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10 Things You Did Not Know About COVID-19

COVID-19 Myths

The onset of COVID-19 took the world by surprise. Countries have been bought to their knees; economies are on the verge of collapsing, the recession has reared its ugly head, and life has stopped. Everything has come to a standstill. The medical community is struggling to keep up with the sheer numbers that are piling up with no relief in sight.

Amidst all this pandemonium, it is fair to not think about anything else except survival. However, educating yourself is the best defense you can have in your fight against coronavirus. At this point, you should try asking yourself exactly how much do you know about COVID 19? Chances are not much. Sure, you know to the exact number the death toll, recovery rate, and the confirmed cases. You understand the nature of this disease and the dos and don’ts of the lockdown period. But how much do you know about COVID 19? This guide will run you through 10 things you probably had no idea about COVID 19

What is COVID 19?

COVID 19 is the name given to the coronavirus disease by the WHO. It is known to affect the respiratory system of the human body. The incubation period of COVID 19 is from 1 to 14 days from the time of exposure, with the symptoms generally revealing themselves around the 5th day. It is only known to transmit via the respiratory droplets, which can remain suspended in the air for up to 3 hours or less.

The symptoms are similar to that experienced under common flu and include:

  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Fever
  • Body and muscle ache
  • Breathlessness

10 Things about COVID 19 That Will Surprise You

Novel Disease

The COVID 19 or the coronavirus disease is popularly called the novel coronavirus disease. This is because it is caused by a new strain called the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This strain first emerged in China in December 2019 and has since then resulted in a pandemic across the world. Because of this, there is no data on how this virus behaves. The human body has no immunity against it, and that makes it much easier to infect the human body. Further, because of a complete lack of any information regarding the COVID 19 viral strain, there is no medicine or vaccine available. This might sound impossible to a lot of the population, but it is a sad reality.

The Curve

Everyone is talking about “Flattening the curve.” But a lot of people don’t understand the concept or are skeptical about it. At this stage, experts have come to the stark and sad conclusion that almost everyone will, at some point or another, get COVID 19. Given the virulence and the aggressive nature of this viral strain, chances are you will not be able to escape it. However, the focus now is to delay you from falling sick as much as possible. This is for two reasons:

  • To avoid overloading the medical infrastructure. The hospitals and the medical staff are already reeling under tremendous pressure. This is not a good time to get treatment under any circumstances. You want the comfort of having a well-rested doctor at their optimal best when you fall that sick.
  • By delaying your sickness, you also move more towards the other end of the knowledge curve. At present, the medical community is focusing on providing treatment for the symptoms only. There is still no medicine or vaccine available even though research is on at full potential all over the world. Even so, you are at least a year away from a potential vaccine. Hence delaying your contracting coronavirus makes more sense than not.

Transmission

Coronavirus transmits only from human to human. This is confirmed. There is no vector transmission. However, human to a human does not mean only through human contact. The virus can stay alive and active on surfaces as well. So any surface that comes in contact with an active case of coronavirus becomes a potential point of contact. This is the reason why coronavirus is so deadly. You have to become wise now and take this transmission seriously. The only effective method of prevention is aggressive social distancing and periodic hand hygiene.

Active period

The coronavirus is believed to be able to survive on surfaces. Earlier it was believed that it could only be transmitted by coming in contact with an infected person, but the latest studies have revealed that it is capable of surviving on surfaces. It has been known to stay active for 72 hours on plastic and 24 hours on cardboard.

Recovery

Some people mistakenly believe that it is not possible to recover from coronavirus. There has been false information floating around that coronavirus is a fatal disease with no cure. While it is true that as of date, coronavirus has no medicine or vaccine available, but that does not mean you will die if you contract coronavirus disease. In India, out of the 5709 active cases, 503 cases have already been cured and discharged. Current statistics can be accessed at the government portal.

Temperatures

COVID 19 can and does survive in extreme temperatures. It is known to remain active in over 25 degrees C and even in freezing temperatures. Coronavirus is not affected by cold weather, snow, heat, and humidity. It is equally active in all these weather conditions.

