The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus is rapidly spreading in China and few cases are being reported worldwide.
Chinese health authorities on January 7 reported a new coronavirus belonging to the family of viruses that includes common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Ever since this new virus has been discovered, the death toll has increased to 170 till date, in the central city of Wahun, from where it was originated. China has quarantined millions of people and has laid restrictions on travel, sale and consumption of meat.
Coronavirus was first discovered in the year 1960, getting the name corona as the virus resembles the shape of the crown. This virus generally gets transmitted as the same way as cold viruses via the droplets of infected persons while coughing, sneezing, touching the affected person’s hand or face or touching the things used by the infected person. As the virus is zoonotic it can spread from both humans and animals. Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
The virus can infect any person and it is more common during winter and the change of the season. Symptoms of this deadly virus are very similar to mild upper respiratory illness and common cold and the incubation period is about 10-14 days.
Coronavirus is diagnosed by doing certain blood work and cultures of nose and throat. In severe cases, the viruses spread to the lower respiratory tract leading to pneumonia which may be fatal in older people, people with heart diseases and compromised immune system. Severe cases the treatment aims at providing care and support to the vital organ functions.
How To Prevent Coronavirus?
There is no vaccine for coronavirus. To prevent infection and to lessen the exposure and transmission of coronavirus follow the preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization:
- Wash the hands regularly using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. Wash hands before and after eating, after using the toilet, when hands are dirty and after touching animals or animal waste. Also Read: Global Handwashing Day 2019: The Importance Of Sanitizing For Healthier Living
- Always cover the mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with a tissue - discard the tissue and clean the hands immediately.
- Avoid unprotected contact with people who has a cold, cough or flu-like symptoms.
- Seek immediate medical help if you suffer from a cold, cough or fever and also reveal your recent travel history.
- Thoroughly cook meat, milk and eggs and avoid eating undercooked and raw animal products. Raw animal products should be cooked with care to avoid cross-contamination of uncooked foods.
- Stay away from farm animals or live poultry
- When visiting the markets particularly in regions where coronavirus is spreading, avoid unprotected contact with animals and surface contact with animals.
- Avoid travelling if you have a cough or fever and stay at home
Eat a nutritious and healthy diet including ample amounts of vegetables and fruits to meet your daily dose of essential nutrients. Load up with foods rich in vitamin C including citrus fruits, berries, guava, kiwi, grapefruit, papaya, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower and capsicum to bolster the immune system and keep infections at bay.
Adequate hydration is very important. Increase the intake of water to keep the viruses at bay. It is reported that dry throat makes it easier for the virus to invade one’s body. Ensure your throat is moist constantly. It is recommended to drink warm water on a regular basis to keep your throat moist.