What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the “novel coronavirus”.

Common symptoms are:
Dry cough
Breathing difficulty
Some patients also have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea

About 80% of confirmed cases recover from the disease without any serious complications. However, one out of every six people who gets COVID-19 can become seriously ill and develop difficulty in breathing.

In more severe cases, the infection can cause severe pneumonia and other complications which can be treated only at higher-level facilities. In a few cases, it may even cause death.

COVID-19 or corona virus
Image Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads mainly by droplets produced as a result of coughing or sneezing of a COVID-19 infected person. This can happen in two ways:

Direct close contact: one can get the infection by being in close contact with COVID-19 patients (within one Metre of the infected person), especially if they do not cover their face when coughing or sneezing.

Indirect contact: the droplets survive on surfaces and clothes for many days. Therefore, touching any such infected surface or cloth and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes can transmit the disease.

The incubation period of COVID-19 (time between getting the infection and showing symptoms) is 1 to 14 days.

Some people with the infection, but without any serious symptoms can also spread the disease.

Myths vs. reality for COVID-19

As COVID-19 is a new condition, there are many common myths.

Myth: The coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquitoes.
Facts: The coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Myth: Everyone should wear a mask.
Facts: People who should wear a mask are:
Those having symptom of fever, cough etc. Healthcare workers in facilities caring for ill people. The assigned caretaker of a home quarantined person. Even those wearing masks should wash their hands frequently.

Myth: Only people with symptoms of coronavirus can spread the disease.
Facts: Even people with the coronavirus infection but no symptoms can spread the disease.

Myth: Eating garlic and drinking alcohol can prevent coronavirus
Facts: Eating garlic and drinking alcohol DOES NOT prevent coronavirus

Author: Ankita Mundhra

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