On 11th of March, 2020, the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus disease as a pandemic. At a time, when the COVID-19 infection has sent ripples of panic across the globe, it is mandatory to learn more about the pandemic to take necessary precautionary measures.
Typically, the coronavirus (CoV) belongs to the category of viruses which are responsible for diseases like the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Now, the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is a relatively new virus strain that was not previously identified in human beings.
COVID-19 is contagious and spreads when one comes in close contact with an infected person. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, new coronavirus tends to remain stable on various surfaces or objects for a significant period. It means one also runs the risk of exposure on touching contaminated surfaces or objects.
Currently, there is no potent coronavirus medicine to eradicate the virus. However, health groups like WHO and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have suggested individuals practice self-quarantine.
As a means to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent succumbing to the coronavirus infection, each individual should try to become informed and practice the precautionary measures. To begin with, they should find out the common symptoms and precautionary tips. Similarly, they must make it a point to debunk myths and rumours surrounding COVID-19 to deal with it more effectively and with calm composure.
Symptoms of Coronavirus disease
Generally, these are the most prevalent symptoms of coronavirus infection –
Shortness of breath
Difficulty in breathing
Acute respiratory syndrome
Though COVID-19 may manifest some common flu-like symptoms, individuals should be rushed to the concerned health authority if their conditions seem to worsen or persist. Notably, symptoms may occur within 2-14 days after being exposed to coronavirus.
Debunking coronavirus myths
Here’s a list of common myths that are doing rounds on the internet. Make sure not to believe them and pass on the correct information to your loved ones –
Myth 1: Coronavirus cannot be transmitted in hot and humid areas
Fact – The new coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas regardless of the prevailing climate. The best bet to prevent its transmission is by practising protective measures and avoiding travel to the affected areas.
Myth 2: Cold weather and snow can kill new coronavirus
Fact – Neither cold weather nor snow can kill coronavirus. Also, the normal human body temperature tends to range around 36.5°C to 37°C despite the weather and external temperature.
Myth 3: Taking a hot bath prevents new coronavirus disease
Fact – A hot bath does not prevent coronavirus disease. Nonetheless, maintaining personal hygiene and using a soap to wash hands frequently helps to eliminate the virus that may be present on one’s hands.
Myth 4: Coronavirus is also transmitted through mosquito bites
Fact – There is no such information or any kind of evidence suggesting that mosquito bite transmits coronavirus infection. It is mainly spread when a person comes in contact with an infected person’s respiratory droplets. Hence, to contain the spread avoid close contact with people who are coughing and sneezing.
Myth 5: Hand dryers can kill coronavirus
Fact – Hand dryers are not effective when it comes to killing the new coronavirus. A more hygienic way of drying hands after washing them with soap is with paper towels.
Myth 6: Ultraviolet disinfection lamp kills new coronavirus
Fact – No, it does not help to kill 2019-nCoV. Instead, using UV lamps to sterilise any area of the skin can cause skin irritation due to exposure to UV radiation.
Myth 7: Thermal scanners can detect the new coronavirus infection
Fact – Thermal scanners are effective in detecting fever because of the coronavirus infection. However, it cannot detect who has been exposed to COVID-19 and are yet to manifest symptoms.
Myth 8: Spraying chlorine or alcohol on body kills coronavirus
Fact – Spraying alcohol or chlorine on the body would not kill the virus that has made their way into a human respiratory system. Also, spraying such substances can prove harmful to the mucous membrane. Instead, use them to disinfect surfaces as per recommendations.
Myth 9: Pneumonia vaccine can treat coronavirus
Fact – Pneumonia vaccines like Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) or pneumococcal vaccine cannot be used to treat the new coronavirus disease. A potent antidote is yet to be discovered against the virus. In the meantime, individuals are advised to maintain personal hygiene and practice social distancing.
Myth 10: Only older adults are prone to coronavirus
Fact – Individuals of all age are susceptible to COVID-19, which means everybody should maintain proper hygiene at all times. Notably, older adults and those with existing medical conditions are more prone to show critical coronavirus symptoms.
Myth 11 – Eating garlic prevents the new coronavirus
Fact – Though garlic possesses some antimicrobial properties, there is no evidence of it preventing the new coronavirus.
Myth 12: Rinsing nose with saline prevents coronavirus infection
Fact – There is no substantial evidence that using saline to rinse nose prevents coronavirus infection. Also, rinsing nose regularly has offered no evidence in preventing the onset of respiratory infections.
Myth 13: Antibiotics can treat coronavirus
Fact – Antibiotics only work on bacteria. Since COVID-9 is a virus, antibiotic does not prove to be of any help in its treatment. However, to prevent or eliminate any kind of bacterial co-infection, coronavirus patients may receive antibiotics from health professionals.
Tips to prevent coronavirus infection
Since medical experts are yet to formulate coronavirus vaccine, prevention is the best cure at the moment.
Here’s how you can prevent coronavirus infection and protect both your family and self against it –
Avoid crowded places and social events, especially if you are prone to chronic illness.
Maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet from those who manifest COVID-19 symptoms or happen to be sick.
Stay at home and practice self-quarantine if you are sick. If you must go out, make sure to put on a mask before stepping out.
Wash your hands frequently with hand wash/soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a sanitizer in handy with an alcohol content of at least 60% when washing hands is not a feasible option.
Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or tissue while coughing or sneezing. Make sure to dispose of the tissue safely in a trash can immediately after using it.
Avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes and nose with unwashed hands.
Since coronavirus can sustain on surfaces, make sure to disinfect most-touched surfaces and objects frequently.
Report to the public health authority if someone in your family manifests coronavirus symptoms.
Avoid international travels or visiting regions that have reported coronavirus outbreak.
By following these pointers, you can contain the disease’s spread and significantly reduce exposure to COVID-19. Similarly, you should make sure to educate your children about coronavirus disease and help them practice cautions against it.
You should also remain calm and refrain from spreading and believing unverified rumours. Also, try to debunk myths and educate loved ones with verified facts and information.
You can use this time of social distancing to spend more time with your children and family and to rationalise their fears about the new coronavirus disease.
And considering that you might need to work from home during this pandemic, you may struggle to encourage your children to use their free time productively.
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