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Coronavirus Symptoms, risk, everything you must know

Coronavirus has created an alarming health emergency situation across the world and WHO declared it a pandemic. While no panic should be spread, it is important to know the latest about the outbreak to safeguard ourselves from getting infected or spreading it.

India TV Lifestyle Desk India TV Lifestyle Desk
New Delhi Updated on: March 18, 2020 13:49 IST
Coronavirus

Latest Coronavirus news: What can you do to protect yourself from Coronavirus

What symptoms should I look out for?

Coronavirus Symptoms, which can take between two to 14 days to appear, include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Milder cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold, but people may be able to pass on the virus even before they develop symptoms.

WHO says, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV  is part of a virus family named for the effect created by spike proteins on their shells. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a total of seven types of Coronaviruses that can infect humans. Coronavirus initially spread to humans from animals but now, reportedly the virus 2019-nCoV can be transmitted between people. Coronavirus was thought to have first originated at a wholesale seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. It was first reported in late December. Coronavirus spreads like most of the cold-causing viruses. The virus can spread through coughing, sneezing or touching an infected area. While everyone is prone to get infected by this virus, young children are at the maximum danger of this virus.

RISK & PREVENTION

There is no vaccination for coronavirus as yet, so, prevention is the only way that can save you from the virus. The World Health Organisation has issued an advisory, informing people about the ways they could save themselves from getting infected by a coronavirus.

Since the virus has originated from animals, WHO has asked people to avoid contact with unprotected animals. Meat consumers have been advised to only consume thoroughly cooked meats items to save themselves from Coronavirus. While traveling people should be more careful about the precautions and avoid going to places inflicted by the virus.

Protection measures for everyone: WHO Guidelines

WHO advises everyone to stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks, it has become a pandemic. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. 

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This is because when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. This is because we touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places  – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.

Who is at risk of developing severe illness?
 
Research is still going on and while we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons, very young children and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) seem to develop serious illness more often than others.
 
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?
 
Not at all. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
 
SOME COMMON MYTHS, BUSTED

Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.

Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

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.

Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. 

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.

Can gargling mouthwash protect you from infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.

Some brands or mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection.

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