Medical Awareness >>   Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Overview

COVID-19 stands for "coronavirus disease 2019." COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is the most dominant infectious disease. The virus first appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread across the globe.

Most people infected will endure mild to moderate respiratory illness. However, some will become serious and need medical care. Some people experience digestive issues. Also, some have had rashes or other skin symptoms. These people recover without requiring special treatment. 

Doctors are still discovering the long-term effects of Coronavirus. For most, symptoms will get sounder within a few days to weeks. But a few get very sick and stop breathing independently. In severe cases, their organs stop working, leading to death.

While children can get COVID-19, they are less likely to have severe symptoms than adults.

People with underlying medical ailments like heart problems, diabetes, respiratory diseases are more likely to contract serious illnesses. No one is safe from Covid-19; anyone can become grievously ill or die at any age. 

How is COVID-19 spread?

The virus causing COVID-19 primarily spreads from one individual to another. This usually occurs when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks close to others. 

The virus is transferred through tiny particles from the infected person's lungs and airway. These particles can readily travel through the air to other nearby people. In some cases, like in indoor spaces where the same air keeps being blown around, viruses in the particles might spread to other people farther away.

The virus can be passed quickly between people who live together. But it can also spread at gatherings where people talk close together, shake hands, hug, share food, or even sing together. Doctors also think it is possible to get infected if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touches your mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this might not be very common.

A person can spread the virus to others without any symptoms.

Symptoms

COVID-19 affects varied people in various ways. The most common symptoms are:

  • fever
  • cough
  • tiredness
  • loss of taste or smell

Less common symptoms:

  • sore throat
  • headache
  • aches and pains
  • diarrhoea
  • rashes on the skin
  • discolouration of fingers/toes
  • red or irritated eyes

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty in breathing 
  • loss of speech or mobility 
  • confusion
  • chest pain

It is essential to seek immediate medical attention if one has acute symptoms. People with no severe symptoms can manage their symptoms at home. 

It takes 5 to a maximum of 14 days for symptoms to occur when infected.

Tests for Covid-19

If you suspect you have COVID-19, you might want to take a swab test from your nose or mouth. There are basically two kinds of tests to diagnose Coronavirus:

  • Molecular tests – These are used for checking the genetic material from the virus. Also called "nucleic acid tests.", these tests can take several days to get test results back. Molecular tests are the most suitable way to know if a person has the virus because they can detect even deficient levels of viruses in the body.
  • Antigen tests – These check for the proteins from the virus. They can give results faster than most molecular tests. These tests are not as accurate as molecular tests as they are more likely to give "false negative" results. This is when the test shows negative even when the person actually is infected. But antigen tests can still be helpful in some situations when results are needed quickly, or a molecular test is not available. 
  • A blood test can also show if a person has had COVID-19 in the past. This is called an "antibody" test. These tests are generally not used on their own to diagnose Coronavirus or make conclusions about care. But experts can use them to learn how many people in a particular area were infected without knowing it.


Prevention

The safest way to limit and slow down transmission is to familiarise oneself with the Coronavirus and how it spreads. Protect oneself and others from the virus by social distancing, wearing a properly fitted mask, washing hands, and using an alcohol-based sanitizer frequently. Get vaccinated when the turn comes.

The virus can spread from an infected person when they cough, sneeze, talk, sing or breathe. It is essential to follow respiratory etiquette like coughing into a flexed elbow, staying at home if feeling unwell, and self-isolating until recovery.

Booster Vaccination Dose

Vaccine boosters are common ways to improve protection against a virus and especially support people at the highest risk for Covid complications. Boosters increase vaccine effectiveness. It is advised that eligible people should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster precautionary dose. This is a supplemental vaccine dose given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series was adequate but may have decreased over time.

Fact Check:

  • India continues to have one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases globally. 
  • It's essential to follow accurate public health advice from WHO and your local health authority.
  • Covid-19 and its variants can make anyone sick, regardless of race or ethnicity.
  • Be aware of all the signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and help stop the spread of the virus.
  • Follow all the Covid-19 protocols and keep yourself and the others healthy.
  • Covid-19 vaccines work by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the Covid-19 causing viruses.


PGC Resolution: Utilize Covid-19 relief fund for those affected. Support the affected families - medically, financially and emotionally. Collaborate with other organizations towards the well-being of our nation.