Coronaviruses (CoV) are a huge family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) or (COVID – 19) is a new strain that has not been earlier identified in humans.
Actually Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Comprehensive investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Numerous known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Symptoms of Coronaviruses:
Common symptoms and signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In other severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Preventions Measures for Coronaviruses:
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anybody showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
About Coronavirus (nCoV) or (COVID – 19):
A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The new, or “novel” coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, had not previously detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. 2019-nCoV is from the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) but it is not the same virus.
2019-nCoV or COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Transmission of 2019-nCoV or COVID-19:
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.
Symptoms of 2019-nCoV or COVID-19:
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
- Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.
- These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
- Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
- Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
- Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
- Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
- About 2% of people with the disease have died.
- People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
Prevention measures of 2019-nCoV or COVID – 19:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Don’t expose others to your illness: Stay home. Even if you feel up to going out, consider the harm you could do to the young and the old, people who are immune compromised, and others who may lack your resilience.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. Fight germs and keep them from spreading: Cough or sneeze into a tissue, or your elbow. Share a smile, instead of a handshake. Wash your hands thoroughly, for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Take precautions to avoid contracting the virus: Not everyone will be as careful as you. Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Clean shared surfaces. Travel only for important reasons, and respect geographic travel advisories and bans as they arise.
Precautions for 2019-nCoV at Workplace:
- Alcohol based sanitizers are being kept at the reception of all offices.
- Workstations, floor & other areas are need to be cleansed more frequently.
- Please use a disposable tissue while coughing or sneezing. Avoid shaking hand with people & wash your hands at regular intervals.
- Employees handling maximum frontline work have been provided with masks.
- Regularly clean your hands with soaps.
- Increase water intake.
- Take a sip of warm water with regular interval
- Avoid fridge items or cold items.
- Eat Homemade Food items
- Reduce personal meetings with VC’s & calls.
- Please report if you are feeling sick and experience any of the viral symptoms and have travelled to the affected areas in the last fortnight.
- Kindly refrain meeting those who have travelled abroad in the last two weeks.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised China, South Korea, Italy, Iran or Japan on Warning Level 3 & Alert Level 2, and therefore we suggest you to avoid any travel to these countries for few weeks at least for 14 calendar days from the date you were last in the above countries.
- If you’ve recently returned from any other country, please continue to monitor your health and discuss the details with your manager before joining back the office.
- If you or a household member is suspected or confirmed to have contracted Coronavirus, please seek medical attention immediately, and you’re also required to notify your manager.
- As always, if you feel unwell – for example, fever, cough, shortness of breath – don’t come to work and seek appropriate medical attention.
Question and Answer session for 2019-nCoV or COVID – 19:
How dangerous is it?
As with other respiratory illnesses, infection with
2019-nCoV can cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough,
and fever. It can be more severe for
some peoples and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older
people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and
heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
It is still not known how long the 2019-nCoV virus survives on surfaces, although preliminary information suggests the virus may survive a few hours. Simple disinfectants can kill the virus making it no longer possible to infect people.
How long is the incubation period?
The incubation period is the time between infection and the onset of clinical symptoms of disease. Current estimates of the incubation period range from 1-12.5 days with median estimates of 5-6 days. These estimates will be refined as more data become available. Based on information from other coronavirus diseases, such as MERS and SARS, the incubation period of 2019-nCoV could be up to 14 days. WHO recommends that the follow-up of contacts of confirmed cases is 14 days.
Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat 2019-nCoV?
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus. However, those infected with 2019-nCoV should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to coordinate efforts to develop medicines to treat nCoV with a range of partners.
If you want to protect yourself from getting infected with the new coronavirus, you should maintain basic hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices and avoiding close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Don’t panic. Just stay cool and together, we can make a difference in fighting the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV). We urge you to be aware, stay safe, and support those around you.