After three people from the state tested positive for coronavirus, the Government of Kerala today declared the lethal disease caused by the novel coronavirus as a “state calamity”.
Currently, two other patients- both medical students at a university in Wuhan- are being treated in isolation wards at the Thrissur and Alappuzha Medical Colleges respectively. Both the students had travelled together to Kochi from Wuhan.
The novel coronavirus infection that first broke out in Wuhan, China, has spread to 25 countries so far. At least 361 deaths and 17,205 cases of the virus have been reported from China.
The virus is believed to have originated late last year in a food market in the Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Health experts think it may have originated in bats and then passed to humans, possibly via another animal species.
The World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan at the end of December. Chinese authorities confirmed they had identified a new virus a week later.
The new coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person, although it is not clear how easily that happens. Most cases so far are in people who have been in Wuhan, family members of those infected, or medical workers
Coronavirus Prevention and Symptoms: 10 Tips and When to Seek Medical Attention
1. First, it causes a sore throat that generally lasts 3-4 days.
2. Next, Coronavirus mixes with nasal fluid and mucus. It can enter the trachea and make its way to the lungs. This usually causes pneumonia. This period lasts another 5-6 days.
3. During the pneumonia infection, patients also experience a high fever and more difficulty breathing.
4. Of note, as it progresses, the nasal and lung congestion does not feel like a normal cold. It’s more like not being able to breathe and drowning.
It’s absolutely imperative to seek immediate medical attention if you have these symptoms.
10 Vital Tips for Coronavirus Prevention
1. Runny nose and sputum mean you likely have a common cold, and not the Coronavirus. If you have a runny nose, it’s still best to stay home and not spread the cold, but this is different than Coronavirus.
2. If you have a dry cough and no runny nose, that is more inline with Coronavirus pneumonia symptoms. By the time you develop noticeable symptoms, the disease may have progressed. A great way to self-check your lungs each day before symptoms appear is to take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds while in an environment of clean air. If you can hold it without coughing, tightness, discomfort, or stiffness, your lungs are without the fibrosis caused by the virus. If coronavirus is active, you will likely not be able to hold your breath for long without coughing and discomfort.
3. The Coronavirus is killed by heat. Use hot water, get as much sunlight as possible, and boil or steam anything you believe could be contaminated.
4. Maintain distance between yourself and others, at least 5 feet and preferably 10 feet. A sneeze that contains the Coronavirus will have droplets that travel up to 10 feet before they are no longer airborne and contagious. Avoiding close contact with others is a vital Coronavirus prevention measure.
5. The Coronavirus can live on different surfaces, for different amounts of time. It can live on metals surfaces for 12 or more hours. Disinfect the surfaces if possible and wash your hands after any contact.
6. The Coronavirus can live on fabric for 6-12 hours. If you come in contact with suspicious fabric, wash your hands. Normal laundry soap will suffice to disinfect the fabric.
7. Choose warm drinking water over cold, and avoid ice water. All viruses hate warm water.
8. Washing your hands is likely the most important defense you have. The virus can live on your skin for 5-10 minutes. Think of all the times you touch your face, others, and surfaces in just that time! Make sure to keep your hands away from your face, and wash your hands frequently. You can also use sanitizer when unable to wash with soap and water.
9. Gargling with salt water is a great precaution as well. Try 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces warm water.
10. The Coronavirus is most harmful if it can get from your mouth down your airways and to your lungs. Drinking water frequently can help. Drink at least every 10-15 minutes. Water forces anything in your mouth and esophagus down to your stomach, where you have powerful acid to kill viruses. Do not let your mouths become dry!
Israeli Researchers Announce Breakthrough in Coronavirus Treatment
A group of researchers in northern Israel said Thursday they had achieved a “scientific breakthrough” in treating coronavirus. At a press conference, researchers of the Migal Galilee Research Institute said that the breakthrough had come while they were doing research on coronavirus in birds. A treatment had been discovered which cured the birds infected with coronavirus, and clinical trials at Israel’s Volcani Agricultural Research Institute had confirmed the treatment’s viability.
The basic coronavirus in birds is very similar in patterns of infection and effect of the virus in humans, and the genetic structure of the virus in both humans and birds is very similar, the researchers said. As a result, the treatment developed for birds could be applicable to humans – and they believed that an effective treatment could be developed for humans within three months, they said.
David Zigdon, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute, said that “there is a great need for an immediate solution to human infection of coronavirus, and we have been working to do that nonstop. The solution we are developing against COVID-19 virus has proven effective, and we believe a version for human treatment can be ready within eight to 10 weeks. That would be followed by a 90-day test period to ensure safety. The treatment we developed for birds is given orally, and the treatment we are developing for humans will also be given orally.”
Director of the Institute Professor Dan Levanon said the speed with which the treatment could be used would depend on regulatory approval. “Under the current conditions in which the disease is causing terrible losses, I believe that state regulators would be very lenient in the various stages that the treatment must pass before it is approved, of course ensuring that it will do no harm via side effects and the like. Under normal conditions, approval of a treatment like this would likely take several years,” he said.
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