A family of viruses that infects the nose, sinus, upper throat and the entire respiratory tract and causes ailments ranging from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(spreads from camels to human beings) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(spreads from civet cats to human beings) is called Coronavirus. While most of the coronaviruses are not dangerous, some of them can be gravely serious.
First recognised in the year 1960, Coronaviruses do not have a fixed origin. They are crown-shaped and cause infections in both human beings and animals.
The new Coronavirus – also called a novel Coronavirus or n CoV has not previously been recognised in human beings, hence, it is referred to as a new strain by medical fraternity all over the globe.
New Coronavirus Outbreak
In early January 2020, WHO (World Health Organisation) recognised a new Coronavirus in China. It is called 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). According to the recent statistics, around 4,500 cases of new coronavirus outbreak have been recorded till now. The number of deaths due to human Coronavirus is on a steep rise. Currently, the total death count is 106 worldwide.
The severe cases of Coronavirus first came to light in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. The city had a large sea-animals market which is closed now, thanks to the increasing number of Coronavirus cases. It is alleged that the virus has spread from animals to humans through direct contact. Another possibility is that its transmission happened via air.
Coronavirus in India
In India, over 100 patients who are showing symptoms of the disease are kept under observation in the states of Kerala and Maharashtra. However, none of them is confirmed yet.
Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus
As per the WHO guidelines, the following are the Coronavirus symptoms in humans:
- Infection that causes high fever, runny nose, cough, cold, muscle pain, fatigue and breathing problems.
- Pneumonia that results in loss of appetite, sharp chest pain, nausea and vomiting etc.
- Others: Severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure
Coronavirus is responsible for causing a wide array of ailments, ranging from asymptomatic to life-threatening.
The incubation period of Coronavirus is estimated to be 10-14 days.
Diagnosis of Coronavirus
Specific lab tests including the ones that are done to check respiratory specimens and serum are recommended by the healthcare providers to diagnose Coronaviruses. PCR nasal swab testing is also recommended by the health experts for a more clear-cut diagnosis.
In case, you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, you must tell your healthcare provider about your travel history, food that you have been eating and animals that you have been in close contact with in the recent past.
Other diagnosis tests for Coronavirus include nose and throat check-ups.
Precautions for Coronavirus
Protecting yourself from Coronavirus
- Wash your hands frequently using soap and running tap water. Make sure you do it in a proper manner, taking at least 20 seconds. Also, do not forget to wash your hands after touching an animal.
- Do not touch your nose, eyes and mouth with unclean or bare hands.
- Keep away from sick people to reduce the risk of catching the deadly Coronavirus especially when you are in crowded spaces.
- Regularly clean objects like doorknobs, keyboards, table surfaces, telephone handsets etc. using virucidal agents like Clorox, trigene advance etc. to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
- Build your immunity by regularly exercising and eating a nutritious balanced diet. Moderate exercising is recommended by the experts. You can also practice meditation and other mental exercises to keep yourself stress-free.
Protecting others from Coronavirus
- If you have flu-like symptoms, it’s best to stay home.
- Try and avoid close contact with other people.
- Whenever you cough or sneeze, make sure that you properly cover your mouth using a cloth or a tissue paper. Do not forget to wash your hands every time you cough or sneeze.
Moreover, make sure that you keep your surroundings clean. It’s good to disinfect floors and other surfaces using a disinfectant cleaner liquid and protect yourself as well as others from the deadly Coronavirus
It is also recommended to use gloves, masks and goggles to prevent droplet transmission.
The treatment of Coronavirus is similar to that of any flu illness. Check below:
- Take enough rest.
- Drink more and more fluids.
- Treat your sore throat and other cold symptoms using over-the-counter medications. Paracetamol and other NSAIDs like ibuprofen are the recommended medicines. Decongestants can also be used. However, one needs be extra cautious when providing elderly people with over-the-counter medications as they can affect their overall health in a negative way and make them more vulnerable.
- Integrated as well as herbal medicinal therapy help in the treatment of Coronavirus.
If the symptoms become worse or do not go away on their own, contact your healthcare provider and seek medical assistance as early as possible.