Two things happen during the breakout of any new and fast-spreading virus that appears in the news: misinformation starts to proliferate and the public starts panicking. Both of them occurred when the coronavirus first reared its ugly head in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, this disease infecting millions of people all over the world and has killed more than 5.05 million people.
Biological weapon or otherwise
On the one hand, a part of the global medical fraternity says that a chemical developed for biological warfare triggered the outbreak of this disease, commonly referred to as COVID19. On the other hand, others conclude that humans consuming bat soup are behind the outbreak of this pandemic. Whatever be the cause, this ailment started creating a never seen before panic in the minds of people and the governments of all countries. Travel restrictions were put in place and entire countries declared a lockdown to prevent this extremely infectious disease from spreading. Initially, doctors could not fathom what is making this disease so infectious and how is it transmitted.
How does COVID spread?
Based on current evidence, the coronavirus spreads between people who are in close contact with each other. When persons infected with this disease sneeze, they release microscopic droplets of the virus, part of which remain suspended in air, and part of which drop on objects nearby. People touching objects contaminated with the droplets and then touching their eyes, mouth, or nose also lead to the transmission of COVID19. The virus survives on surfaces like stainless steel and plastic for two to three days.
How does COVID19 kill people?
This disease can attack almost anything in the body with devastating consequences. If the body’s immune system does not beat back the coronavirus during the initial phase, the virus goes down the windpipe to attack the lungs, where it can turn deadly. This virus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, particularly those in the lungs. It then takes command by hijacking healthy cells. Sooner or later, it kills some of the healthy cells. People suffer from shortness of breath about five to eight days after symptoms begin and a few days later they suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which damages the blood vessels and tissues in the alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. They also suffer from the collection of fluid inside their lungs. This prevents their blood from supplying your organs with enough oxygen needed to survive. This causes their liver, lungs, and kidneys to shut down and stop working, leading to death.
One can prevent this by disinfecting surfaces that they and their family members touch several times daily. People should also wash their hands thoroughly with soap. For additional protection, they should spray their hands and the surfaces mentioned above with special sanitizers. It is a good idea of maintaining a distance of six feet from other people as well as wearing surgical masks and changing them daily. For ultimate protection, wear multi-layered masks created specifically for combating COVID. The best way to dispose of used masks is to disinfect them with sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then burn them. Alternatively, one can place them inside two small plastic bags – one inside the other – and tie the bags firmly and dispose of them with your domestic waste.
Symptoms of Coronavirus disease
Common symptoms include:
- Loss of smell or taste
Less common symptoms include
- Red or irritated eyes
- Rashes on skin
- Discolouration of toes or fingers
- Pains and aches
- Sore throat
Serious symptoms include
- Chest pain
- Loss of mobility or speech, or confusion
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
Those having serious symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. People suffering from mild symptoms should stay in self-isolation at their homes and avoid meeting family members. They should also consult a physician and take the preventive measures recommended. The symptoms of this deadly disease show up five to six days post-infection. However, on occasions, it can show up two weeks after infection. The best way is to watch out for symptoms mentioned above and to take preventive actions like wearing multi-layered masks, washing hands with soap, or spraying them with disinfectants. Individuals infected with COVID19 typically suffer from weakness for several weeks or even months after being cured.
- Use fresh fruit that has a shorter shelf life
- Consume fruits like mango, pineapples, and berries, as they contain high levels of vitamins and fibre
- Instead of non-perishables, opt for reduced-fat dairy products and fresh vegetables and fruit
- Take home-prepared food. A quick online search provides details of healthy and delicious recipes
- Cook your food thoroughly
- Keep your kitchen, hands, and utensils clean
- If you order food online, make sure the company offers a contact-less delivery option
- If ordering processed foods, avoid those that contain high levels of salt
- Consume enough fibre
- Limit your fat and sugar intake
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid alcohol as it weakens the immune system