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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

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How to Find Out: Coronavirus or Common Flu?


As fear of coronavirus has spilled over the world, people are getting panic very easily at the slightest hint of feeling unwell. Many people are under the misconception about COVID-19. One should understand what the symptoms are and should seek immediate medical attention if he/she encounters such symptoms. Preventive measures given by the WHO guidelines should be followed strictly. As information provided by WHO is reliable and should be trusted completely. Also people should speak to their family physician and get their doubts clear if they have any. Getting the right information is a must.

SYMPTOMS

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 and Influenza virus are more or less similar in nature, both cause fever, cough, fatigue, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea also. 

  • It can be mild or severe varying from patient to patient ever fatal in rare cases.

  • Both can result in pneumonia

  • Other symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, chills, body ache, etc.

TRANSMISSION

  • Spread through droplets of infected person while coughing, sneezing or talking.

  • FLU can be spread by an infected person for several days before their symptoms begin to appear. COVID-19 is also believed to spread in the same manner but it is not known for sure yet.

CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT

Antibiotics is ineffective because COVID-19 is a viral infection not bacterial, also currently there is no vaccine against developing COVID-19. Depending upon the symptoms various forms of treatment is given by the medical practitioner to relieve the symptoms, the type of treatment include the following.

  • Medications to reduce fever

  • Fluids should be administered frequently to reduce the risk of dehydration.

  • Supplemental oxygen in case of more severe infection

People who have breathing problems may need a respirator.

Currently, an investigation for vaccines and treatment options for COVID-19 is done around the world. It is evident that some medications are effective in preventing and treating the symptoms of COVID-19 but the researcher needs to perform a clinical trial on a patient before it is made available for administering it to the patients. Some treatment options which are currently in use are for SARS-CoV-2 and treatment of COVID-19 are as follows.

  1. Remdesivir                                                            

It is an experimental broad-spectrum antiviral drug originally designed to target EBOLA. The researcher has found that it is highly effective in fighting against coronavirus isolated cells. 

  1. Chloroquine

It is drug used in treatment of malaria and autoimmune disease researcher claims that this drug can also be helpful in treating SARS-CoV-2 virus in studies done in test tube. 

  1. Ritonavir Lopinavir combination

Both the drugs are antiretroviral, in South Korea a 54year old man was administered with this combined drug and has shown a significant reduction in the levels of coronavirus.

  1. APN01 

Clinical trial for APN01 in china is to start soon. Certain protein like ACE2 is involved in SARS infections. This protein also protects the lungs from injury due to respiratory distress. In recent research it is known that COVID-19 also uses the same protein ACE2 to infect human cells. APN01 if effective for treating infections caused due to ACE2 protein.

  1. Favilavir

Initially, the drug was used to treat inflammation of the nose and throat, but recently China has approved the use of this antiviral drug to relieve symptoms of COVID-19. Clinical trial on 70 patients in China is shown to be effective so far. 

All these drugs are under the clinical trial process none of these drugs is proved to be completely effective yet. 

PREVENTION

COVID-19 may be prevented by maintaining complete hygiene, avoiding unnecessary contact with the infected people, staying home when sick. Besides this, the WHO (World health organization) & CDC (Centers for disease control) have said that hand hygiene is the most important and preventive tool against coronavirus. Sanitizers should be used frequently to clean the hands and avoid infection. Soap and water are superior to sanitizer because soap and water can kill all types of germs as the former fails to do so. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with minimum alcohol content is also a substitute in case of sanitizer and soap is not available. This is the instruction given by the Global Advisory Board as mentioned above WHO & CDC.


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