The novel coronavirus, now known as the COVID- 19, is spreading worldwide at an alarming rate. Up till now, more than 90,000 cases have been recorded across fifty-eight nations among which, South Korea has shown a massive outburst. More than 3000 deaths have been linked to the virus globally. Meanwhile, more than 48,000 individuals have recovered from the COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the situation as a Global Health Emergency. The panic among the masses is significant, and the misinformation about the same is also prevalent. Spreading rumors and generating unnecessary fear in the minds of people can lead to adverse consequences. People are advised to go through the trusted sources like the official website of WHO to get correct information about the COVID-19.
Here are the answers to a few questions that are common in the minds of the people regarding the virus.
1) Is coronavirus communicative? Can it spread through the contact and influence of the infected person?
Ans. Yes! COVID-19 id highly contagious and can spread from one person to another. The virus can spread through the mucus, saliva by shaking hands, sharing condiments and drinks with someone who has the virus. The virus can be carried through the droplets of mucus or saliva, which can travel up to a distance of a few meters. Hence, people are advised to use a mask and avoid coming in contact with the person who shows such signs. Also, during this time travelling to different countries should be avoided, especially to those where a large number of cases are being reported.
2) What are the significant symptoms of the novel coronavirus, and what is the incubation period?
Ans. The incubation period is the time interval between catching the virus and showing the symptoms due to it. The incubation period of COVID-19 is said to be around five days or less. The range can also be between one to fourteen days. Some symptoms of the virus are as follows:-
- Dry Cough
- Breathing problems
- Common cold
The virus causes mostly respiratory problems similar to the common influenza virus. The recovery period varies from person to person and also depends on the severity. The virus can prove to be fatal in some cases where the patient is suffering from heart diseases or other ailments. People with mild symptoms can recover in a few days, while people showing prominent signs may take months to recover or might even die.
People who do not show the symptoms can also possibly spread the virus.
3) Can coronavirus survive on surfaces and for how long? Through what agents can this virus spread?
Ans. There is no proof that the virus can be spread through soft surfaces and fabrics such as clothes, carpets etc. to human beings. Although the infection can spread through hard surfaces that are always in public contact, these include doorknobs, public washrooms, elevator buttons etc. The virus may survive up to a few hours on a surface. Many people have also raised their doubts on receiving packages from China, but the virus is a contagious respiratory disease. There is no danger in accepting parcels from China. The possibility of catching the virus through food prepared by other people have also not been confirmed as yet. Many studies suggest that cooking the food might kill the virus due to the high temperatures involved.
Suggested Precautionary Measures
A few standard guidelines have been released by the WHO, CDC and the Health Ministry in various countries. These are as follows:-
- Practice good personal hygiene and frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Use an alcohol bases sanitize with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Cover your mouth with your hands when sneezing or coughing. Use a mask when going out to the public places.
- Dispose of the tissues in a bin properly and cover the container.
- Maintain a distance of a minimum of 6 meters from a person who is showing signs of the infection.
- Avoid touching your face and mouth with your hands as this is the most susceptible way of introducing the virus into our system.
- If you show any of the possible symptoms, immediately contact your health care provider and avoid going to the public places, to prevent the further spread.
- Do not spit on the roads and other public places.
- Do not visit the live animal markets and farms where the animals are slaughtered.
- Do no travel to foreign countries, especially to china, South-Korea, Italy and Iraq at this time.
Cures and Medication
Till date, no such vaccines or medications have been developed to target the particular COVID-19. Similar practices are being followed to subdue and provide relief for the common symptoms. Common influenza, fever and cough and cold medications are being utilized for treating the patient with this virus.