Covid-19 is still wreaking havoc on countries and their economies globally. Unfortunately, the US is the worst-hit country with over 9.8 million cases and over 234 000 deaths from coronavirus. Despite recording infections later, it has surpassed by far the earlier hot spots of corona virus-like China and Italy. On Wednesday, November 4, it recorded 100,000 cases for the first time since the pandemic began.
Many communities worldwide are trying to go on with their lives under a cloud of coronavirus. However, there is fear that the pandemic will last longer. Equally dangerous is the lack of reliable information and the spread of misinformation. Knowing the truth about COVID-19 is an essential part of the prevention efforts. Subsequently, this article will help fill the information gaps you may be having and help you stay safe. Here are interesting facts about covid-19 to inform you of the precautions.
Covid 19 stands for Coronavirus 2019. The WHO decided to name it so to avoid any stigma directed to the virus’ origins. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS -CoV 2) is what causes coronavirus 2019.
The disease broke out in Wuhan City in China, and the Chinese authorities alerted WHO on December 31, 2019. On January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the disease’s outbreak a global emergency. Finally, with cases rising the world over, declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.
The manifestation of the disease ranges from mild or asymptomatic symptoms to acute illness and death. According to the CDC, older people and people with serious underlying conditions are at high risk of coronavirus complications. Such conditions include lung diseases, diabetes, and heart diseases. However, there have been fatalities even among young and healthy individuals and children too.
Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease
Coronavirus symptoms vary from one person to another. Data from China shows that the disease takes about 5.1 days to incubate. The data also shows that 97.5 % of individuals who presented symptoms did so in 11.5 days of infection. The main symptoms of coronavirus include;
- Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
- Aches in the muscles or body
- Fever or chills
- Vomiting or nausea
- New loss of smell and taste
- Sore throat
- Congestion and a runny nose
Besides these symptoms, there is also pneumonia, which is the most common severe symptom of Covid-19.
Safety Precautions Against the Coronavirus Disease
With no specific treatment and the earliest hopes of a coronavirus vaccine being months away, prevention is the best strategy. The WHO has issued several guidelines on how to keep safe. These safety precautions include;
- Keep a safe distance from other people when in public. The WHO recommends maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently using soap and water. Besides air droplets, the other higher risk of infection comes from touching contaminated surfaces. Where you lack soap, use a sanitizer gel.
- You should avoid close contact with unwell people.
- You should avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose, and generally your face with unwashed hands.
- Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue. You should then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- If you lack a disposable tissue, sneeze into your sleeve.
- Avoid handshakes and, instead, use alternative greeting options that allow you to keep your distance and prevent you from using your hands.
- Minimize travel and work from home whenever possible to limit your exposure to crowded public places.
More Steps for Keeping You Safe from Coronavirus
Even with the above simple steps, there is still a lot of misinformation that you must disregard to stay safe. Such information is myths which, besides not keeping you safe from coronavirus, are likely to pose other health risks. The following are myths you should not follow;
- Vitamin and mineral supplements can cure Covid-19. The Fact is, while these nutrients will help in supporting the proper function of your immune system, they do not serve as a treatment for coronavirus.
- Antibiotics can cure coronavirus. On the contrary, antibiotics cannot work against this disease since it is a virus, not bacteria, that causes it. Unless the patient develops a bacterial infection as a complication, there is little that antibiotics can do.
- Masks can cause CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency. While masks can be uncomfortable to use for extended periods, they do not cause any intoxication or deficiency. Ensure your masks fit properly and dispose of it when damp. However, if you are exercising, you should not have your mask on since it may reduce your ability to breathe properly. The sweat makes your mask damp and wet, which not only affects your breathing but also promotes the growth of microorganisms.
- Alcohol makes you immune to or prevents you against coronavirus. The drinking of alcohol does not offer you any protection against Covid-19. On the contrary, it weakens your immune system and causes other health complications.
- Extreme temperatures and climates, either cold or hot, can prevent coronavirus. No matter how hot or cold temperatures you expose yourself to, they cannot prevent the virus.
What is The Treatment for COVID-19?
The focus for governments and health organizations worldwide is finding a coronavirus cure or vaccine for Covid-19. However, there are several challenges they have to overcome on this front. First, viruses are highly adaptive and reproduce rapidly. This ability makes them able to mutate. Secondly, the drug must specifically target a part of the virus’s life cycle necessary for its reproduction. Thirdly, the treatment has to kill the virus without killing the human cells infected.
Currently, there are two treatment options that doctors are using to treat patients in different conditions, and they are still under study for their effectiveness. The first treatment is the use of convalescent plasma. It is a therapy that involves using plasma from recovered patients who had developed antibodies against the virus. Doctors transfuse the plasma to a patient, and the antibodies help shorten the disease’s severity or length.
