This is one of the worst pandemic in this century and unfortunately it is far from being under control at this time.
WE are still learning about this virus and hos it spreads and it’s a very fluid situation meaning what we know to be true now may change in the next day or so as more scientific date and information is gathered.
I want to give you the scientific facts that we know so far based on current studies and to share tips to help prevent the spread of this virus.
While this is a very serious situation that we as human race are facing currently there is hope and if we can all cooperate and help and follow the recommendation and guidelines set forth by the leaders in medical community at large, we can flatten the curve and hopefully stop further spread of this virus.
In the weeks to come undoubtedly the number of positive Covid-19 cases will rise exponentially as testing becomes more widespread and more people get tested. (
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with Covid-19.
They are enveloped viruses with single strand RNA genome and nucleocapsid of helical symmetry.
Covid-19 is betacoronavirus in the same subgenus as SARS
First reports of cases were from Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China, at the end of 2019, and at first it was taught to be related to a seafood market and animal exposure , however as we now know it is spreading person to person (community spread) and to date ( march/18/2020) there are over 214,677 cases reported worldwide with about 121,426 active cases and 84,402 recovered cases and 8849 deaths worldwide. (this number will change hourly). In USA there are so far 7038 cases with 97 fatalities (number will change rapidly of course).
While the numbers are staggering most people that get infected do recover and hence I want to stress while it is super important to be diligent and cautious, it’s just as important to not panic and follow the facts and stay informed.
How does it spread-
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into lungs
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms as well.
- It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Most common symptoms:
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath
Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
People at higher risk:
Elderly people with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease such as COPD, Diabetes, and people with Compromised Immune system.
Tips to protect yourself
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water use hand sanitizer that has at least 60 % alcohol.
- Avoid contact with sick people
- If you are sick stay home
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
- Cover your cough with tissues and discard in closed bin.
- Stay home as much as possible ( especially if Covid-19 is spreading in your local community)
- Avoid crowded places
- Social distancing-maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and another person
- If you feel ill call your doctor first before going to their office to avoid potentially exposing other people.
- Avoid any unnecessary travel ( definitely avoid any cruiseships , avoid air travel if not absolutely necessary for now)
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Such as doorknobs, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Boost your Immune system:
Take Vitamin C 1000 MG daily , take MVI daily, take vitamin D3 daily, drink more water, try to sleep at least 7 hours a night
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, or self quarantined but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 at this time ( there are several experimental medications being used and a lot of promising research underway) and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
The test is a PCR test that is currently available through commercial labs and current turn around time is about 72 hours, however, that is expected to change by next week as more testing kits become available and the rapid testkits may become available as well and hence much shorter turn around time.
No approved treatment YET.
Symptomatic treatment at this time.
No vaccine available YET.
Several experimental medications are being used around the world ( chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine which is an anti-malarial medication along with lopinavir/ritonavir and oseltamivir have shown to improve symptoms in some Covid-19 patients abroad)
Investigational anti -viral drug Ramdesivir
Remdesivir is an investigational antiviral compound undergoing clinical trials in China and Nebraska as a potential treatment for COVID-19
Other helpful Tips:
Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.
- Consider 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.
- Establish ways to communicate with others virtually (e.g., family, friends, co-workers).
- Establish plans to telework, remote work.
Stay Informed About Emergency Plans in your community
In summary be well informed and vigilant but not anxious.
We are all in this fight against this virus together and we will prevail.