Coronavirus - What Do We Know About It?

March 23, 2020

Facts About Coronavirus


The Outbreak

The COVID-19 outbreak that started in Wuhan, China has escalated into a global pandemic. Instead of panicking, it is important to maintain our composure and understand the steps we can take to stop the spread of this virus - a new strain of the Coronavirus, with symptoms similar to pneumonia. It is found to cause respiratory infections and is extremely contagious.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are responsible for a wide variety of illnesses. The diseases they cause can range from the common cold to more severe Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This new variety has been named as ‘COVID-19’ virus. The source of this new virus is yet to be identified. But it is likely that the disease is Zoonotic – that is, it originated in animals and then transmitted to humans.

Identifying an Infection

COVID-19 has a 1-14-day incubation period i.e. the virus can stay dormant in your body for 1 to 14 days. After this period, the symptoms will commence. These include fever, cough, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can even cause organ failure and death. There are no known vaccines that protect against this disease. 

Preventive Measures to Avoid Getting Affected

  1. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you lather the back of your palms, between your fingers and your thumb while using soap.
  2. Maintain social distancing - stay at least 1 metre away from others.
  3. Wear a mask if you are taking care of a person infected or suspected of being infected with 2019-nCoV infection. You should also wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  4. Stay at home if you feel unwell.
  5. Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose and mouth) with your hands.
  6. Use hand sanitizer regularly. Antiseptic Hand Sanitizers (AHS) tend to be more effective against bacteria than soap and water. They also take up less time to use (15 to 20 seconds).
  7. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  8. Wash your hands with soap after coughing or sneezing.
  9. Avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals in meat markets.
  10. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.
  11. Exercise caution while handling raw meat, animal organs or animal products.

Like in the case of most viral infections, simple precautions can go a long way in avoiding illness. The best bet is to eat nutritious, healthy food items such as legumes, fruits, vegetables and staples such as cereal, wheat and barley to protect your immunity, and maintain the highest levels of hygiene throughout the day. It is also highly recommended to stay aware of the latest information on the outbreak and follow the instructions of regulatory and governmental bodies.
DISCLAIMER: This document is for information purpose only and is neither medical advice nor meant to substitute you consulting your doctor.

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