Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomeHealthCOVID-19 Disease: Effects, Precautions, and Treatment

COVID-19 Disease: Effects, Precautions, and Treatment

COVID-19 Disease virus infects humans and animals, especially birds and may result in respiratory failure and ultimately death in severe cases, apart from this it may also cause multiple organ failures in rare cases, however, in most cases it does not result in serious complications and even an infected person may not experience any symptoms at all.

How Does It Concern

Covid-19 belongs to the Coronavirus family and is a highly contagious disease. In up to 80% of instances, infection results only in mild flu and common cold symptoms. The most important concern with this disease is that there is no treatment available right now, prevention is the only cure. Irrespective of age, it can infect anyone who comes in contact with an already infected person or animal.

However, it is not discovered up to now that it could be airborne and can infect people inhaling contaminated air, but an infected person or being breath containing from small to microdroplets of viral load could persist in the air up to hours and infect others. Symptoms could range from the common cold and sore throat to moderate pneumonia for mild group individuals and from difficulty in breathing to shortness of breath involving assisted respiration while the last 5% of critical patients may suffer from respiratory failure to multiple organs failure and ultimately death.

The Coronavirus Worldwide
Total Cases (confirmed) 311,099,080
Total Casualties 5,512,468
Recovered 260,673,035
Active Mild Cases 44,819,855
Active Critical Cases 93,722
Total No. of Active Cases 44,913,577

 

You must follow precautions as this is the only way to be safe from the disease. While interacting, you must maintain at least six feet of distance. Keep away from vicinity of those people who are showing symptoms. It does not matter if infection is severe or mild, people don’t show symptoms for up to two days. So follow the precautionary measures.

Severity Figures

From susceptible individuals to 5% critical group patients may experience lasting symptoms that could persist lifelong even if they are completely recovered from the disease, like permanent lung damage, cardiovascular and diabetes diseases, etc. Though a range of vaccines is available to boost the immune system against the Coronavirus, no one is 100% effective though.

Cause and Symptoms

Covid-19’s first case was discovered in Wuhan province, China in December 2019. Since then disease has rapidly been spread worldwide resulting in a global pandemic due to its highly contagious nature. Millions have suffered from this disease and hundreds of thousands have died.

Covid-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus-2) virus and its variants through infected person’s viral load contained in his/her saliva and body fluids especially in lung fluid and mucus when such person sneezes, coughs, breaths, talks, etc. in close proximity.

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When a person gets infected, the individual usually does not experience any symptoms for at least up to two days and in some cases up to even 7 days, but usually, at least one symptom will surface after this period. Once appearance of symptoms, infection will remain in the body for at least up to 14 days and in rare cases for up to 20 days if the infection does not result in fatality. An infection will result in a range of symptoms depending on the severity of the disease. From 1/3, who don’t experience any symptoms to up to 80%, who will experience mild to moderate symptoms.

For mild and moderate individuals, there will be a mild fever, tiredness, cough, loss of smell, and loss of taste. For 14% severe ones, they experience difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath including high fever associated with severe cough, muscle ache, fatigue, etc., but the last 5% critical ones will need intense medical assistance, with symptoms of shock, asphyxiation, lung failure, dysfunction of organs or even multiple organ failure that could result in death. These 5% patients make up to 98% count of total mortality rate due to Covid-19.

Precautionary Measures

coronavirus social distancing measure
https://www.pixabay.com/

Use Sanitizers 

As there is no treatment right now available for Covid-19 and its variants, precautionary measures are the only way to go. Social distancing must be observed strictly in order to not get caught with infection with the use of application of disinfectants on hands and things you may potentially get in contact with. Coronavirus primarily infects lung cells and is so mostly localized in high number in saliva and mucus from infected person lung and adjoining area.

It is also revealed in recent research on a virus that only a certain level of viral load is capable of infecting the majority of people and viral load containing not a certain number may not result in infection as the human immune system is quite capable of fighting off the infection. Thus it concludes that viruses spreading through saliva and nose mucus are primarily responsible for causing infection.

coronavirus precautionary measures
https://www.pixabay.com/

Wear Face Mask

So every individual must wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth. Sneeze and cough of infected individuals travel up to 6 feet in the air containing more than the required viral load that can potentially infect a healthy being who breathes in that surroundings. Droplets containing viral load can persist in the air in a suspension state for hours and if the wind is blowing these can migrate to new places.

