Coronavirus – What it is, how it spreads and the precautions. We tell you everything

What is coronavirus - Healthians
Contributed by – Preksha Buttan

We are guessing that you already know about the coronavirus outbreak in China. As per official estimates, 106 people have died and cases of those infected rose to 4515 as of 28th January’20. Outside China, there are 47 confirmed cases in countries like the USA, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Although no case of coronavirus in India has been confirmed, over 100 people – especially medical students coming from China – have been kept under observation. Moreover, three people were admitted to RML hospital for observation in an isolated ward as they showed respiratory symptoms similar to those who are dealing with the deadly virus in China. So, to reduce your risk of coronavirus it is best to get a better understanding of the consequences and symptoms.

 

How coronavirus spreads - Healthians

What is coronavirus?

According to WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of virus which cause symptoms similar to the common cold. It can become the cause of severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The world has witnessed cases of these diseases previously but currently, we are dealing with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It’s a new strain that has not been identified by humans ever before.

 

How does Coronavirus spread?

This virus can easily spread by coughing and sneezing or by any physical contact with the infected person. Also, it has been noted that older adults or those with reduced immunity are more at risk of severe coronavirus infection.

 

Symptoms of coronavirus

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other upper respiratory infections.

  • Runny nose.
  • Headache.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Fever.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A general feeling of being unwell.

In severe cases, coronavirus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure, all of which could lead to death.

 

Prevent coronavirus - Healthians

Prevention of coronavirus

There’s no vaccine of coronavirus. Since carriers of coronavirus can spread it even before they themselves start noticing the symptoms, it is important to take preventive measures. Precautions that you need to take to prevent coronavirus are similar to those that you take to prevent cold and flu.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Frequently use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  • Clean the objects/surfaces which are commonly used by many people (doorknobs, handles, switchboards, etc.).
  • Cook eggs and meat well

 

Coronavirus prevention tips for travelers – 

  • Avoid travel to China if possible.
  • Discuss your travel plan with your doctor.
  • Avoid contact with sick travelers.
  • Avoid contact with animals or visit to animal markets.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid undercooked or uncooked meat.

 

If you recently visited China – 

  • Inform your health care provider about your travel.
  • Get yourself tested, even if you don’t notice any symptoms.
  • If you feel unwell or notice any similar symptoms, rush to the hospital immediately.
  • Unless you are safe, avoid traveling. And close contact with people.
  • Maintain personal hygiene.

Know your health status 
 

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