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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2020 14:07 
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OVERVIEW
• Corona viruses are RNA viruses and belong to a family of viruses capable of causing illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
• A new corona (novel) virus that originated in China was identified in 2019 responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness of varying severity
• The virus responsible for the current outbreak is termed the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the condition caused by it is referred to as (COVID-19).
• The current outbreak was declared a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020

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TRANSMISSION OF CORONA VIRUS
• Corona viruses are zoonotic organisms, which means that they initially infect animals from whom humans get the infection. Therefore persons in close contact with animals are at increased risk
• The current 2019 pandemic is not specifically linked to any animal
• Once the corona virus infects humans, it can be spread from person to person via respiratory droplets/ aerosol. This refers to the spray of wet stuff that is released into the atmosphere when a person coughs or sneezes.
• These droplets contain the virus and are inhaled into the respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs), where it develops and causes symptoms of the disease

PERSONS AT HIGH RISK
• Medical personnel treating sick patients
• Those caring for persons with the illness
• Living in close contact with someone who has the illness
• Pregnancy (not clear at present)
• Travel to and from endemic areas
• Underlying lung disorders such as asthma and COPD
• Heart disease
• Immunocompromised diseases such as HIV
• Patients receiving cancer chemotherapy
• Severe obesity
• Poorly controlled diabetes, kidney or liver disease

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
Symptoms of illness may occur any time from 2 to 14 days after exposure to virus and include
• Fever that may get worse
• Cough that can worsen
• Breathlessness
• Sore throat
• Tiredness and fatigue
• Muscle and joint pains
• Runny nose
• Loss of taste and smell (some reports)

Symptoms to look out for that may indicate severe illness include
• Breathlessness
• Persistent pain or tightness in the chest
• Inability to focus and confusion
• Excessive sleepiness
• Bluish discoloration of face and lips

COMPLICATIONS
• Double lung pneumonia
• Respiratory failure
• Multiple organ failure
• Heart attack
• Arrhythmia

DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19
To test for COVID-19, typically a long swab is used to take a sample from the nostril, which is then sent for testing. Other samples used less frequently include saliva and blood. Check your local government’s website to find where testing facilities are offered

TREATMENT OF COVID-19
Currently, no antiviral drug is advised to treat COVID-19. Treatment is aimed at alleviating symptoms and includes
• Rest
• Increased fluid intake
• Pain killers
• Cough syrup or medication

Persons with mild symptoms may be advised rest and recovery at home with precautions to avoid spreading the infection to others by isolating as much as possible. It’s advisable to use a separate bedroom and bathroom

If symptoms are severe, admission to hospital may be necessary for supportive and symptomatic care. These include some experimental treatments as well such as
In some cases, experimental treatments are being tried to see if they might be effective. Examples of such treatments used for include:
• Respiratory support, such as mechanical ventilation
• Steroids to reduce lung inflammation
• Plasma transfusions
• Antiviral or retroviral drugs
• Hydroxychloroquine

Persons are advised to consult their doctors before taking any drug

COVID-19 vs SEASONAL FLU
It is still too early to say as data available on the current outbreak is insufficient, but initial evidence suggests that mortality rates due to COVID-19 may be higher than the seasonal flu virus

According to available reports from CDC, approximately 1.2% deaths have occurred in COVID-19 cases compared to 0.06-0.1% deaths due to seasonal influenza infection

PREVENTION OF COVID-19
Currently there is no vaccine for the illness and treatment is mainly symptomatic. However, the following measures can reduce or prevent the chances of getting infected
• Avoid crowds and places where there are large gatherings
• Do not plan public meetings or gatherings during this time
• Avoid close proximity(within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) with persons having symptoms
• Maintain social distancing if you belong to high risk group (see above)
Wash hands frequently with soap and water for minimum 20 seconds, or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (proven to kill the virus)
Cover the mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue while sneezing or coughing. Throw away the used tissue.
• Avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth.
• Avoid sharing household items, dishes and other stuff with patients who are unwell
• Wipe and disinfect surfaces frequently touched (door-handles, bells, table-tops, smart phones etc) everyday
• Work from home if possible
• Avoid taking public transport

COPING WITH COVID-19 SITUATION
• Eat and sleep well
• Don’t watch or read too much news about the corona virus
• Exercise at home
• Practise meditation and relaxation exercises
• Do activities that you enjoy
• Be in touch with family and friends

OUTLOOK OF COVID-19
• Don’t panic and believe news spread on social media
• It’s not necessary to be quarantined or wear a mask unless you have the illness
• Simple hand washing and social distancing guidelines is very effective in preventing spread of virus
• Follow your doctor’s advice and protect yourself and others from the infection


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