About Touching Surfaces 

Even after settling on the ground, such droplets can contaminate that surface and whoever gets in contact with that surface he/she can get infected. Despite observing all measures and guidelines concerning Covid-19, you can get infected obliviously by touching a surface such as. So avoid going out unless it is necessary, if you have to, avoid touching surfaces which are at public places or get touched frequently by people, such as door handles, railings, shop/cash counters, etc. to save yourself from catching an infection.

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Researches regarding Covid-19 suggest using an alcohol-based disinfectant to sanitize your hands and often used surfaces frequently as alcohol is effective in neutralizing and killing the coronavirus, thus always keep with you such a disinfectant.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Soap is also effective in removing and killing the Covid-19 virus so one must wash his hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds as recommended by WHO. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, COVID-19 Disease and face area with your hands. With these measures, we can avoid being caught with the virus and also contribute to containing infection from spreading. Persons with compromised immunity must be extra cautious about this disease.

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance while interacting with someone
  • Wear a mask when you go outside, especially in congested and public places
  • Stay in well-ventilated space, avoid congested spaces
  • Clean your hands with soap regularly at least for up to 20 seconds
  • If soap is not available, sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell
  • Get vaccinated when it’s your turn
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth when coughing or sneezing
coronavirus vaccination drive
https://www.pixabay.com/

Get Vaccinated & Observe Precaution

Vaccines are claimed to be effective for boosting immunity to fight off infection but these too are not 100% effective against the virus. Vaccines too are just precautionary measures, not a treatment, and are administered before an infection. So being cautious and following Covid-19 guidelines are the only way to go with to save yourself and to contain the infection.

Diagnosis 

First of all, these days if you COVID-19 Disease notice even minor flu symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately to avoid spreading a potential infection to severity. The disease can roughly be diagnosed by typical Covid-19 symptoms but these symptoms are also associated with other medical conditions and illnesses, so Covid-19 infection can only be confirmed by RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction) Test and sample in form of the swab is taken from the inner part of the nose or the throat.

corona diagnosis
https://www.pixabay.com/

 

 

These days test results can be available within hours of testing. With these tests, only RNA is detected, not an infection-causing virus so this too is not 100% accurate but from a range of other tests recommended by WHO, it is considered a reliable one. Apart from pathological testing, CT (Computed Tomography) scan can be helpful in the diagnosis of Covid-19 infection but it is more reliable for severe cases of infected individuals.

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If an individual is suspected  COVID-19 Disease of a prior infection usually in case of mild symptoms where the disease is not taken seriously and hence diagnosis is not done, such person, if seeking, can diagnose himself of such past, where a diagnosis is done using a blood test, in which antibodies reaction response to virus infection is analyzed. With ever coming new findings of the virus and researches, a range of new and sophisticated testing methods are being developed.

Infected Individual

coronavirus symptoms individual
https://www.pixabay.com/

Help Containing Infection

After getting caught a Covid-19 infection a person may not be known of such infection for up to 2 to 7 days, and may still interact with others potentially infecting those obliviously, so one must exercise Covid-19 guidelines and wear a dual-layer face mask. This virus is highly infectious and within record time disease has transformed from an outbreak to a global pandemic due to its contagious properties. Maintaining social distancing norms, wearing a face mask, cleaning hands with soap are the only precautionary measures that can be observed by people.

Observe Quarantine Period

Once you notice typical disease symptoms and are diagnosed with Covid-19 infection, you must start to observe post disease measure, duly follow your doctor’s advice, if required you must admit yourself into a hospital even if you don’t show severe symptoms as symptoms can worsen at any time. If not required then even too, you must isolate yourself to a place where no one can reach within 10 feet of your proximity for up to 14 days, this is called the quarantine period.

coronavirus patient quarantine
https://www.pixabay.com/

Research suggests that the virus is potent for up to 10 days to infect potential contacts so this quarantine period must be observed. This way you can help to prevent your family members, acquaintances, and others from catching the disease from you. You must generally avoid traveling to locations and countries where the infection is widespread, but once you are infected you must even avoid going to a local grocery store.

