Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease by a new virus which causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms like a dry cough, fever, body ache, sore throat and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing. It spreads primarily through contact with that virus-infected person when they cough or sneeze. and also when a person touches a surface or any object that has been contaminated with COVID 19, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth part.
When to see a doctor?
Contact your PHYSICIAN immediately over a call if you have COVID-19 signs and symptoms and you’ve possibly been exposed to the virus. Tell your doctor whether you’ve recently travelled internationally. And tell him or her about your symptoms and recent travels and other possible exposures before you go there. Let him knows if you’ve had close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 recently.
The physician after listening to your issues and after checking other criteria may take samples, including a sample of saliva, a nasal swab and a throat swab, to send it out for testing and analysis.
Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take certain steps to reduce your risk of infection. Coronaviruses will infect people at some time during their lifetime. As it mutates quite effectively, which makes them very contagious.
WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding this respiratory virus:
To prevent transmission:
- People must stay at home and take adequate rest while symptoms are active and should also completely stop or avoid close contact with other people.
- Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief or even elbows while coughing or sneezing can help prevent transmission. It is very important to dispose of any tissues after use immediately and maintain hygiene.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands as much as possible.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in any kind of public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing etc. Washing your hands with soap and water or any more than 65 % alcohol-based hand sanitizers kills viruses.
- Use of a hand sanitizer that contains around 60% alcohol. Try to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Maintain a distance of 1metre between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community as if someone coughs or sneezes they give liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which might contain the virus. If you are standing very close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if he has been infected.
- If you are feeling fever, having dry cough and difficulty breathing, look for medical attention immediately and always call in advance. And try to follow the directions of your local health authority. Local authorities will have the most up to date information in your area. Calling will HELP health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.
- Try to wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (because of trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who care for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes floors, tables, doorknobs, countertops, light switches, handles, desks, phones, toilets and sinks. etc Use detergent and water prior to disinfection.
- Try to avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re infected or not well.
- Try to avoid doing handshakes as respiratory viruses can spread through it and then if you touch your bose eyes mouth you will get infected. So instead try to wave or do namaste.
WHO recommends that you:
- Avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched if you’re visiting live markets in regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wash them properly with plenty of soap and water.you can use hand gloves but hand gloves can pick up virus too hence it should be discarded in a proper place and try not to touch your eyes nose mouth etc.
- Always make sure the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene like covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the tissue immediately.
- Try to maintain at least 1-metre or3 foot distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Try not to eat or avoid raw or undercooked food or meat or of plant or animal organs.
- Keep yourself up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely).
- Travel If you have travel plans recently, first check the WHO websites for updates and advice. Also, look for any health advisories that may be in the place where you are planning to travel
No antiviral medication is recommended to treat COVID-19. Treatment is directed at relieving symptoms and includes:
- Pain relievers
- Cough syrup for cough
- Do gargle for throat infection
- Sleep well and take adequate rest
- Take plenty of fluids.
- If your physician thinks you can be treated at home, he may give you special instructions, like to isolate yourself as much as possible from family while you’re sick and to stay home for a certain period of time. But if you’re very ill, you need to be treated in the hospital under the supervision of physicians.
If the doctor advises you to stay at home and then take Self-care:
If you have mild symptoms, stay and isolate yourself from others at home until you’ve fully recovered. You can relieve your symptoms if you:
- Take rest and have adequate sleep
- Keep warm
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Use a room humidifier
- Take a warm shower to help ease a sore throat
If you develop a fever, cough, and have difficulty in breathing, seek medical care right away. Call in advance and tell your health provider of any recent travel or contact with travellers.
Preparing for your appointment
If you think you are infected with COVID-19, tell your doctor or clinic before coming overcall. The doctor and the medical team can then:
- Have a mask ready for you
- Contact immediately infection prevention and control and public health officials
- Prepare to move you to an isolated room
Last but not the least, don’t panic. TAKE FEW DEEPER BREATHS AND KEEP YOUR STRESS LEVEL UNDER CONTROL.
Stay updated of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national health authority. Most people who become infected have mild illness and recover quickly, but it can be severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others too by STAYING AT ISOLATION.