The situation of coronavirus or Covid 19, is worsening globally. India is also not safe from the Covid 19 attack. Already around 29 such cases, where people have tested positive for coronavirus, have been reported from various parts of the country. They are Delhi, Jaipur, and Hyderabad, to name a few. There are scare and apprehension among people surrounding the situation. As a result, in areas such as Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) demand for masks and sanitizers has shot up to an unexpected level. This has contributed to the shortage of these products at stores. People have also claimed that these are now being sold at a price that is much higher than normal.
24 people staying at a hotel in Delhi were quarantined recently. It was followed due to the suspicion that they may be positive for coronavirus. Three among these people are Indians and the rest are from Italy, where a serious outbreak of the disease has already started.
At this acute situation in our country, let us find out on this health news portal the right measures to keep ourselves protected against this deadly virus.
What is a Coronavirus (Covid 19) and how does it spread?
Coronavirus (Covid 19) belongs to a larger family of viruses responsible for causing a wide range of illnesses such as common cold and some other severe ailments. The most prominent among them are Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, A novel coronavirus, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Among these, A novel coronavirus or SARS Cov 2 is a new strain as it is yet to be identified among humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic by nature. This means that they are transmitted from animals to humans.
Detailed investigations, showed that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is transmitted from civet cats to humans . It further suggests that the dromedary camels transmits Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Besides, animals also have several other coronaviruses that are yet to affect humans. The common signs of suffering from coronavirus infection are the following:
- respiratory symptoms
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
In some severe cases, such a virus can also lead to kidney failure and pneumonia. Additionally it may cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, and may claim lives as well.
WHO, CDC, and OSHA recommended the following measures to ensure that infection can be stopped from spreading.
Guidelines from WHO and Indian health ministry to protect oneself from coronavirus (Covid 19)
The union health ministry of India advises the following-
- Wash hands frequently with soap.
- Keep a distance from people as much as you can.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose as much as possible.
- Practice respiratory hygiene. Use a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth while sneezing. Discard used tissue immediately.
- If you experience symptoms such as fever, difficulty in breathing, and coughing you should seek medical attention at the earliest.
- Avoid spitting in public.
- Avoid visiting any animal farm or hatchery at this moment.
WHO (World Health Organization) further advises to-
- Clean your hands at all times with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Touching your face after staying in close contact with sick individuals increases the risk of transmission of the virus. The same is applicable for touching contaminated surfaces as well.
- In case you are visiting heavily crowded places at hospitals, airports, railway stations wear masks like N95 or N99 masks.
The situations in which you must wash your hands are enumerated as below:
- after sneezing or coughing
- after using the toilet
- while taking care of sick people
- when your hands are dirty
- before, after, and during preparing food
- after taking care of animal waste or handling them
- before you eat
Apart from these, the WHO has recommended some specific protective measures for employers to protect their business and employees.
WHO guidelines for protecting your business and employees from coronavirus
As a business owner, there are several things that is you can implement at workplace. This will ensure in preventing the spread of coronavirus in your business establishment. The following are the measures you should practice in the workplace.
- Ensure that your workplace is hygienic and clean at all times.
- Ensure that your employees, customers, and contractors wash their hands regularly.
- Encourage good respiratory hygiene in your workplace.
- Before going on business trips, advise your contractors and employees to get travel advice from the national government.
- Employers should also inform them that if situation demands they should stay home. This is especially if the area where they are supposed to be working, experience the spread of this disease.
- If the disease has already arrived in your community you need to come up with an action plan. This is regarding the steps you can take if your employees and contractors are suspected of suffering from the same.
- Promote work at home in such circumstances.
- Keep a contingency plan ready in case of an outbreak.
Is there any treatment for Covid 19?
In a video, the Director-General of WHO has said that at least 20 vaccines are being developed all around the world. Several medicines are also in the stage of clinical trials. So there is hope that some cure can be found for the disease. Research in the USA has also proved that SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) drugs can help cure coronavirus as well. A particular protein named Nsp15 of SARS-CoV2 has been identified. This particular protein can be used in making medicines. The medicines produced with this protein can combat this global phenomenon more effectively.
The researchers from the University of Chicago, the Feinberg School of Medicine of the Northwestern University, the Argonne National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy, and the Riverside School of Medicine of the University of California has done the mapping. The research has found out that the protein named Nsp15 of SARS- Cov2 bears 89% similarities with the SARS-CoV protein. SARS studies, published in 2010, showed that the protein in question could slow the speed at which the virus replicates itself. This is why there is hope that in these circumstances also the drug can prove to be helpful.
However, there is a new ray of hope since China has approved the use of an anti-inflammation drug named Actemra. It is applicable for patients who develop severe complications from the coronavirus. This drug can be effective in combating this deadly infection globally.
Last but not the least, maintain your basic hygiene to stay protected and fight the disease.
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