Keep Follow Precautions

Even after you are well and diagnosed negative with Covid-19, it does not mean you cannot catch Covid-19 infection again, there are instances that persons are caught even third time Covid-19 infection. Thought subsequent infections generally do not result in severe ones as a person who had caught an infection prior, develops antibodies in their blood for that virus. But given Coronavirus’ ever-mutating nature who knows a new variant would not be proved to be fatal even to a person with prior infection history. So Covid-19 guidelines must be followed by all individuals including persons who had infection prior and cured completely.

Available Treatment Options

               There is no treatment available that is effective against the Covid-19 virus, this is especially true in cases of severe to critical condition patients. Individuals with compromised immune history must be extra vigilant with precautionary measures and Covid-19 guidelines.

If we talk about treatment there are just supportive measures are available in hospitals, like oxygen support, symptom-relieving drugs, pain alleviating drugs, body fluids and electrolytes balancing measures, etc. Drugs that are most effective in relieving symptoms are just to avoid the severity of infection. A drug which is used to treat malaria, named ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ is used sometimes but not officially administered by WHO. So precautions and following Covid-19 guidelines are the only way to fight off the infection.

Mortality 

In India, there was a higher number of fatalities for younger people than for the older population. In cold climate COVID-19 Disease countries, there was a higher fatality ratio to their population than for warmer climate regions. However, generally, younger individuals are reported to recover from disease than older people as they have a better immunity profile than older ones to fight off the infection.

coronavirus deaths
https://www.pixabay.com/

 

For people who were not fortunate enough to survive the disease, their last rite must be performed in adherence to Covid-19 guidelines or within the supervision of government authorities by a concerned medical professional.

Country Cases Deaths Location
United States 62,661,272 861,336 North America
India 35,875,790 484,213 Asia
Brazil 22,558,695 620,142 South America
United Kingdom 14,617,314 150,230 Europe
France 12,205,114 125,718 Europe
Russia 10,666,679 316,904 Europe
Turkey 10,043,688 83,843 Asia
Germany 7,570,248 114,887 Europe
Italy 7,538,701 139,265 Europe
Spain 7,457,300 90,136 Europe
Argentina 6,399,196 117,543 South America
Iran 6,208,337 131,915 Asia
Colombia 5,357,767 130,395 South America
Indonesia 4,266,649 144,136 Asia
Poland 4,220,984 99,761 Europe
Mexico 4,136,440 300,412 North America

 

Again fatality rate is highly associated with the severity of the infection. But one must not be careless toward Covid-19 even if he or she is younger or even if he or she is showing mild symptoms. However, people may even die in 1 to 2 days after catching infection .A casual attitude toward this disease is not good.

Other Variants and Species

               The covid-19 virus COVID-19 Disease belongs to the Coronavirus family which is found highly mutating frequently in a short period. There are many variants discovered, but conspicuous ones are ‘Alpha’, ‘Beta’, ‘Gamma’, ‘Delta’, ‘Omicron’ etc. Some are considered highly contagious and cause severe symptoms and some are being same as Covid-19 in terms of severity and mortality rate.

Variant Label Origin Earliest Sample Transmissibility Mortality Vaccine Effectiveness
Symptomatic Disease Severe Disease
Delta India Oct 2020 +97% +137% Efficacy reduction N/A
Alpha UK 20 Sep 2020 +29% +59% Minimal reduction Minimal reduction
Gamma Brazil Nov 2020 +38% +50% Retained by most Retained by most
Beta South Africa May 2020 +25% Possibly Increased Efficacy reduction Retained
Omicron South Africa 9 Nov 2021 Possibly Increased N/A Efficacy reduction Unknown

 

Social & Economic Impact

Unemployment (%) Q1 (Jan-Mar) Q2 (Apr-Jun) Q3 (Jul-Sep) Q4 (Oct-Dec)
2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020
Male 8.7 8.7 8.3 20.8 8 12.6 7.3 9.5
Female 11.6 10.5 11.3 21.2 9.7 15.8 9.8 13.1
Total 9.3 9.1 8.9 20.9 8.4 13.3 7.9 10.3

                                                                                Unemployment rate in urban area across all age group

Besides costing a great toll on health and even to lives, this virus is proving to be dearer to your financial wellbeing too. COVID-19 Disease Millions of people have lost their jobs and many more have lost their means of livelihood.

