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The Good and Bad about #COVID19

Muhammad UsmanMultimedia Journalist

23rd Mar, 2020. 11:26 pm
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The mortality rate because of this virus is probably about or even less than 1%. With the confirmed cases reported at  China,  80%  had fairly  mild symptoms  (defined as  no significant  infection in  the lungs).  About  15%  had  severe  symptoms  that  caused significant  shortness  of breath,  low  blood  oxygen or  other  lung  problems, and  fewer than 5% of cases were critical.

In the outbreak in USA it was noted that 31-70% of adults of ages 85 years & older and

31-59%  of adults of ages between  65-84  years needed  hospital. Whereas  6-29%  of adults 85  years old and older and 11-31% of adults 65-84  years old  were admitted in intensive care for treatment

Who are at Risk?

People  with older  ages  with less  immunity or  people  underlying  with serious  medical conditions  like heart patients, Diabetics, Lung diseases or severe asthma  are at more risk. In USA studies indicates that most deaths have been for the people over 65 years of  age.  Diabetes, emphysema   and   heart problems were   among   the   pre-existing conditions that some people suffered before they were diagnosed with corona virus.

Known Symptoms:

Reported illnesses have ranged  from  mild symptoms to severe illness. The symptoms that  may  appear within  2-14  days  after  exposure  are  Fever,  Cough,  Shortness  of breath, fatigue and muscle aches. A runny nose and sore throat are far  less common, reported by just 5% of patients.

Emergency warning signs for which immediate medical attention should be seek could be Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, Bluish lips or face.

How the Virus spreads:

Most infections happen in families, where people come in close contact. You need to be within one  to  two  meters  (3  to  6  ft)  of somebody to  be  infected  by  viral-loaded  water droplets  from  their  coughs  or  when they are  speaking. The  tests  show that when the virus is carried by the released droplets, it remains viable, or able to still infect people, in aerosols for at least three hours. Since this is less likely in public transport, therefore the government imposes restrictions in public transport.

it  would  also  be  possible  to  pick  up  the  virus  on  your  hands  from  a  surface  that somebody  with  the  infection  had  touched.  The  virus  can linger  for  48  hours  or  even possibly 72 hours on a hard surface, such as the  hand rail in the  bus or public places, though  less  time  on  a  soft  surface.  That  is  why  the  advice  is  to  wash  your  hands regularly  and  avoid  touching  your  face,  to  prevent  the  virus  getting  into  your  nose, mouth or eyes if your hands are infected.

Through  a  series  of  recent  experiments,  researchers  tracked  the  virus’  viability  on different surfaces, discovering that its half-life covers a wide range of time periods. On copper,  for  instance,  the  virus  survived  just  four  hours.  But  on  some  surfaces,  its longevity was much greater — lasting for up to one day on cardboard, and up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel. And when it came to aerosols, the virus lasted for three hours after being sprayed. In terms of half-life, the research team found that it takes  about  66  minutes  for  half  the  virus  particles  to  lose  function  if  they  are  in  an aerosol droplet.  That means that after another hour and six minutes, three quarters of the virus particles will be essentially inactivated but 25% will still be viable.

Actions to reduce your risk of getting sick

   The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus

   Prepare your own SOP’s according to your environment and family

   If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or

because you  have  a  serious  long-term  health problem, it is  extra  important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

   Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.

   Avoid crowds and all non-essential travels as much as possible. If you have to go out in public, keep away from others (You do not know who are sick), limit close contact especially in poorly ventilated  spaces  and  places  at  closed-in settings with little air circulation wash your hands often.

   To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places, like

elevator buttons, door handles,  handrails,  handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.

   Avoid  touching  your  face, nose,  eyes,  and  mouth, etc.  with unwashed  hands before disinfecting or washing

   Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.  Make  it  habitual to

disinfect through hand sanitizer  while entering  your  home or wash it thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds before touching any item at home

   Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a  public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

   If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

   Restrict  the visiting of personals at your home  to  very essential level. Try to do much of your works, staying at home with your own, rather inviting people to do

the work at your home.

   You are not aware if any visiting person can bring some infection to  your  home

which   may   latter   make   you   sick.   Clean   and   disinfect frequently   touched

surfaces daily.   This  includes  tables,  doorknobs,  light  switches,  countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks and seating places

   If surfaces are dirty,  clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior  to disinfection.

   Most common household disinfectants will work.  Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface. For diluting your household bleach, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach in one gallon of water.  One gallon of water is equal to  3.78  liters. Approximately 4 normal glasses make one liter.

   If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring

for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Things you can do to support yourself

   Take breaks from watching,  reading,  or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

   Take care of your body.  Take deep breaths,  stretch,  or meditate.  Try  to  eat

healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep

   Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

Actions you must take if you are sick or become infected

   You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a  healthcare center. If you are not able to wear  a  facemask  (for  example, because  it causes  trouble  breathing), then you should  do  your  best  to  cover  your  coughs  and  sneezes,  and  people  who  are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room

   Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

   Throw used tissues in the trash.

   Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least  20  seconds.  If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a  hand sanitizer

that contains at least 60% alcohol.

   Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. People who are mildly ill

with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas

   Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get

care, if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency

   Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

   Separate yourself from other people in your home;  this is known as home isolation.  As much as possible,  you should stay in a  specific  “sick room”  and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

   Connect with others through telephonic conversations, especially with people you trust and they show concerns about you and your feelings.

   Cleaning  of  visibly  dirty  surfaces  followed  by  disinfection  is  a  best  practice measure  for  prevention and  spreading  of COVID-19  and  other  viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings

   Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should

be discarded after each cleaning.  If reusable gloves are used,  those gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.

   Household members should clean hands often,   including immediately after

removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%  alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

Further fighting actions:

   Steam  therapy, or  steam  inhalation, involves  inhaling  water  vapor  to  open the airways and help the lungs drain mucus. steam adds warmth and moisture to the air, which may improve breathing and help loosen mucus inside the airways and lungs. Inhaling water vapor can provide immediate relief and help people breathe more easily

   Green tea contains  many antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the

lungs. These compounds may even protect lung tissue from the  harmful effects of smoke inhalation.

   Inflammation of the airways can make breathing difficult and cause the chest to feel   heavy   and   congested.   Eating   anti-inflammatory   foods   can   reduce inflammation  to  relieve  these  symptoms.  Foods  that  help  fight  inflammation includes,  turmeric,  leafy  greens,  cherries,  blueberries,  olives,  walnuts,  beans, lentils

Author: Shah Muhammad Tanweer

He is an Environmentalist with a Masters’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Neduet.

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