COVID-19: Decade’s Deadliest Disaster
This decade will be remembered till the end of our generations as the biggest human crisis, past World War II. Nearly, Every Single country in the world has been brought down by this life-threatening virus, spreading Covid-19 in the world. China being its epicenter, Corona virus has almost affected billions of the world's population. This pandemic has not only laid impact on the lives of the people but also risking the global economy. However, the world will be witnessing the downfalls such as recession, economic loss and may be WW III. Growing cases of Covid-19 depicts that world is already facing human as well as economic crisis.
ORIGIN & EVOLUTION
Corona virus has a big family of different viruses. Some of them cause common cold in humans and other infecting animals such as Cattles, Camels and Bats. Human corona virus was initially discovered back in 1960’s, causing a common cold. Lately in the respective decade, scientist founded same group of virus with crown like structures in humans and animals.
There are seven different types of Corona viruses that can infect humans. It was year 2002, when SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) had its first outbreak in November in Southern province of China and was discovered as SARS-COV by the scientists in February, 2003. Being spread in 28 countries, this virus left 700 people dead and 8000 people infected by July, 2003. This SARS-COV causes fever, cough, breathing issues and headache.
Later in the year 2012, SARS’s cousin virus MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) was found in Saudi Arabia that spreads through cattle and camels. Nearly 2500 cases were detected in people who lives or travels to Middle East. This virus was less contagious than SARS but more fatal, taking lives of around 800 people. Symptoms were almost same but in addition to it, it causes Kidney Failure too
Coming on to the present scenario, according to the scientists, SARS-Cov-2 have zoonotic source whose carriers are Bats and Pangolins (scaly ant-eaters). It is the same group of viruses that were behind SARS and MERS outbreak. SARS- COV-2 is closely related to SARS-Cov. It was found in humans when people where found purchasing and consuming fresh meats and seafood, including the flesh of the animals killed on the spot, from a Chinese Wet Market. The first case was reported in Wuhan, Hubei in December, 2019 .
WHO on January 5th, 2020 gave the first news of an outbreak and by the end of the month it was clearly declared a Public Health Emergency. On February 11th, 2020 WHO officially termed this disease as COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS DISEASE-2019). A month later, it was declared as a fatal pandemic across the globe. Although SARS and MERS have higher fatality rates than Covid-19, but still Novel corona virus is more infectious and easily spreads among people leading to rise in number of cases.
SYMPTOMS and SPREAD
According to World Health Organization, the symptoms for COVID-19 includes,
Shortness of Breath
But, it also includes some minor symptoms such as nasal congestion, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, body aches, rashes or discoloration of skin, fingers or toe, conjunctivitis. These signs may be mild but can develop a serious threat if not attended immediately. Also, some might get infected but can show mild or least symptoms.
According to researchers, about 80% of the people recover from the disease without any hospital treatment. But, 1 out 5 people who are infected gets seriously ill. It is seen that older people above the age of 60, who are having underlying medical conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Cardiac and Respiratory problems, Cancer are more prone to this disease as they have less immune power to overcome it. However, people experiencing fever, or cough, having difficulty in breathing or congestion, loss of speech are recommended to immediately seek attention from a health care provider for better medical assistance.
The disease primarily spreads through minor droplets from nose or mouth which are released when people with corona virus speaks, sneezes or coughs. These droplets are merely heavy; they do not travel far but quickly lands on to the ground. If people breathe in such conditions, they can easily get the virus, that’s why it is advised to stay 1 meter away from people and cover your face with mask.
These droplets can also settle on objects and high touch surfaces like phones, tabletops, remote controls, tablets, doorknobs, handrails, tables, stainless steel and plastic surfaces(72 hrs), copper (less than 4 hrs), cardboard(24 hrs) etc,. People can easily get infected by coming in contact with these surfaces and then touching their mouth, eyes and nose. This is why it is important to either wash your hands with soap or sanitize it with an alcohol-based sanitizer more often.
SELF-ISOLATION, QUARANTINE and SOCIAL DISTANCING
Within the time period of nearly three months, we are now quite aware of words like Isolation, Quarantine and Social Distancing. But wait! Do these have same meaning or they are different. Let’s discuss it below:
Social Distancing is to reduce the contact between big groups of people. Amidst Covid-19, many of us have come across this term for the very first time. Social Distancing involves maintaining distancing, avoiding mass gathering, avoid going to public places such as shopping centers, stadiums, workplaces, cinema theatres. One should avoid large gatherings like, conferences, concerts, sports and tournaments, classes, etc,
Quarantine means to separate and restricts the movement of the person or people, being exposed to the contagious disease in order to check whether they become sick or not. This measure is taken in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The duration for being in quarantine is for 14-28 days.
Self isolation means distancing yourself from the community including your family members. This is done when a person is found sick or infected with Covid-19. This is an important measure taken by the person to stop the spread of the virus from one being to another. Self Isolation is when the person experiences Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, dry cough, or breathing issues advised to stay home by avoiding going to public places, work and school. This decision can be either taken voluntarily or recommended by health care provider. The time period is usually for 14 days.
CURE and PREVENTION
As per the reports of WHO and CDC, there are still no permanent vaccinations or treatment has been found for COVID-19 which is a serious concern as the world is facing continuous rise in number of cases. While some traditional, western or home remedies can help in alleviating the symptoms, but no medicines have been come up to cure it. No self medication or any antibiotics have been recommended by WHO.
However, there several clinical trial or western and traditional medicines are in process to soon find a cure to this fatal virus. The only effective ways to prevent ourselves from this are:
Wash your hands properly with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer or hand rub
Cover your Cough or Sneeze with bend of your elbow or tissue. If a tissue is used, discard it immediately.
Cover your mouth with Mask, in case you go out.
Maintain Social Distancing; stay at home for yours as well as other’s well being.
In case experiencing mild symptoms, immediately seek medical assistance before it becomes a life threat.