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Coronavirus

The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection andit cannot be differentiated from other cold causing viruses like flu virus or rhinovirus.

A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous.Some types of them are serious, though. 

As has been seen many people have died when resistant strains of coronavirus have spread across nations, for example in 2003 as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and in 2012, and 2015 as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

And recently now in early January 2020, the WHO identified a new novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. By late January, more than 4500 cases has been confirmed and death toll has reached more than 100. It has also spread in other parts of the world but there have been no deaths outside china

Symptoms

The symptoms of most coronaviruses are similar to any other upper respiratory infection andit cannot be differentiated from other cold causing viruses like flu virus or rhinovirus. Symptoms appears as early as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Common symptoms

• Runny nose, stuffy nose 

• Coughing

• Sore throat, headache, malaise

• Fever

• Earache, in case of middle ear infections


Serious symptoms

• Diarrhoea

• Nausea and vomiting

• Shortness of breath when it involves lungs and causes pneumonia.

• Decrease urine output due to kidney involvement

When to visit doctor (any of these alarming symptoms)

• Persistent cough

• Chest pain

• Shortness of breath

• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

• Decrease urine output


How it is diagnosed

• Lab tests, including nasopharyngeal PCR or viral cultures and blood test like antibodies against virus

• The test results wouldn't change how you treat your symptoms, which typically go away in a few days.


At risk group

• Elderly

• Children

• Heart disease

• Chronic diseases like diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart conditions

• Weak immune system like cancer patients, transplant patients or those using immunosuppressants


Complications

• Pneumonia

• Respiratory failure

• ARDS

• Other organ failure like kidney failure

• Death


Do’s about coronavirus

There is no vaccine for coronavirus. To help prevent a coronavirus infection and its spread to other people do the following things -

• Observe good personal hygiene

• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• While coughing or sneezing, do cover your mouth

• Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Avoid close contact with people who are infected.

• Isolation of the patient is also necessary to prevent further spread

• N95/99 mask for patients 

• Full body protection gear for care givers

• Ensure  fruits and vegetables are properly washed before consumption


Dont's about Coronavirus

• Don't give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead

• Avoid joining office or school or college during symptomatic phase

• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing signs of illness

• Avoid consumption of raw/undercooked meats for sometime

• Don’t travel to farms, live animal markets or where animals are slaughtered


Whom to be Screened

• Patients with symptoms suggestive of flu

• History of visit to China or country where it has spread


Treatment

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for the infection and there is no cure. Supportive medical care can relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of complications

• Isolation of the patient is important to prevent further spread

• Get plenty of rest.

• Drink fluids.

• Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat, cough and fever.

• A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat.

• In case of pneumonia, patient needs to be hospitalized and treated

• Respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome requires patient to be put on ventilator. Severe respiratory failure can also lead to death.

• Kidney failure can occur and needs appropriate treatment or dialysis


Tags assigned to this article:
coronavirus health

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