COVID-19 facts everyone needs to know and some advice for the public is discussed in this article.
Of course, the unprecedented world-wide outbreak of COVID-19 has been a sort of unexpected invasion over our personal and professional lives for several days and weeks. And the intensity of its ceaseless surge might prolong for a few months. In a situation where everything is locked owing to strict ‘Social Distancing’, lockdown and stringent regulations coming up amidst COVID-19 scare for its prevention, has created a havoc in everyone’s life.
The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has set in so many mental, psychological, familial, health and economic problems, putting the people in dilemma as to how to cope with the emerging new normal since lots of the old order have taken new dimensions, which need proper strategy and counselling to adjust with. The country is seeing a rise in number of Covid-19 cases across multiple states which have led to more number of patients occupying hospital beds daily. This has led the government to identify a number of properties that are being transformed into satellite hospitals (smaller centres)to treat suspected Covid-19 patients.
The healthcare burden on the country is gigantic around this time and it is highly appreciable that people are turning to online doctor consultation platforms for their healthcare needs. staying indoors is the need of the hour to contain the spread of the virus. COVID 19 has also created a crisis in the healthcare ecosystem, where the demand for essentials has surpassed supply. Any shortage of required medical equipment or essentials is acting as an impediment for doctors and healthcare staff to treat the patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic, apart from being a deadly viral outbreak, has also rendered people with existing health conditions vulnerable. This is truer in case of senior citizens, diabetes, kidney, heart and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In these times of social distancing and work from home where homes have become our hub for work, family time, leisure and our beds have become a canvas for many a life moments, now more than ever.
Advice for the public-Facts & Myth busters:
1. COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates: From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19.
2. Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new corona virus: There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new corona virus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.
3. Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new corona virus disease: Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you.
4. The new corona virus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites: To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new corona virus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new corona virus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
5. Are hand dryers effective in killing the new corona virus?: No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV. To protect yourself against the new corona virus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.
6.Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new corona virus?: UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
7.How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new corona virus?: Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new corona virus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
8. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new corona virus?: No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
9. Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new corona virus?: No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new corona virus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts. Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.
10. Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new corona virus?: No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new corona virus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
11.Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new corona virus?: Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new corona virus.
12. Does the new corona virus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?: People of all ages can be infected by the new corona virus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
13. Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new corona virus?: No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new corona virus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
14. Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new corona virus?: To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new corona virus (2019-nCoV). However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.
Dr.C.Dinakar –Vydehi Hospital
Whitefield, Bangalore – 66
Ph: 080-28413381/2/3/4 Mob:9742274849