Companies are firing their employees as part of their retrenchment drills to keep contain the expenses. Even highly skilled people are losing their jobs. These days, companies want to keep only essential staff.

covid-19 lockdown
https://www.pixabay.com/

Even bluechip companies are struggling to make a profit given there is in place government-imposed nationwide lockdown and markets are shut down. As with the severe unemployment rate and generating income is ever becoming difficult people tend to buy only essential commodities and goods, thus other businesses and enterprises are being shut down, especially luxury commodities firms, recreational and tourism businesses.

Sectors Most Affected

LFPR (%) Q1 (Jan-Mar) Q2 (Apr-Jun) Q3 (Jul-Sep) Q4 (Oct-Dec)
2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020
Male 56.2 56.7 56.3 55.5 56.6 57.1 56.7 57.4
Female 15.0 17.3 15.0 15.5 16.0 16.1 16.6 16.4
Total 36.0 37.5 36.2 35.9 36.8 37.0 37.2 37.3

LFPR (Labour Force Participations Rate) in urban area

People with a weaker financial situation are adopting austerity measures which affected the textile industry too, more or less. The tourism sector is struggling double fold as people have no extra money to spend for recreational purposes and with no one plans these days to travel unless necessary otherwise due to Covid-19 guidelines and due to fear of course.

GDP Prediction for India (FY-21)
Agency Estimated Impact
Bernstein −7%
ICRA −5%
Goldman Sachs −5%
Nomura −5%
Fitch −5%
SBI −4.70%
CARE Rating −1.5%–1.6%

 

Apart from claiming millions of lives and causing a global recession, the Covid-19 has placed a negative impact in terms of social integration.

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People are skeptical in reaching out to other people given the severe contagious nature of the disease. People don’t tend to help out others who are in acute need of assistance. Even people avoid going out to funerals suspecting the deceased may have casually died of the Coronavirus when this may not be the case. These things have a lasting impact even when there will not be a pandemic anymore.

But something good has happened. People have become more cautious than before.

Being attentive is a crucial thing in life, irrespective of a situation that impacts you drastically or moderately.

Ongoing Research

There are various research are going on regarding the coronavirus, some are aimed to contain the spreading of infection while others are going on to develop immunity against the disease and device a treatment.

Transmission-containing researches are based on modelling studies where compartmental models in epidemiology estimate COVID-19 Disease how many individuals were infected in a given period and into which particular area.

corona research ongoing
https://www.pixabay.com/

Curing Approaches 

Besides the daily incoming of several vaccines, there are several treatment options that are coming up daily. Some drugs are aimed to dilate alveoli in case of critical congestion, while drugs that are based on steroids are targeted to suppress an acute immune system response for the disease, are being developed. An experimental drug named ‘Remdesivir’ is found promising in containing the symptoms. Some drugs that are effective in other diseases are also found somewhat effective against the coronavirus in suppressing symptoms, such as anti-malaria drugs – ‘Hydroxychloroquin’ and ‘Chloroquine’, anti-HIV drugs – ‘Ritonavir’, ‘Lopinvir’, ‘Interferon-beta’, etc.

Antibodies Transfusion

Apart from this, Scientists are exploring some other options also taking antibodies from recovered persons and placing these in to infected persons.

People who have been recovered from the disease have antibodies that are capable of fighting off the infection. Such antibodies taken from recovered persons and injected into a patient suffering from the disease can be helpful in boosting the immunity of the patient.

 

Such treatment options are still under trial phase. To develop a drug or an effective preventive measure takes a significant amount of time and trails. As the disease is new and sufficient data is not available to reach a conclusion, individuals are advised to adopt precautionary measures in the COVID-19 Disease first place.

WHO is working with nations and research organizations tirelessly to address this global pandemic. WHO updates its database related to research and findings on daily basis.

 

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