Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus also called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which represents the causative agent of respiratory illness. The first time it was identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. Droplets and contact are the main means of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the outbreak has gradually spread nationwide. On January 30, 2020, the World health organization (WHO) declared this outbreak a global health emergency. Globally, all countries are responding differently to the virus outbreak. Drastic containment measures like social distancing, lockdown, case detection, isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine are been taken to control the disease spreading. Despite this, more than 602K people have succumbed to this disease worldwide. The symptoms of COVID-19 infection appear two to 14 days after exposure. Common signs and symptoms at the onset of COVID-19 illness are fever, cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms may include-
- Sputum production
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
The severity of COVID-19 symptoms depends on the age of the patient and the status of the patient’s immune system. Some people may have only a few symptoms while some may experience worsened symptoms. Significantly higher leukocyte numbers, abnormal respiratory findings, and increased levels of plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines are noted in patients with COVID-19 infection. People with existing chronic medical conditions may have a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 including serious heart diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, type 2 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, severe obesity, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease and weakened immune system. Toddlers, children, aged people, and healthcare providers are more prone to Covid-19 infection; therefore, special attention and efforts should be applied to protect or reduce transmission among them. Medical advice should be sought immediately if a person experiences trouble breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, inability to stay awake, new confusion, and blue lips or face. There is currently no treatment and no cure for Covid-19 infection, however, some therapies can be used for these illnesses including antiviral or retroviral medications, mechanical ventilation, steroids to reduce lung swelling, and blood plasma transfusions. WHO has recommended some preventive measures such as-
- Avoid mass gatherings
- Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from people who are sick or have symptoms
- Stay home as much as possible especially if you’re feeling sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.
- Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water on a regular basis
- Always cover your face with a cloth face mask in public places
- During coughing and sneezing, always cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue.
- When your hands are dirty, please avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Isolate yourself and avoid sharing dishes, glasses, towels, bedding, and other household items if you’re sick.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, like phones, computers, and doorknobs.
- Avoid public transportation if you’re sick.
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