus cause?
A- The virus can cause pneumonia in both lungs causing multiorgan failure and eventually death in some cases.
Q- Is there no medicine available for treatment?
A- As of now, there is no medicine or vaccine available to combat the problem. Scientists around the world are working on it but it would still take time to arrive at a final source of medicine that can be safely used to treat humans.
Q- How can then one protect themselves and others?
A- There are few steps that can be incorporated to avoid the spread of the virus.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands with soap for atleast 20seconds.(Remember to not waste water in the process).
- In absence of soap, use an alcohol based sanitizer with atleast 60% alcohol.
However, since it is highly possible that the contaminated person may not show any sign of sickness and yet pass the virus to others, the best way to protect oneself is through ‘SOCIAL-DISTANCING’.
Q- Is there a treatment available?
A- Currently there is no treatment available but the condition of the patient can be stabilised with proper medical attention.
While the spread of COVID-19 has forced people around the world to sit at their homes, virus is not the only thing that has spread. Along with the virus, there has been a spread of a lot of myths alongside. Below are the few things that you need to know about before making any wrong decision. Right information is the key!
Myth- Hot and Humid climate will kill the virus.
Fact- The virus is known to spread in ALL AREAS IRRESPECTIVE OF CLIMATE. So even if you live in areas with high temperature, you need to take all protective measures to stop the further spread of the COVID-19.
Myth- Cold weather can kill the virus.
Fact- The temperature of the human body remains between 36.5 degree Celsius and 37 degree Celsius. Hence, the outside cold temperature would have no impact on the virus.
Myth- Very hot shower bath can kill the virus.
Fact- The average body temperature remains the same even with a very hot water bath. It would not kill the virus. The only way to avoid contamination is to wash your hands with soap for atleast 20 seconds before touching your face to avoid the virus from entering inside your body.
Myth- Drinking alcohol can kill the virus inside the body.
Fact- Once the virus has entered the body, no alcohol consumption can destroy it. Rather cleaning your hands with an alcohol based sanitizer before touching your face would be the proper solution to stop the virus from entering your body. Alcohol consumption can, infact, have a negative effect on your health.
Myth- The virus can spread through dogs or mosquito bites.
Fact- There is no evidence of any such transmission. The virus spreads primarily through droplets from an infected person cough or sneezes.
Myth- Ultraviolet lamps kill the virus.
Fact- No such things should be used or experimented with. It would not kill the virus rather cause irritation on the exposed skin.
Myth- The antibiotics can kill the virus.
Fact- Antibiotics kill bacteria and not the virus. There has been no such discovery yet made that can help us fight against this virus. Do not consume any medicine without Doctor’s consultation.
Myth- Home remedies such as eating garlic can help us fight the virus.
Fact- The famous home remedies such as eating garlic or Giloy juice may possess antimicrobial properties and help in improving one’s immunity and fight but there is no such evidence that it will help in preventing the infection.
Myth- Only old people are susceptible to infection.
Fact- People irrespective of their age can be infected by COVID-19. However, older people and people with existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to more serious problems because they have weaker immunity. This does not mean that the young people should not take any precautions. All hygiene guidelines should be followed to prevent the spread.