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Battling the outbreak and flattening the COVID-19 curve

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Not many people knew that coronavirus existed before this pandemic broke. It’s just that a different strain of it has caused a global outbreak. The scientists have called the COVID-19 infection. It is from the family of respiratory diseases such as SARS and MERS. This particular strain of virus seems to have originated from the Wuhan province in China and spread around the world rapidly. The spread almost became uncontrollable, with almost 200 countries reporting the infection.

The number of people getting infected and the rising number of deaths caused the WHO to declare the pandemic as a high alert one. Several countries went under partial or complete lockdown to curtail the spread. Though the measures proved, effective the damage had already cascaded effect on all spheres of life. 

What the virus does to us

The infection begins with affecting the upper respiratory tract. It is when the severity of the disease sets in because initially, the patient may be asymptomatic or just have a mild cold. The incubation period varies, and it can be up to a fortnight as well. 

 It is a very contagious disease and spreads through droplets from the infected person or the carrier of the virus. It can cause spread to a large number of people in a short time. People with really low immunity levels have fallen susceptible to the virus. 

Surfaces that are contaminated by the virus can cause the spread along with the bodily fluids of the persons who have been infected with COVID-19. You know the virus can stay alive for more than a week on any surface and be dormant. After finding a host such as humans to multiply and spread.

The body responds to the infection by having an inflammatory response for which, at present, the only medication that seemed to have worked is the anti-malarial drug. A study also is showing that asymptomatic people are losing their sense of smell. 

Diagnosis of COVID-19

The symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Dry cough

In case of severity and having respiratory issues

  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Malaise
  • Headache
  • myalgia

People who have acute symptoms may go on to have either pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Eventually, the person can also succumb to kidney failure too.

The people bearing symptoms either have a travel history to the epic centres of places of the outbreak or people who have been in contact with already infected patients.

There is a high-risk category of people who are more susceptible to the virus than others such as

  • who are on immune issues like patients who have chronic diseases such as AIDS, Cancer, etc.
  • those who are on immunosuppressants
  • people aged above 60
  • who have already having other ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart conditions

Why social distancing helps

The proximity of people can cause the virus to spread like wildfire. Staying at home and in quarantine for those who have travelled or exhibit mild symptoms will help prevent the spread. Since no vaccine has yet been found for the virus, self-isolation is the only way to curtail this virus at present.

Several countries have imposed a ban on people gathering and instructing them to stay at home and can go out only if

  • to buy essential food and medicines
  •  traveling for essential work

avoiding social events such as

  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Parties
  • Meetings

Special test kits are being developed in bulk to screen as many people as they can so that the number of people who are infected can be detected early. It would save more lives by preventing the spread and treating the patients early before the conditions turn acute.

More facilities are being solely dedicated to COVID-19 patients so people can have quick access to 

  • Critical care
  • Emergency departments
  • Ambulance services

People who are allowed to be outside their home

These are the people on ground zero to help out the people under a lockdown or social distancing to prevent the spread

  • The healthcare workers
  • Sanitation workers
  • Public servants
  • Emergency services
  • Supermarket staff
  • Delivery drivers
  • Other critical infrastructure staff

The healthcare workers are in proximity to people infected with the virus. They would be with them day in and day out caring for their needs. It makes them more vulnerable to the disease, even the several layers of protective clothing sometimes may fall short or lack of which that is seen due to scarcity of such protective gear. They would be putting to risk their families; hence many of them stay back at the hospital and rarely go to their homes. Such is the situation that has been brought by the virus in our lives, for those who are battling it in the frontend.

If the person feels he/she has contracted COVID-19

The person has to self-isolate from other people in the house and if in contact with others. If the symptoms worsen, go and get yourself tested. And if you happen to test positive, make sure that the rest of the people who you have been in contact with are also examined.

How to protect oneself from COVID-19

The best way to prevent oneself from getting exposed to the virus is by 

  • Social distancing
  • Wearing of masks
  • Using sanitizers

There is a definite need to prevent cross-infection. The vaccine has to undergo various trials before it can be used on humans. Hence it may take a year or more before it reaches the market, and people can take it.

Due to the surge of patients of COVID-19 rising in the global populace, there are stringent measures to contain the disease. The curve has to be flattened, which is possible if more number of screenings is done. And finding those infected early on and also distancing those who are susceptible to safer zones.

Just because you have had a common cold or influenza before, you will be able to ward off the COVID-19, which is from the same family of respiratory diseases is a myth. All people can contract COVID-19, especially those who have weak immune systems and suffering from chronic ailments.


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