How does Coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses causing illness in people and common among several species of animals, including camels, cats, and bats. It has been seen with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and now with 2019-nCoV that animal coronavirus infected people and then spread among people.
In China, the death toll rose to 490 as of 4 February 2020. According to China's National Health Commission, the number of confirmed infections in the country rose to 24,324 after an additional 3,887 people were diagnosed with the virus.
How does coronavirus spread?
- The virus can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced via coughing, sneezing to a healthy person just like influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets through the mouth or nose of people reached to the lungs during inhalation. Therefore, it is preferred to maintain a distance of about 0.5m to 2m. It will keep safe from large droplets.
- A person suffering from cough/cold/sneeze should use a mask and protect everyone else nearby.
- It is also recommended to avoid the crowd or public places because in that case, you don't know who might be sick. People who are sick or infected might not show symptoms but are still infectious.
- Sometimes saliva of a sick person can get on the things through hands to door knobs, train straps, pens, digital devices, lift buttons, cups, stair banisters, etc. If you touch any of these things by accident or unknowingly and then touch your face, nose, rub your eyes or touch your loved ones face, etc. You might fall sick.
- Do you know that virus last for up to 24 hours on objects? The effective way to get rid of them is to wash these objects with soap.
Note: Currently, it is unclear that if a person can get novel coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has virus on it.
- It is also seen that with respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic.
We can't ignore how easily a virus spreads but from person-to-person, it can vary. Some viruses are infectious while others are not much. Investigations and researches are still going on about 2019-nCoV. Originally the source of the virus is an animal but now it also seems that it is spreading from person-to-person. But the spread can happen on a continuum. It is unclear that how coronavirus is spreading between people.
Precautions that can be taken are as follows:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching anyone’s face or hands, before eating, etc.
- Don’t wear a mask more than one day. Change your mask daily. Try not to touch your outside part of the mask. If you did it, then wash your hand properly.
- Do not share food, cups, utensils, towels, etc.
If a person is confirmed with coronavirus or suspected with 2019-nCoV infection. Is it necessary to hospitalise the patient or not?
Doctors and their staff will evaluate whether the patient can be cared for at home or need to be hospitalised. If they determined that there is no need to hospitalise the patient, he or she can be cured at home then under observation patient have to follow some preventive measures as mentioned below:
- Patient should remain at home, outside activities are restricted.
- Patient should stay in a separate room at home and as much as possible should remain isolated from other members of the family. If possible, he or she should use separate bathroom.
- Wear a facemask.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing. After using it throw the tissue in a lined trash and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or patient can clean hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Do not share personal household items.
- Monitor the symptoms.
As we know that information about novel coronavirus is limited but still precautions should be taken. It is rightly said that "Prevention is better than cure".