As the number of instances of Covid-19 in India rises, here’s how to keep cautious

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In less than 24 hours, India has recorded over 3,700 Coronavirus or Covid-19 infections, according to multiple reports. As a result, while it is necessary to wear masks, it is also necessary to be vigilant and take preventative steps in order to be safe. Here’s a quick reference guide on Covid-19 symptoms, causes, prevention, treatment, and vaccine.

What exactly is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is a sickness caused by a novel virus termed SARS-CoV-2, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Following a report of a cluster of cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, WHO first learnt about this new virus on December 31, 2019.

The most prevalent signs and symptoms of Covid-19 are as follows:

Fever Cough Dryness Fatigue

Other less prevalent symptoms that may affect certain people include:

Nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes), sore throat, headache, muscle or joint discomfort, various forms of skin rash, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, chills, or dizziness are among symptoms that might occur.

The following are symptoms of severe COVID-19 disease:

Shortness of breath, lack of appetite, disorientation, chest discomfort or pressure, and a high fever (above 38 °C) are all symptoms of a heart attack.

Other less common symptoms are:

Irritability, disorientation, loss of consciousness (often linked with seizures), anxiety, sadness, and sleep disturbances are among symptoms of epilepsy.

In other situations, more serious and uncommon neurological consequences such as strokes, brain inflammation, psychosis, and nerve damage occur. “People of all ages should seek medical attention promptly if they have a fever and/or cough that is accompanied by trouble breathing or shortness of breath, chest discomfort or pressure, or loss of speech or movement,” the WHO advises.

The majority of persons who exhibit symptoms (about 80%) recover without needing hospital care. About 15% get very unwell, requiring oxygen, and 5% become critically ill, requiring intensive care. Covid-19 survivors, in particular, have a higher risk of heart attacks, irregular heart rhythms, clotting in the lungs, breathing difficulties, fatigue, pain, and anxiety than those who have not had the infection, according to a recent analysis of electronic health records of 63.4 million people released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Treatment

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s current guidelines, symptomatic therapy can be used in virtually all cases of mild Covid-19.

“Paracetamol for fever, decongestants for congestion, and cough syrup for cough.” It’s also possible to handle it without doing too many investigations. As a result, there is no need to perform blanket CT scans, blood tests, or X-rays for everyone who comes in with Covid-19. “These patients may be treated in the same manner that other viral fevers are treated, with symptomatic medication and no or few tests,” said Dr Trupti Gilada, infectious disease expert at Masina Hospital in Mumbai.

What can you do to keep yourself safe?

Simple precautions like as physical separation, using a mask when separation is impossible, keeping rooms properly aired, avoiding crowds and close contact, frequently wiping your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue will help you stay safe. WHO recommends that you seek local counsel where you live and work.

Masks are also “a vital step to restrict transmission and save lives,” according to the WHO. They “should be utilised as part of a complete ‘Do it all!’ approach that includes physical distance, avoiding crowded, closed, and close-contact situations, sufficient ventilation, hand washing, cough and sneeze covering, and more.” Masks can be used to protect healthy people or to prevent forward transmission, depending on the kind.”

Masks must be worn in “areas where the virus is spreading,” “crowded settings,” where you “can’t stay at least 1 metre apart from others,” and “rooms with poor or unknown ventilation,” according to the WHO. The quality of ventilation, which is determined by the rate of air change, recirculation, and outdoor fresh air, is not always straightforward to determine. So, if you’re in any question, it’s safer to just put on a mask.”

Other things to remember:

1. Always wash your hands before and after wearing a mask, as well as before touching it while it’s on.
2. Maintain as much physical space from people as feasible when wearing a mask. You cannot have close touch with others while wearing a mask.

3. If you are unable to keep physical space from people in indoor public settings such as crowded retail malls, religious buildings, restaurants, schools, and public transportation, you should wear a mask.
4. If a guest who is not a family member comes to your residence, use a mask if you can’t keep a physical distance or the ventilation is insufficient.
5. If you can’t keep a physical distance from individuals outside, wear a mask. Busy marketplaces, congested streets, and bus stations are just a few examples.

Even after vaccination, people should follow the Covid-19 regimen and wear masks. “You won’t have the sickness in the form of a serious illness if you obtain the vaccination.” It’s possible that it won’t keep you from being infected. It’s vital to remember that we can have a positive result even after the vaccine, which is why it’s necessary to wear a mask even after the immunisation.”

Dr Bipin Jibhkate, Consultant critical care medicine and ICU director at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, agreed, saying that even after being vaccinated, one must maintain social distance, sanitise hands, avoid being around sick people, limit visitors at home, and keep the immune system strong by eating a well-balanced diet rich in all essential nutrients. “At home, try to sanitise regularly touched surfaces. If a youngster is unwell, do not send them to school. Instead of travelling to a busy park, exercise at home. It’s important to remember that being vaccinated can protect both you and others around you. So, without fail, take boosters,” Dr Jibhkate advised.