Corona Virus is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected in almost 106 locations internationally, including in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes as “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). Coronaviruses are a large family of influenza viruses that commonly infect people and many animals including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
The new coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
1. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, sneezing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
2. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
3. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
How to prevent Spread of COVID-19
1. Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing with soap and water, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs, frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub.
2. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
3. Complete isolation of COVID-19 patients and Quarantine of those who are suspected to have Corona virus like disease till the tests are negative or at least till incubation period of 14 days is over.
4. All masks of any type either N95 or surgical or medical masks are designed to be discarded within 8 hours after use and if we use them for prolonged time they can paradoxically increase risk of different respiratory infections.
5. Maintain social distance- Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
6. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
7. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
8. Practice respiratory hygiene-Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
9. At time of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical care.
10. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
11. Avoid attending big social, political or any other gatherings
12. School children who are sick must not go to school but to seek medical advice.
13. Patients with minor ailments must not visit Hospitals
14. Number of attendants accompanying a patient to health care facility must be strictly kept low. Children and elderly must stay at home.
When to wear a Mask
1. If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
2. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
3. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
4. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose-off it properly.
5. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Dr Owais H Dar
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) and Consultant Radiologist
Kashmir Diagnostic Centre (KDC)
Janglatmandi – Anantnag