Coronavirus has infected more than a half-million people worldwide and caused over 24000 deaths till now. The pandemic is increasing day by day, so are the myths and fake news. We must educate ourselves properly and be prepared to fight this disease with absolute facts, especially now. So, here’s all you need to know about coronavirus.
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 or CoVs was primarily caused amongst birds and mammals only, but for a few years, it has infected humans as well. The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has exhibited the fatality of CoVs if they cross the species barrier and affect humans.
What kind of virus Coronavirus actually is?
A renewed interest in coronaviral research has resulted in the detection of several novel human CoVs and since then a lot of development has been made in understanding CoV’s life cycle. CoV envelope (E) protein is a tiny, integral membrane protein included in several phases of the virus’s life cycle, such as association, budding, envelope creation, and pathogenesis.
Recent studies have elaborated on its structural motifs, topology, its purpose as an Ion-Channeling Viroporin, and its interaction with both other CoV proteins and host cell proteins.
All you need to know about coronavirus is that the virus is not a living organism, it is pseudo alive and requires a host to function. It is a protein molecule(DNA) wrapped by a protective layer of fat, which when absorbed by the ocular cells, nasal or buccal mucosa, alters our genetic code. A virus enters our cells via protein our cells have on the surface converting them into multiplier cells and hence infecting several people around.
Coronavirus uses a ‘spike’ protein to infect a cell by attaching to the cell membrane, a process that is stimulated by certain cell enzymes. Genomic analyses of the new coronavirus have unveiled that its spike protein varies from those of close relatives. It is suggested that the protein has a position on it which is initiated by a host-cell enzyme called furin. Furin is detected in many human tissues, including the liver, lungs, and small intestines. This indicates that the virus has the potential to attack multiple organs, said Li Hua, a Structural Biologist in Wuhan, China.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
COVID-19 affects people in different ways. It is a respiratory disease and many infected people develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without any special treatment. Only people over the age of 60 and who have underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of developing serious illness and death in this case. However, the common symptoms include:
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath
- Aches & pains
- Diarrhea, nausea or a runny nose
How has it affected India?
As of yesterday, 78 new Coronavirus cases have been confirmed positive in India. Until now it has infected over 750 people in India and caused 18 deaths. Out of these, 67 are recovered and over 668 are active.
Kerala is the worst affected state with over 130 coronavirus positive cases with 11 recovered people. Maharashtra is the second most affected state with more than 125 positive cases, 3 deceased due to COVID-19 and one recovered case.
Karnataka has observed a total of 55 cases till now with 2 deceased and 3 recovered cases. Telangana has seen 44 confirmed cases with 35 in the capital, Hyderabad and one recovered case. The number of cases in the country’s capital has risen up to 36 cases from which 6 are recovered and one is departed.
This epidemic has infected 27 Indian states until now. There has been a notable increase in confirmed cases in the country at the beginning of March 2020. Hence, to control the pandemic and decrease the spike, India joins the dozen other countries that have been under lockdown for a few weeks now. On 25th March 2020, our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced a 21 days nationwide lockdown saying “The entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown“.
The curfew is going to stick around for a while and the citizens are urged to stay home and stay safe. Thus, people are urged to work from home and cancel all traveling plans at least for a month. Private companies are requested to allow their employees WFH and not cut their salaries for the same. The only functional organizations will be government offices, public services departments, grocery, and medical stores and a few more. People are also urged to follow the basic precautions to be taken for Coronavirus.
How can Coronavirus be prevented?
As many countries don’t have a lot of health capacity to treat the whole population, the best we can do is take some preventive measures for coronavirus. Preventing COVID-19 will not only keep us safe but slow down the transmission rate and death tolls. Therefore, one must follow the below prevention methods and stay safe.
- Avoid close contact with people who are infected. Keep at least 1-meter distance between yourself and anyone who is sneezing or coughing.
- Wash hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water aren’t readily available, sanitize with alcohol-based sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol.
- Refrain from touching face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth regularly.
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing to avoid contagion.
- Stay home if you feel ill as when we fall ill we are more likely to catch this disease.
- Avoid smoking and other activities that weaken your lungs.
- Practice social distancing by preventing unnecessary travel and staying away from crowded places.
- Cover yourself properly, wear a mask and goggles if at all you have to step out. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that only infected people and the people who are taking care of them should wear N95 masks.
- Do not touch the center/cloth part of the mask. Only use the strings while removing it.
- Try to use clean filters in AC and get a humidifier at home.
- Use disinfectants to clean the frequently-used objects and surfaces using a regular cleaning spray/wipe.
- As soon as you come home from grocery shopping, ask a family member to open the door and make minimal contact with anyone or anything. Make sure you wash your hands, face, legs with soap whenever you get inside the house
- Drink warm fluids like brewed tea, coffee, soups, etc., often.
So, here was all you needed to know about Coronavirus. Make sure you keep these guidelines in mind to stay safe and healthy. Stay home, maintain hygiene and social distance, and stay safe