What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus belong to a large family of viruses that are responsible for affecting the respiratory tract of different species of mammals, including humans. These viruses can cause mild illnesses like common cold to severe diseases like pneumonia, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). The COVID-19 strain, which is spreading rapidly around the world, is the latest one that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
In recent research, it was discovered that SARS-CoV was transmitted to humans from civet cats, whereas MERS-CoV was transmitted to humans from dromedary camels. Many more unidentified Coronaviruses are circulating among animals but haven’t affected humans yet.
How many types of Coronaviruses are there?
There is a variety of Coronaviruses that are still unrecognized, and only seven types of Coronaviruses that are recognized consist of some alpha Coronavirus and some beta Coronavirus. Two types of recognized Coronavirus that come under alpha Coronavirus are 229E and NL63, whereas the other two recognized Coronavirus that comes under beta Coronavirus are OC43 and HKU1. Two most dangerous Coronaviruses are MERS-CoV, which is responsible for causing deadly diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS- CoV, which is responsible for causing severe acute Respiratory Syndrome. The recent addition is the SARS-CoV-2, the novel Coronavirus that the world is dealing with today.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus infection?
Symptoms of Coronavirus infection might be different for different individuals. However, cold and flu symptoms are common. If a person is infected by a Coronavirus, he or she might experience symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, cough, fatigue, sore throat, fever, and exacerbated asthma.
As the Coronavirus spreads more in your body, it can cause severe complications to your health like severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, pneumonia, and it will eventually cause the death of the patient if treatment and medication is not given on time.
Whenever you observe symptoms of Coronavirus infection, you should immediately visit your doctor and get the diagnosis done. Diagnosis of Coronavirus infection can be made using the patient’s blood or respiratory fluid-like mucus from the nose.
How does Coronavirus spread?
Many people wonder – Does CoVID-19 spread from Person to Person?
Well, Coronavirus initially transmits from animals to humans. However, there are specific ways in which it is transmitted from human to human-
- Coronavirus quickly spreads through particles present in the air. Therefore if an infected person does cough and sneeze and his/her mouth is uncovered at that time, the virus particles will spread in the air, and it will catch the person who comes in contact with infected air particles. Therefore it is highly advisable to wear a mask while being in public places and especially when you are in the hospital where Coronavirus patients are admitted.
- If you shake hands and make physical contact with the virus-infected person, there are high chances that the virus will infect you too.
- If you touch an object that is used by the infected person, there is a high possibility that the virus will be there on that object, and it will transfer into your hands when you touch it. If you touch your mouth or nose with that infected hand, the virus will enter your body, and you will also be infected.
What is the treatment and prevention of Coronavirus infection?
Scientists are still conducting various researches to find the cure for Coronavirus infection; however, if you contact your doctor on time, you can be cured. Here are some preventive steps that can be followed to control and prevent Coronavirus infection-
- Drink adequate amount of water throughout the day
- Do proper rest and avoid overexertion
- Avoid smoking
- Wear a mask in public places especially in the hospital
- If you are infected with Coronavirus, you can take a pain killer and fever-reducing medications as prescribed by your doctor to reduce your symptoms
- You can use a cool-mist vaporizer and a clean humidifier to keep the surrounding air clean and fresh.
Here’s what World Health Organization suggests-
Try to staying away from places and people infected with the Coronavirus. If you have to be there, you should never forget to wear a mask and gloves, especially when you are around an infected person. Also, you should adopt good hygiene habits and keep washing your hands or use sanitizer every time after coming to your home and before having your meals. Keep your environment clean, and don’t forget to properly dispose of all the used tissues.
Apart from this, there are specific helpline number in India for coronavirus that operates 24×7 for each state and Union Territories, in case you want to know more about the virus.