Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a contagious ailment caused by a newly revealed coronavirus
It is a family of viruses that can cause sickness such as common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-Cov-2) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The deadly disease was also declared as pandemic by World Health Organization – WHO in March 2020. The virus spreads mainly through droplets of saliva or expulsion from the nose when a diseased person coughs or sneezes or talks.
People who are infected with the COVID-19 infection will also experience minor to moderate breathing issues and recuperate without requiring special treatment. But people who are diagnosed with underlying medical complications like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, severe obesity, cancer and chronic respiratory disease and people who are older are those who more likely to develop serious illness.
Symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19):
The sign of the virus may emerge 2 to 14 days after contact with the infected individual. The time between infection and the onset of symptoms is called the incubation period. The symptoms of coronavirus infections are:
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Muscle ache and pain
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
When to see a Doctor?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or you’ve been exposed to someone detected with COVID-19. Let your doctor know for any other underlying chronic medical disorders such as heart disease or lung disease.
Risk factors for COVID-19 appear to include:
- Travel to an area that experienced a pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 as determined by CDC or WHO
- Close touch with an individual who is tested positive for Covid 19 (not following social distancing norms) for more than 5 minutes or being coughed or sneezed by a diseased person.
- Close contact with a person with respiratory symptoms who had travelled to a geographic location that witnessed an outbreak within a 14-day period prior to the inception of symptoms.
How to get tested for Coronavirus?
In case your symptoms are explicit to the coronavirus; your doctor will perform a test. There are different types of coronavirus tests:
- Swab test: A special swab is used to take the sample from nose or throat.
- Nasal aspirate: A saline solution is injected into your nose and then, a sample is taken with a minor suction.
- Tracheal aspiate: In this, a bronchoscope i.e. a thin tube with a torch is inserted into your mouth which reaches your lungs and collects the sample.
- Sputum Test: A sputum is a dense mucus that gets collected in the lungs and releases with a cough. In this test, you have to cough up sputum in a specific cup or a swab is used to take a sample from your nose.
- Blood test: a blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm, which is beneficial for determining viral load and antibody reaction — to check the immunity.
If your test comes positive, the Covid 19 patients are categorized in 3 groups:
1: Doubtful and confirmed cases clinically assigned as slight and very slight.
2: Doubtful and confirmed cases clinically assigned as moderate.
3: Doubtful and confirmed cases clinically assigned as serious
If you are not feeling well and have similar symptoms as mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately. If you have also traveled to infected area in the preceding months, do inform your doctor. A fully functional hospital for Covid 19 patients, as authorized by the Government of India offers inclusive care primarily for those who have been clinically assigned as serious. The hospital should be well equipped with all facilities like ICUs, Ventilators and beds with assured Oxygen support. There has to be a separate area for the suspect and confirmed cases. They should also follow strict infection prevention and control practices.