All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has released a pamphlet dispelling myths and listing some preventive measures for the people.
What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new recently discovered novel Corona Virus.
How does it transmit?
When a person suffering from this disease sneezes or coughs, a lot of droplets spread in the air or fall on the ground and nearby surfaces. If another person is nearby and inhales the droplets or touches these surfaces and then touches his face, eyes or mouth, he can get the infection. The chances are more if one is within a distance of less than 1 meter from the infected person.
Is there any treatment?
As on date there is no specific treatment for Corona Virus infection. Treatment for Corona Virus infection consists of symptomatic treatment. Since it is a viral infection, so in more than 80% of the cases it recovers within few days. A small proportion may need admission in hospital/ICU if they are having symptoms of severe disease.
How can I protect myself?
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water after coming from outside or after visiting a patient with Corona Virus infection. Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention.
Who should wear mask?
Persons having no symptoms are not to use mask Medical masks should not be used by healthy persons who are not having any symptoms because it creates a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as washing of hands.
What to do?
Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. An alcohol based hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol must be used for 20 seconds. If hands are dirty or soiled, do not use alcohol based hand sanitizer, but wash hands preferably with soap and water. While coughing or sneezing cover nose and mouth with handkerchief, paper tissue. If handkerchief or tissue paper is not available, cough into the flexed elbow. Dispose off tissue immediately after use and wash hands. Refrain from touching face, mouth, nose and eyes. Stay at least a meter away from those coughing or sneezing. Monitor your body temperature.
When to use medical masks?
When a person develops cough or fever he must use medical three layer masks, this will prevent your infection from spreading to others. However, you also need to wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading infection to others. Medical masks must be used while visiting a healthcare facility. Those who are caring for an ill person must also use masks. Close family contacts of such suspect/confirmed cases undergoing home care should also use triple layer medical mask.
Common myths and their answers
- Does the disease spread through food especially eating chicken, eggs and meat?
The transmission of disease has not been seen through pets
2. Does the disease spread through pets?
The transmission of disease has not been seen through pets.
3. Does the dead body of a person infected with Corona Virus transmit the infection?
There is no transmission of Corona Virus infection from the dead body of the person.
Helping to contain the disease
One can help by following good personal hygiene, handwashing and cough etiquettes. One can also avoid/restrict unnecessary travel, participation in public gatherings and can ensure a reasonable social distancing. This can contribute greatly in breaking the chain of active transmission.
The Helpline Number for Corona Virus is +91-11-23978046 Toll Free No: 1075