March 3, 2020, 8:39 PM
As Coronavirus reaches India with few cases reported in Delhi, Agra and Telangana, here’s how one can take precautionary measures to avoid the deadly virus.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It harms nearly every organ in your body, says Dr Sameer Arbat.
Dr Sameer Arbat

Dr Sameer Arbat currently working at KRIMS Hospital is an MD FCCP, young Interventional Pulmonologist from Nagpur, who’s the first doctor to have Central India’s only EBUS and Cryotherapy setup. He has many national and international awards and publications to his name and has performed more than 500 interventional procedures.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe disease. Similar outbreak of coronavirus was seen in 2012 – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – in 2003. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that was identified recently. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a ‘public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).’ 

What is 2019 novel coronavirus?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

How does 2019-nCoV spread?

This virus probably emerged from an animal source but now it is spreading from person to person. There is no specific evidence on how it spread from animals to humans and most information being spread on social media is fake or not authenticated. It can spread from one person to another person by oral and nasal secretions through coughing or sneezing.

What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

Patients with 2019-nCoV have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and breathing difficulty.

What are severe complications from this virus?

Many patients have pneumonia in both lungs. Patients with severe illness have respiratory failure along with cardiac and hematological complications.

Who are prone to get affected by the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus can affect any person irrespective of age and food habits but people who have pre-existing diseases like asthma, diabetes are more prone to get severely affected. Small children, elderly people and pregnant women can be more prone to infection.

How can I help protect myself?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

These include:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against 2019-nCoV. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Also read: Here’s the Nagpur connect of newly appointed Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for 2019-nCoV. People with 2019-nCov can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. Anyone who has serious illness is treated for respiratory failure and organ diseases as required.

There are many scary stories being spread about Coronavirus? Is there a need to panic?

It is important for everyone to take precautions but there is no need to panic. The infection rate of 2019-nCoV is very high but the mortality rate is very low compared to the regular flu virus. Everyone has to follow basic cleanliness and maintain good hygiene. It is important to follow a healthy diet and stay indoors if you are unwell.

The ideas and information expressed are solely by the columnist and not by Nation Next.
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