What is Corona Virus and what are the symptoms?
It is a fast-spreading virus causing severe lung disease that originated in Wuhan, China and has spread to more than 50 countries, including Pakistan as of recent news.
Coronavirus is the biggest epidemic that the world has faced just at the start of a new decade and has taken with it thousands of lives all over the world.
Countries including China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea are among those that are badly affected with widespread and sustained growth of the virus.
- Shortness of breath/breathing difficulties
- Muscle pain
- Fever and tiredness
In most cases, the virus seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then, after approximately a week, leads to shortness of breath which causes some patients to need hospitalization and special treatment.
The incubation period - between infection and showing any symptoms - lasts up to 14 days, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
But some researchers say it may be as long as 24 days.
And Chinese scientists say some people may be infectious even before their symptoms appear.
How it spreads and what are the precautions?
The virus is highly contagious and spreads from close interaction or intermingling among people or objects that carry the germs of the mentioned virus.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
Contact with infected surfaces or objects
- It may be possible that a person can get coronavirus (COVID-19) by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Maintain social distance (3 feet at least) from anyone coughing or sneezing
- Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or try to sneeze in your - elbows
- Throw away used tissues (and then wash hands)
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
See more advice from WHO here.
How far are we with the treatment?
Currently, the treatment relies on the basics - keeping the patient's body going, including breathing support, until their immune system can fight off the virus.
However, the work to develop a vaccine is under way and it is hoped there will be human trials before the end of the year.
Hospitals are also testing anti-viral drugs to see if they have an impact.
On that note, let’s hope and pray that the Almighty keep us all safe and secure from such massive calamities.