Updated: May 18, 2020
It was yet another beautiful year to come, with lot of expectations and commitments. When we parted ways after the New year's eve party, little had we known about what 2020 had in it's kitty for us. Evidently, I am talking about the widespread pandemic- COVID 19. In this millennial era, where we tend to get mislead by fake information and biased news from social media, lets get our facts clear about COVID 19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an acronym for Corona Virus Disease-2019, otherwise called the novel corona virus disease. The outbreak of this disease happened when the first case was detected in an animal market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Corona viruses are a large family and likely cause illness in animals and humans. It causes several respiratory infections from mild cold and cough to severe illness like Middle East Respiration Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This newly discovered corona virus causing COVID-19 is likely a mutated version of the SARS virus which was first identified in 2003.
What it does when COVID-19 enters your body?
Usually, a human body resists and is immune to most of the corona viruses which causes mild cold and cough. Whereas the disease gets severe and life-killing when the virus spreads from animals to humans through zoonotic transmission. Here, the human body acts as the host and the virus acts as fast multiplying parasites. In case of COVID-19, the virus is easily spread from one person to another because, once the virus enters a human body most of the virus load is accumulated in the nose and throat and he/she passes the virus in early stage of the disease, either when the person displays mild symptoms or even before the symptoms are shown out. This is quite different from the corona viruses diseases and epidemics studied till date.
Image: Visual Capitalist: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-what-covid-19-does-to-your-body/
How does Corona Virus Spread?
The novel corona virus disease is spread from an infected person to a healthy person directly through water droplets which is produced when he/she sneezes or coughs or through indirect transmission by close contact of the contaminated surfaces or objects. The symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild like cough, cold, fatigue or mild pneumonia with breathing difficulties and in worst case can cause organ failure due to severe pneumonia leading to death. It has been observed that the people with low immunity like infants, children, old aged people are more prone to the disease. Those who have or had any medical condition like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease etc, should also take extra care of themselves.
Precaution measure to protect ourselves from COVID-19
As per the guidelines released by trusted organisations, it is essential for us to take up certain precautionary measures to protect ourselves from getting infected by COVID-19.
• Medical professionals insist that we wear a face mask covering our nose and mouth (preferably home made cloth mask, as it's reusable and economical) when in public.
• The term Social Distancing is familiar to us, and we should abide by the rules and regulations suggested by the related officials and authorities. We should strictly avoid crowd and not step out of our houses unnecessarily.
• Hand hygiene is most important and we should not touch our face with our hands. Frequent hand wash lasting for minimum 20 seconds with soap is a must. Also, carry a sanitizer with you and when in public rub it on your hands.
At this stage, where this contagious pandemic is infecting high numbers, the number of unreliable sources spreading myths is also high. It's everyone's responsibility to be aware and make your fellow peers aware of the preventive measures. So let's not get carried away by the taboos getting circulated in the social media sites.