Till today (March 1st, 2020), 86,992 Coronavirus cases have been confirmed. 2979 people have already died due to this virus. This virus has affected 64 countries and territories around the world. Fortunately, there was only one case of Coronavirus in Nepal, the patient has recovered completely.
In order to know how we can protect ourself from Corona Virus, we need to know what is Coronavirus.
Coronavirus refers to a family of viruses that causes illnesses like the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This family of virus is quite new so we do not really know much about this type of virus.
In 2019 a new virus called the severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 was found to be the reason behind the outbreak of a viral disease in China. This disease was named Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 for short.
However, what we do know is that COVID-19 can spread through respiratory droplets that a person may produce when sneezing or while coughing.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The symptoms of COVID-19 are quite simple but they can take anywhere between 2 days to 14 days to show. The signs are:
- Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.
Old people or those with medical conditions have a higher chance of being severely affected by this disease.
Who Should Take Extra Care
- If you live with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 in a non-healthcare setting such as home, you are at high risk.
- Similarly, if you have travelled from the Hubei Province of China, you are at high risk.
- If you travelled from China but not from Hubei Province, you still have medium risk.
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following precautions.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
- Do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes if your hands are not clean.
- Do not go to work or school or public places if you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Do not eat raw or uncooked meat.
- In places where Coronavirus cases have been identified, avoid contact with animals and areas where these animals may have touched.
Forbes magazine states that an average healthy person does not and should not wear a mask as there is no evidence that wearing a mask can protect a healthy person from COVID-19. In fact, if you wear a mask incorrectly, it increases the chance of getting COVID-19 because you will be touching your face frequently.
However, if you are sick, you should use a mask. This will ensure that respiratory droplets will be confined to the mask and you will not spread the virus around.
One last bit of advice from WHO, if you use a mask you need to get a new one as soon as it is damp and you must not reuse single-use masks.