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10 elements of knowledge regarding the Coronavirus – from a scientific perspective

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Coronavirus Covid 19 Worldwide alert © Buddhilakshan4 | Dreamstime.com

After the World Health Organisation declared the Coronavirus to be global epidemic, many began circulating misleading and incorrect information, contributing to irrational fear and panic over the virus. Consequently, in honour of rationality I will share with you 10 relevant facts concerning the virus coming from a certified, scientific source.

Primarily, the virus growth period is 14 days. As follows, the incubation period (time until the first symptoms appear) is usually 4 days, but may range from 2-14 days. Therefore, to limit spreading, it is necessary to remain isolated for 14 days from the date of a potential exposure to the virus.

If you become infected with the virus, you will most likely have mild symptoms that will gradually worsen. In some cases however, symptoms may not appear despite being infected.

The most common symptom of the virus is throat pain, a cold, head and body aches. These are also frequently accompanied by high fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Other less common symptoms are: sore throat, cold, body aches, headache, diarrhea.

Everyone who is infected with the virus has pneumonia, which may lead to severe shortness of breath and occurs immediately after infection. Pneumonia occurs only for one in five people, usually in the second week of the disease and on the eighth or ninth day of the symptoms.

The symptoms of the virus may appear similar to those of a cold and bring people to confusion when trying to distinguish them, leading some to panic. The common cold however, is caused by other types of viruses and the symptoms namely start with itching or pain in the throat, followed by feeling cold without high fever.

It can however, become harder to distinguish regular influenza from Covid-19. Although the two are similar in many symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat and headache, the incubation period for influenza is very short and the symptoms appear suddenly, not increasingly as with the Covid-19 virus. The heat of the flu is also accompanied by tremors and at times, vomiting, unseen in Coronavirus patients.

Everyone who is infected with the virus must be hospitalised. You should NOT go to the hospital unless the symptoms increase (ex: severe shortness of breath). It is best to remain isolated at home and use a separate bed and bathroom. Notify your doctor of your condition, who may ask you to be examined if necessary and do not leave your home without a mask. Similarly, those who come in contact with you at home should wear a mask and wash their hands frequently with soap or hand sanitiser.

The virus can become dangerous for everyone who gets it. Most cases of the virus are cured permanently, more so with young patients whose body immunity is stronger. Those at risk of complications are usually the elderly, smokers and those with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure etc.

We should most of all aim to diminish the spread of the virus on a country level by precluding the gathering of groups. You must be at least a meter away from the infected person in order to prevent the proliferation of the virus. Consequently, many countries have suspended all study, group prayers and overcrowding in necessary work areas. We should thus suspend any gatherings in order to keep ourselves and others safe until the danger dies down. 

Generally, increasing your personal hygiene will greatly reduce your risk of infection:

– Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day for a period of no less than 20 seconds (or hand sanitiser when outside).

– Don’t touch your mouth, nose and eyes without washing your hands and refraining from greetings involving kissing or touching.

– Keep a distance of at least one meter from people as much as possible.

– Stay away from re-using unwashed cups and cutlery used by others.

– Cough and sneeze in your elbow crease or in a tissue, thereby directly disposing of it.

– Do not leave your home if you are sick until you have fully recovered.

– Frequently clean places that are most susceptible to being touched such as tables, door handles, computer keyboards, phones etc.

 

Please spread this to others and God protect us from the evil of this epidemic !

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