Most people who get infected with Covid-19 will have a mild form of the disease. According to the WHO, around 80% of people who get Covid-19 will recover without needing hospitalisation. Some groups are more at risk of severe disease, including older adults and people with underlying medical concerns, such as high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, and cancer.
Researchers first identified a corona virus in 1937, isolating one that was responsible for a type of bronchitis in birds that had the potential to devastate poultry stocks. Scientists found evidence of human corona viruses in the 1960s, in the noses of people with common cold. Human corona viruses that are particularly prevalent include 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. The name corona virus comes from the crown-like projections on their surfaces. “Corona” in Latin means “halo” or “crown.”
Symptoms of Covid-19
If you get infected by the novel corona virus, it is not necessary that you’ll show symptoms. Studies have shown that majority of people infected by corona virus do not show symptoms. But if you don’t have symptoms it does not mean you are any safer than those who have symptoms. It’s just that your body is fighting the virus well and is not letting the virus take the upper hand, but the virus is still in your body. Following symptoms can be experienced by a corona virus infected person within 2-14 days after getting infected:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Congestion or runny nose
Loss of taste or smell
Nausea or Vomiting
If you think you may be Covid-19 positive, the first thing you should do is self isolate yourself. Don’t meet anyone, not even your family members. Don’t panic; it’s just a virus and is treatable. The more you panic the more difficult the situation you will find yourself in. Take an online Covid-19 self assessment test.
If your condition improves, it may be just a flu or cold, but if your condition worsens, call your physician or Covid-19 helpline and get yourself tested.
Can Covid-19 be treated at home?
Yes, it can be. As the cases are increasing day by day, authorities are facing a heavy load and timely action is very difficult under these circumstances. It may take them 2-3 days to even get you tested, or even if they test you on time, and if your results come as Covid-19 positive, there is a chance that beds may not be available in the hospital. What will you do in such circumstances? First: don’t panic. Second: isolate yourself. Ask your family to do the same, because they may have come in contact with you.
Rest and only rest. Don’t do anything that makes you tired or makes your body suffer physically. Take medication for each of your symptoms, like if you have fever, take paracetamol and for cough take cough suppressant syrup. Avoid taking antibiotics in the first place, but if you have congestion or phlegm cough, you may take it. Apart from medication, you may take Kadha at least twice a day. It is an ayurvedic herb drink and may prove helpful in such condition. Take hot steam inhalation once or twice a day. Start doing gargles and do them at least twice a day. The most important thing: start taking multi vitamin supplements every day. Also, take a good and balanced diet.
After doing all this, there are good chances that your condition will improve in a few days. If it does improve, continue doing the same for a period of 14 days and after 14 days get yourself tested. If your condition does not improve, but instead worsens, call Covid-19 helpline and report of severe symptoms and get yourself hospitalised immediately.
Can our immune system fight this virus?
Our immune system offers us two lines of defence against viruses. The first is the innate system which includes physical barriers such as skin and mucous membranes (the lining of the throat and nose), various proteins and molecules found in tissues, as well as some of the white blood cells that attack invading organisms. This immune response is general, non-specific, and kicks in quickly.
Children have immature immune systems, but one hypothesis to explain why they don’t seem to get as sick with Covid-19 is that their innate immune response to corona virus is greater than in adults. This may lead to a reduced viral load – the quantity of virus particles that survive in the body – because they’re able to clear the virus more quickly.
The second line of defence is the adaptive immune response. This takes longer to initiate but once established, is much more efficient at eradicating a specific infection when encountering it again. It is thought that specific genetic variations in some people might play a part in how sick they get. By generating an early adaptive immune response, the body seems to recognise the virus during the incubation period and is able to fight it off.
A person needs to be generally healthy to be able to mount an appropriate immune response to the infection. Most people develop antibodies after recovery from Covid-19, even those without symptoms. It is a reasonable assumption that these antibodies will offer some measure of protection from re-infection. But nothing is known for sure yet.
Can we be safe and not get infected?
Well, many researchers and studies say that it’s just a matter of time. One day or another, we all may get infected. But as of now, it’s just a hypothesis. There is still a good chance that you may not get infected provided you take all the precautions, take care of your health, and build a strong immune system. To reduce your chances of getting infected, make sure you don’t go out unnecessarily. When you do go out, make sure you wear a mask or just cover your mouth and nose with anything clean you can find, like a handkerchief. Prefer wearing gloves while going out. Never touch your face or eyes or your mask with your hands. Carry a pocket sanitiser and use it frequently. Don’t hug people, don’t shake hands, and always try maintain a physical distance of 6 feet. Never go to a gathering and always avoid going into crowded places. Don’t touch anything and don’t eat anything while you are outside.
After coming back home, the first thing you should do is wash your hands properly with soap and then remove your mask. For more safety precautions, wash your hands once again with soap and then clean your mouth, nose and eyes properly with water.
Talking about Kashmir, it has been seen that most people are roaming around without any mask. It’s my humble request to all, kindly wear a mask. By not wearing a mask you not only put your life but the lives of all your family members in danger. Wear a mask, stop hugging people and stop shaking hands. Also, stop believing that you won’t get infected because you have faith in Almighty. First tie your camel and then put faith in Almighty. Stop moving out unnecessarily. Also, start taking multi vitamins in your daily diet to make your immune system strong enough.
The writer is a student of medicine. [email protected] ?