Mosquitoes

Coronavirus is not a vector-borne disease like Dengue or Malaria. It has absolutely no link to the mosquitoes. Even if a mosquito bites an infected person and then bites you, you will not get coronavirus. In short, coronavirus is not transmitted through mosquitoes. However, you should still be careful about mosquito bites because of other diseases.

Antibiotics

Some people have been debating on why antibiotics are not being used to treat coronavirus. Well, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Coronavirus is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 strain of the virus and is hence classified as a viral disease. As such, the treatment of coronavirus will require an anti-viral medicine and not an anti-biotic.

Flu-like Disease

This misconception has been widely circulated. Many people have even found comfort from this thinking that even if you get coronavirus, it is just like any other flu. This is a misconception. Coronavirus is much more than just flu. It just begins with flu-like symptoms. The virus attacks your respiratory system, especially the lungs. It causes a debilitating cough that you find difficult to come out of. The young have been known to overcome the symptoms and recover fairly quickly, but if you are old or have a precondition, then you should be a little scared. Coronavirus is deadly in this category, with most requiring medical aid and ventilators. It is this class of people that have currently overwhelmed the medical system all round the world.

Re-Infection

Mostly when you contact a viral disease, your body builds immunity against it. So, when you get exposed to the same virus a second time, your body recognizes it and fights it off. Most vaccines work on this principle. However, there is always a possibility that you might get re-infected with the same virus. Unfortunately, with a woman in Japan very recently testing positive for coronavirus a second time around, this seems like a possibility. The medical community is remaining positive and allowing for other possibilities, including a false negative at the time of discharge. However, the chances of coronavirus re-infection cannot be ruled out completely.

COVID-19 Popular Misconceptions

After listing some facts that you probably did not know about the coronavirus, it is now time to discount certain information that you considered as facts:

  • Nasal Saline Helps Ward Off Coronavirus: There is no scientific evidence supporting this claim.
  • Only the Old Can Get Coronavirus: Coronavirus is known to affect every age group. Even babies cannot get it.
  • Lockdown Is Overrated: Social distancing is the only effective means of controlling this pandemic.
  • Political strategy: There is nothing political or religious about coronavirus. It is a real disease with deadly consequences. You have to trust your government to see you through this pandemic.
  • Garlic is a known medicine against coronavirus: There is absolutely nothing that proves that garlic is an effective medicine against any virus, let alone coronavirus. Garlic can only help boost your immunity in general and does not affect curing coronavirus.

COVID 19 FAQ Corner

How long does it take to recover from Coronavirus disease?

As per the current data available and WHO statement, the time from onset of the disease to recovery is observed to be two weeks for mild cases and 3 to 4 weeks for people classified as severe cases.

Is Coronavirus airborne?

As per WHO, coronavirus is not known to be airborne. However, the virus can remain suspended in the air as respiratory droplets from an infected person for up to 3 hours through some research shows that these droplets are too heavy to remain suspended in air and tend to fall on surfaces. Hence the verdict on whether or not coronavirus is airborne is open for debate.

Is Coronavirus the same as SARS?

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, known as SARS, was responsible for the 2003 respiratory outbreak in the world. It is quite different from Coronavirus. They both same the same viral genetics, but the disease caused by coronavirus is very different from the one caused by SARS.

Is headache considered a coronavirus symptom?

Coronavirus symptoms are generally flu-like symptoms. They range from cough, cold, body aches, and fever. Headache by itself is not considered a coronavirus symptom.

Bottom Line

COVID 19 is a very new viral disease. Studies are still underway to fully understand this particular strain. A lot of information is already available on this disease about your safety and effective prevention, but a lot more is yet to come. The need of the hour is to keep abreast with the current situation and information as and when it is published. But ensure that the source of information is viable and trustworthy. You want to stay informed with facts, not panicked with absurdities.

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Role of Ayurveda In COVID 19 Pandemic

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To curb the menace caused by Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (aka AYUSH), recommended...

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