In October 2020, the FDA approved the use of remdesivir, an antiviral drug for the treatment of certain coronavirus patients. There are other therapies, too, as the use of Vitamin C and D under investigation after they demonstrated effectiveness in controlled environments.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, either used solely or along with azithromycin, are also in the conversation as potential treatments. Early reports suggested the drugs to be effective, but subsequent studies and reviews have shown otherwise. As such, the WHO and other health regulatory bodies advise against using them to prevent or treat coronavirus.
How Long Does Coronavirus Patient Take to Recover?
How you became sick is one of the primary factors on how long you take to recover. Some people can shrug off the illness in a few days, while others experience long-lasting complications. The more intense your treatment, the longer you will take to recover from the virus.
People with mild symptoms like a cough, fatigue, and fever make a speedy recovery. On average, it may take about two weeks to recover. On the other hand, if you develop serious complications like inflammation in the lungs, it may take longer. Such complications will require oxygen therapy, and the body has to heal from scarring and inflammation. On average, this will take two to eight weeks to recover, and you may still have lingering tiredness.
Finally, if you get into intensive care and probably sedated and used a ventilator, it could take months to recover. The ICU’s treatment process is draining to the body, and on average, it could take 12-18 months for a full recovery. It also depends on how long you stay in intensive care.
How to Maintain Physical and Mental Health During Covid-19 Pandemic
The uncertainty and negative news surrounding Covid 19 exert pressure and mental distress on many people. The situation is even dire if you take care of a loved one with the disease or recover from it. Here are tips to help you maintain your mental and physical health.
First, it is important to understand that social distancing does not mean isolation. Being alone in these trying times will leave you vulnerable to anxiety and other mental stress. Maintain regular contact with friends and family.
If a loved one has contracted the virus and is in treatment or isolation, take turns in contacting them so that you do not bear the burden alone. Remember to maintain safe distance and hygiene while providing care for home-based patients.
To avoid further distress, limit your exposure to news and avoid unreliable sources. It is further beneficial to mute triggers, especially social media, which can often leave you alarmed and with a bleak view of the events.
It is also important to ensure you have some downtime to relax and recharge your brain. Doing this will help you avoid burnout and keep your brain alert and refreshed. Finally, you must maintain a nutritious diet and workout even at home. It is not only good for your physical health, but it also keeps your heart-healthy during Covid 19 pandemic lockdown. You need a healthy heart and lungs to avoid any extreme complications in case of infection.
Tips for Keeping Healthy After Recovering from Coronavirus
There is a risk of lingering complications you may face for those who have recovered from coronavirus or recovering from it. Scientists are collecting and reviewing data on these risks. However, many patients have observed conditions like headaches, fatigue, and, in extreme cases, neurological conditions, and heart ailments. To keep healthy after recovering from the virus you can get ideas from the survivors’ who already get recover from this virus and also scientists recommend the following;
- Give yourself enough time to rest and take things slowly instead of jumping straight back to your old routine.
- You can help your mental sharpness improve by playing memory games and puzzles. They will help you get your memory back and improve your concentration.
- Be on the lookout for any symptoms such as an incessant headache or difficulty breathing and promptly inform your doctor.
- Check your medication, especially if you had any other illnesses, and discuss it with the doctor on the right dosages. You should also find out if there is a risk of contraindication.
- Since you are still dealing with virus fatigue, spend your energy wisely. Prioritize your daily tasks and postpone what is not essential to avoid exhaustion all the time.
- Understand that you will need help, and do not hold back from asking for it.
- Remember, you are not immune from the virus, so maintain the safety precautions, including the use of masks.
Covid 19 – Pandemic ‘Waves’
There are fears worldwide that there could be a second wave of coronavirus, especially in the fall. With cases of coronavirus spiking again, there are fears that the first wave of covid 19 could be over, and we are in the second one. However, experts believe this is not yet the case. The first wave saw many places take to enforce stringent measures to contain the disease. The spikes are because people are relaxing the regulations and observance of coronavirus prevention guidelines.
The second wave may come before the fall. This is because of several factors. Firstly, many places are relaxing stringent lockdown measures, and most people are resuming normal lives. With no drug or vaccine present, there is a high likelihood of a resurgence of the disease. Secondly, experts are looking at previous pandemics’ pattern, including the 1918 flu and 2009 H1N1 flu. Both these pandemics had a new surge in the fall.
Several risks could come with a second wave making it potentially worse than the first wave. One reason for this is that the first wave started with few people, and contact tracing and quarantine were possible. However, the second wave will start with many people who can transmit it without having the virus themselves.
Another reason is that there is a risk of other diseases, especially the seasonal flu, which will further complicate matters. The current conditions are even making it harder for most children to get their vaccinations in time.
Covid 19 has already caused immeasurable harm and loss of lives. Unfortunately, with no vaccine or cure in sight, the trying times will persist for longer. Fears of a second wave do not make the state of affairs any better, but you can take charge of your safety. As you stock up on essential supplies reasonably, you should observe the right safety precautions. You can go further and have your children vaccinated against the flu and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Using the right information and not relaxing the safety guidelines is the only line of defense you have against coronavirus.
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