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Symptoms of coronavirus, pandemic

What is Coronavirus: symptoms | how it spreads | how to avoid it

What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?

CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and SARS-CoV-2 (Novel coronavirus) are the most severe. Of these, SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the ongoing global pandemic. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COronaVIrusDisease-19, as it was first detected in 2019) 

Novel Coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 more commonly known as the novel coronavirus was first detected in December 2019 in China. In March 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak (the disease caused by novel coronavirus) to be a pandemic. Countries around the globe are struggling to bring the situation in control, organizations like WHO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-India, CDC are posting live updates on their websites to make it easier to track the progress of this pandemic.

What is the cause of concern?

Since SARS-CoV-2 is novel in nature, studies are still being done to understand the virus, how contagious it is, its mortality rate and the disease (COVID-19) it causes. At present, there exist no specific vaccines or treatments for this disease and the most effective way to control the spread of this disease is social distancing and maintaining good sanitization practices.

Symptoms

Mild to severe symptoms might manifest 2 to 14 days after exposure. The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

In some cases, the affected individual may also exhibit the following symptoms

  • Muscle ache
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell

For more serious cases symptoms also include

  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain/pressure
  • Speech impairment and or loss of movement

In most cases the symptoms are mild or moderate, symptomatic treatment and self-isolation are prescribed. Severe symptoms are usually seen in individuals with preexisting conditions such as old age, diabetes, cardiac ailments, or any condition that has compromised their immune system.

How does it spread?

Novel Coronavirus was first detected in December 2019 and has managed to impact the whole world in a span of a few months. Highly contagious in nature, this virus propagates mainly through droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread through forceful exhalation of a person with COVID-19. The virus can stay viable outside the host for several days depending on the surface it is on which makes it even more troubling.

How can I protect myself?

As there are no cures or vaccines at present to tackle the novel coronavirus, the best practice would be to protect oneself from exposure to this virus. WHO has released certain safety procedures and guidelines which can minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Avoid large crowds
  • Avoid close contact (keep a minimum of 6 ft distance) with any individual exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
  • Practice social distancing as many a time the carrier may be asymptomatic (not exhibiting any symptoms)
  • Avoid stepping out of your home as far as possible. Limit going out only for essential needs especially if you fall in the higher risk category (aged above 60yrs, having preexisting conditions, are immunocompromised and so on)
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands at regular intervals with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (min. 60% conc.) thoroughly
  • Cover your nose and mouth with cloth face masks when outdoors or in contact with any other individual
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces before touching them
  • If you exhibit any flu-like symptoms, self-isolate and contact your medical advisor immediately
  • Avoid using public transport
  • Cover your face with a tissue or the nook of your elbow (never your hand) while coughing or sneezing

Please be aware that extra care has to be taken if you are at a higher risk from COVID-19, in such cases reach out to your doctor for any additional precautions that you could take.

COVID-19 self-assessment and tracking

Aarogya Setu is a mobile application developed by the ministry of electronics. It has been designed to enable individuals to carry out a self-assessment test while also tracking the presence of COVID-19 cases in the vicinity.

The users are asked a number of questions including exposure to any suspected coronavirus case or presence of symptoms and based on the answers as well as the density of COVID positive patients in the area, the app reflects whether the user is safe or high risk.

This app is especially useful to decide if it is time to self-isolate while giving government authorities the necessary information to track and monitor the rise of cases in the surrounding area.

How we ensure your safety at CK Birla Hospital

At CK Birla Hospital, your health and safety are paramount to us. We are constantly monitoring and taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 to ensure that our facility is your safe space.

In order to ensure that our patients, employees, and visitors are protected from this pandemic, we have taken several measures. Some of these are:

1. Extensive screening

Anyone entering the facility is screened thoroughly as per government guidelines, hospital policy, and under the advice of the internal medicine specialist.

2. Restrictions on visitors

As a part of our current safety procedures, visiting hours have been suspended until further notice. One attendant can accompany a patient. At present only attendants, patients, and hospital staff are allowed inside the hospital premises.

3. Hygiene and sanitization protocol

Stringent hand washing and sanitization protocols are being followed throughout the hospital including an hourly signal reminding everyone to sanitize their hands. Cleaning rates of all high touch surfaces within the hospital surfaces such as doorknobs, reception desk areas etc. have been increased. Personal protection equipment such as masks and glasses have been provided to all our clinical and patient-facing teams and are mandatory while on hospital premises.

4. Raising awareness and training

To clear any confusion and to ensure that everyone stays up to date with the best practices regarding the prevention of COVID-19, we follow the Government of India and WHO guidelines to conduct extensive training for our staff. We emphasize on following the right and latest protocols as laid out by the authorities.

While our OPD department is fully functioning and completely safe for you to visit, if you feel that you would rather consult your doctor over a video call, we now offer this service as well.

Please call us on +91 124 4882200 and our hospital representatives will guide you on the process and help you book an appointment.

 

Dr Tushar Tayal
Author: Dr Tushar Tayal
With more than 14 years of experience, Dr Tushar Tayal is an Internal Medicine specialist and Intensivist/Critical care specialist. His expertise lies in managing patients with infectious diseases, diabetes, thyroid disorders, hypertension, respiratory and critical illnesses.
 
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