Whether you open the news or your Instagram feed, there’s just one topic going on since the past 1-month coronavirus. Starting from China, we’ve seen this little microorganism devastating almost all countries of this world.
So, what is this panic all about?
Why is it that we have to turn into complete introverts and spend the majority of our time at home?
What has this virus done to the world?
In case you’ve missed out on the older circulations and updates about the coronavirus, I’ll be clarifying all your doubts and questions on this page. Starting from the origin of the disease, you’ll learn about what rumors you need to avoid and what is actually essential to do in order to stay away from this virus.
What is Coronavirus?
Before we get to that, let me introduce you to the Chinese food market. Usually, the non-veg diet of human beings consists of eggs, chicken, beef, pork, and mutton. However, if you ever go to China, you’ll find a lot of wild animals being killed and eaten.
They call it “wildlife agriculture”, where wild animals are bred, killed and sold. Mostly, they kill the animal you want in front of you and then give it to you. Now, there’s one thing you need to know – with one vendor, you’ll find plenty of cages stacked one on top of the other and each cage has different animals.
For this reason, most virus outbreaks have started from China, such as the SARS (2003), Swine Flu (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (1976 and 2014) and now the Coronavirus 2019.
A coronavirus is a virus that comes from animals. All of these viruses have been originating from unusual animals that are eaten in China. The source of Covid-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) originates from bats that had passed it to pangolins.
Symptoms of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus)
So, it all started in Wuhan, China where all of a sudden people saw viral pneumonia spreading all
across the country. Following are the symptoms of Covid-19:
- Cold and sneezing
- Sore throat
- Coughing – mostly dry or in severe cases with mucus
- Breathing problems (in severe cases)
The coronavirus mainly hits the respiratory system of your body. Starting from basic coughing and sneezing, you’ll see a rise in your body temperature. As it spreads in the lungs, you start falling short of breath and from there other organs may start getting affected.
The symptoms are a mix of flu and pneumonia. A mild infection will have a dry cough, cold, fever and perhaps a sore throat. In a severe case, a patient will suffer from acute pneumonia that also involves shortness of breath.
How Did the Outbreak Take Place?
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus disease to be a pandemic. The reason is that it spreads very rapidly and very easily. Here’s how the outbreak took place:
- If you are infected with the coronavirus, you spread the disease to anyone within a radius of 2 meters by coughing or sneezing.
- Once the coronavirus enters your body through someone’s sneezing or coughing, it takes time to show symptoms, depending on your immunity. Your body may be strong enough to never show symptoms at all!
However, while you are still unaware of the coronavirus being in your body already if you simply sneeze, people around you catch the virus!
Domestic and international travel is what leads to the global spread of the disease. Before doctors and scientists could discover, several tourists in China, as well as Chinese natives who went abroad, were infected already.
As of 18 th March 2020, it has infected more than 200,000 people across more than 130 countries in the world. While more than 82,000 people have already recovered, the world has also witnessed more than 8,200 deaths.
Even though China has been the epicenter initially, the disease spread rapidly to European nations, Iran, South Korea, the USA, and several Asian countries through tourism. Italy has faced the maximum number of cases after China and numbers are sharply rising in countries like Spain, Germany, the USA, the UK, and France.
With the coronavirus being in the air now, if you step out of the house, you can get the disease from a random person on the street sneezing from a distance of fewer than 2 meters from you!
How to Get it Tested?
Unlike other diseases, there is a separate way of testing for Covid-19. If you have been traveling or randomly coughing and sneezing, there are chances you are already infected. In order to wait for the symptoms to appear, you have to be in quarantine (isolation) for 14 days.
The following tests are made during this period:
Swab test: if you’ve been coughing or sneezing, a sample will be collected from your nose or throat on a piece of cotton.
Nasal aspirate test: Here, the technician injects a saline solution in your nose and takes it out by gentle suction.
Tracheal aspirate test: The technician will insert a thin tube in your lungs which will collect another sample from there.
Sputum test: You’ll be given another swab on which either your nose sputum or the mucus of your cough (if any) will be collected.
Blood test: This is the final and most important test where your blood sample will be tested for the gene sequence of the novel coronavirus 2019. If that is not found, a general test of other coronaviruses may also be made.
If your test results are negative, you can be relieved but need to take precautions to be safe.
However, if your test is positive, you’ll be completely isolated in a hospital until the doctor treats you
How to Protect Yourself in this Pandemic?
The coronavirus disease 2019 is an air-borne disease that spreads rapidly through coughs and sneezes. You can be unknowingly passing it to a hundred people simultaneously if you’re in public.
We often do not realize, but when a person coughs or sneezes, the germs spread wide across.
Thus, here are the following precautions you need to take:
Stay indoors as much as possible: Whether your city has shut down public places or not, you must avoid going to unnecessary places. Eat only homemade food, avoid inviting guests and try availing work from home. If you’re a student, your educational institution might have shut down already.
Wash your hands with soap and water: If you have stepped out of your house for any reason for
even one minute, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water the moment you’re back in.
Avoid touching your face unnecessarily: Of course, you need to touch your mouth while eating or
your eyes while wearing contacts.
However, your hands must be washed or sanitized when you do so. If you’ve come home from outside, do not touch your face without washing your hands.
Use an alcohol-based sanitizer: The regular flavored sanitizers you use are absolutely useless. Don’t
just grab any fake sanitizer you find being sold for black. Buy a sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol in it. The alcohol-free sanitizers won’t be able to kill this coronavirus.
Stay away from sick people: This is one reason to avoid stepping out. If you know someone who’s caught a cough, cold or fever, do not meet the person. In case he or she lives with you, immediately get the family member tested along with you and everyone else in the house.
Keep a mask with you: Now, you’ll find people randomly wearing masks around you. However, everybody doesn’t need a mask. It is only for those who have a normal cough or sneeze frequently. If they are tested negative, they still need a mask. Again, a good quality mask that actually restrains germs from going out is the one you need, not a cheap plastic mask.
Vaccines Under Development for Eradicating the Coronavirus Disease Several countries have been trying to find the exact cure as well as prevention for Covid-19. Vaccines are important to stop the fast spreading of the virus.
Developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease along with Moderna (a biotechnology company in Cambridge) the first vaccine for coronavirus is being developed.
This vaccine is based on messenger RNA that will make the body create the protein on the outer shell of the coronavirus.
So far, it is still being tested on volunteers in the USA, starting from Seattle. Over a period of 6 weeks, the researchers will be testing the vaccine on the participants. Two doses will be given to each volunteer – the second will be given after the 28 days of the first dose.
In this period, the people getting the injections will be constantly reviewed, observed and tested. Within a period of 3 months, the scientists might be able to verify the working of the vaccine.
So, these few months each and every individual contributes to the fight against the novel coronavirus disease 2019. The day you know a vaccine is available, you get yourself injected and live freely again!