COVID-19 affects different people differently” Dr. Y. Vighnesh

Hyderabad: To cut through the panic and confusion surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic due to which the nation is in lockdown, Freemasons of Telangana, a 300 years old a global moral building society organized a Webinar ‘Conquer Corona – Know what you don’t know’ in association with CallHealth, India’s leading home health care provider. JCI Buddhapurnima Hyderabad, a global young people’s organisation and Hybiz TV also partnered for the event.

About 100 people from across the world logged in for the Webinar. It lasted well over an hour. It was moderated by D. Ramchandram from Freemasons of Telangana. In these past three weeks the Google has become Guru and Whats App for University for many.  People have become screenagers—hooked on to Mobile, TV, Desktop, Laptop, Tablet Screen exploring information. But, still, there is uncertainty, insecurity and misinformation.  

That is why this Webinar What we still don’t know about Corona.,  We still don’t know cure or vaccine for the Virus. Whether younger are less likely to die, can people be re-i8nfected? Does it spread more slowly in hot places like India, whether the Trillion Dollars spent on research is helping? These and many are still unanswered. We need to know about these. That is why this Webinar, which is about information, advice, guidance in tackling health, wellness, fitness and lifestyle during and after COVID, said D. Ramchandram, moderating the Webinar. 

Dr. Vighnesh Y. Naidu, Specialist – Internal Medicine, Virtual Medicine, Wellness and Telemedicine expert addressing the participants said that our understanding of COVID-19 is still evolving and there is still no absolute indication as to how it spreads.  It affects different people differently. Multiple studies have shown the virus was present as much as 13 feet away from the patient and is able to survive 9-12 hours on various surfaces.

What we practiced in the beginning of the outbreak is continuously changing. What we know about the virus is being updated on a daily basis, Dr. Vighnesh said. The Government has said that there is no community spreading but it is expected and we need to prepare for it. We must be alert but not paranoid, he said.

Dr. Vighnesh informed about the virus, the vulnerable groups (gender-wise and age-wise), diagnosis and management of COVID-19 and special precautions to be taken care of. Covid’s symptoms are similar to seasonal flu i.e. Throat irritation, running nose, cough, body pains, mild fever, etc. But fever is the most predominant with about 75-80 percent presentation of these cases with fever.

But fever is not an indication of a visit to a hospital, he said. Cough, throat irritation, running nose, breathlessness and loss of appetite (in elderly people) and fatigue are the reasons one has to go to the hospital and get checked, he opined. The elderly people should consult a Doctor when they are experience fatigue to rule out flu or any other infection whereas the millennials can wait until they have symptoms, he advised.

Combined to the above, gastro-intestinal symptoms like nausea, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite and diarrhea (loose motions) are reported in 48 to 50 % of the patients.

Basic respiratory precautions such as masks apart from hand hygiene have to be followed and practiced, Dr. Vighnesh said. Social distancing of 3 to 4 feet has to be pushed further and maximally maintained as latest studies in USA are showing virus suspension even at a distance of 13feet from a positive patient, Dr. Vighnesh Y. Naidu shared.

The Pediatric age group does not seem to be severely affected by the virus. It does not mean they are immune. The age group of 20-50 years seem to be more affected in India. Millennials are more affected may be due to their larger movement compared to others. The elderly people above 60 are affected more in terms of the severity of the disease due to their diminished capacity to fight the oxidative stress.

Covid-19 can be troublesome in Pregnancies in the third trimester (6-9 months) with chances of transmission from mother to child. Diabetic and cardiac patients have lower immunity and hence those in the age of 45 and above must exercise restraint in moving about in these times, Dr. Naidu stated. Cardiac patients are advised by the American Heart Association to continue the medicines prescribed until the guidelines are changed, he added.

People suffering from Arthritis and those undergoing Chemotherapy are advised to absolutely refrain from moving around and coming in contact with who are even mildly sick, Dr. Naidu said. The Mortality Rate in India varies between 1.5 to 7.4 percent with an average of 3.5 percent as of today. Males seem to be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to the females, Dr. Vighnesh said.

Answering a query on whether children can be allowed to play next doors or downstairs, Dr. Vighnesh advised caution and said that we may not know about the movements of the neighbors or whether the play area has been sanitized properly. Answering a query on masks and gloves, Dr. Vighnesh said that any mask with 3-4 layers is OK. The N95 masks are for medical professionals and there is no need for the general public to wear those masks alone. Following Respiratory and hand, hygiene is important. Masks must be washed with soap water after coming from outside and then can be re-used, he said. No need to go for gloves, just following hand hygiene would be sufficient, he informed.

Replying to a query on whether the virus can go inside fruits and vegetables through any cuts and cracks and grow. The Doctor said that the virus cannot grow in fruits and vegetables. It can be there on the surface due to their handling. They must be washed thoroughly before consuming, he advised.

To get your queries answered on COVID-19, you can call Call Health on phone: 9133557799. It is a free e consultation with a General Physician.

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