WARNING: What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus
Like most of us, you may have noticed that in these past few days there have been a continuous and gradual increase in the news about the new scourge that has affected hundreds of people coming from different countries, and as you may have discovered further, that this threat has a name, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Sounds scary, right? Well, yes, it is. Let us not tell ourselves that it is not. But before we worry ourselves to our wits' end, we must investigate and be familiar with the enemy we are facing so we can plan our would-be actions appropriately.
It is important to know that there is a distinction between what is spreading now, which is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, a completely new and different strain, and the Coronavirus (or Coronaviruses), which is the family of viruses where the former belongs to.
First and foremost, let us examine our general health and where we are situated in our fight against the Coronavirus. It is a good thing that we are living in an age where we have the technology to access the knowledge we need online to assist us on our fight, unlike earlier generations that came before us who somewhat acted blindly, belatedly and with a trial and error approach when faced with a similar danger. Our predecessors cannot be faulted for the reason that they simply had no means to keep up with viruses and other sources of illness in terms of knowledge and advances in technology.
Today, you could improve your health and immune system with updates on what is the nutritious food to eat, what vitamins to take, and what appropriate diet and exercise to perform. Maximizing the use of the Internet or the Web to communicate with doctors online who could give their professional diagnoses to you even if you are in the comfort of your home is a convenience not many people realize they have.
- You can save time as there is no travel time needed. Online doctor prescriptions are easy to get if the is an urgent need. An online doctor can just fax the prescription to the pharmacy.
- You can save money. Online doctors are often less expensive.
- Accessibility, as you can communicate directly with your doctor. It enables patients to see an online doctor even when they live in far places, and online portals can be utilized to message your doctor directly, allowing you to understand your doctor's instructions on your treatment fully. Your doctor can follow up on you as long as you have an Internet connection, and regardless of where you are, your doctor can easily talk to you.
- There is the promotion of health. You don't have to endure any pain if you are suffering any chronic conditions since you don't have the need to postpone being diagnosed even if you have little time left on your schedule to see a doctor.
We have to give emphasis on online doctor consultations because let's be realistic, we don't want to get infected with the Coronavirus, that is why we need to avoid going outside, especially in crowded places. Who wouldn't want getting online doctor prescriptions and advice if it means less travel and stress?
The main weapon we can have in fighting the Coronavirus is a healthy body because after all, you can have all the arsenal you can get online in fighting the Coronavirus but if you are not in tip-top shape in the first place, then your immune system is compromised, and you are highly vulnerable to diseases.
Now let us shift our attention to our foe, the Coronavirus. We must not be confused. While it is true that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, as the name suggests, belongs to the family of Coronaviruses, the latter is a completely different virus from the former.
Here are some facts for you to contemplate in relation to the Coronavirus with a particular emphasis on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus:
What are Coronaviruses (or Coronavirus), and where do they come from?
Coronaviruses are viruses that are found in birds and mammals. These family of viruses usually makes them sick by infecting them. People are also infected by these viruses and would attack our respiratory tracks, causing infections, which usually mild like that of a common cold. However, there are rarer forms of these viruses that exist, which can cause severe and lethal complications, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERSA) Coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus, and the new strain that has not been previously identified in humans the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
Coronaviruses were discovered in the several decades ago and were found in inside sick people's noses that were suffering from common colds and was also found in poultry animals, more specifically chickens that were sick. These viruses got their name from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo because, under a microscope, these types of viruses have a crownlike appearance such as those worn by kings and queens.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a reincarnation of Coronavirus, meaning people have not encountered it in the past. That is why it is called a novel, which means new. This new virus has not been previously discovered until it began spreading in China in a place called Wuhan last year in the month of December. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus came from the same family of viruses where the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus came from. However, they are not the same, according to authorities. It is very likely that an animal sold to people as pets or exotic food is where this new virus came from because there is an animal market in that place in China where the first reported human infections were discovered.
How are Coronaviruses Transmitted?
Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people. Subsequent tests found that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus was transmitted from civet cats to humans and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus from camels to humans. There are a number of Coronaviruses known to authorities that found living in some animals, but these viruses have not infected people according to reports made.
What is the incubation period for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus? How does it spread?
It was initially thought to be three days, additional research puts the incubation at five days or could be as long as fourteen days. The exact figure is still an elusive target. That is why people can spread the virus before they have symptoms, which include sore throat, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.
Coronaviruses can pass from animals to humans. Similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can also pass from human to human, most often through droplets spread by sneezing and coughing.
What are the symptoms and signs that a person might have been infected with the Coronavirus? How about symptoms of a person infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
Health professionals indicated that there are several signs of infection. Shortness of breath and difficulties in breathing are some of them. Also, if you have a fever, and if you are coughing or you have a high temperature. The more severe cases known showed people were sick of pneumonia. Some even have a severe case of acute respiratory syndrome. There were cases where people had kidney failure, and some even died.
Similar to the other respiratory infections, being sick with 2019 Novel Coronavirus can cause mild symptoms like cough and fever, as well as runny nose and sore throat. However, cases are abundant wherein the infection can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Older people and people with existing medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are apparently more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the new virus.
How does the 2019 Novel Coronavirus travel from place to place? Can the 2019 Novel Coronavirus spread be prevented or treated with a particular medicine?
As what is true with respiratory viruses, the new virus gets around through physical contact with a person sick and infected with this new virus, droplets expelled when that person coughs or sneezes. Even discharge from the nose or droplets of saliva can spread the infection. The authorities said that there are no existing medications recommended or used to prevent or cure this new virus at the present time.
How do we prevent being infected with the Coronavirus? How do to protect yourself against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus? Who can catch this new strain of virus?
Presently, there are standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection, which includes regular hand washing, observing proper etiquette by covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, by the proper and thoroughly cooking meat and poultry products. Due to the circumstances, authorities strongly recommended not to engage in physical contact or be in close proximity to anyone who has the symptoms of coughing and sneezing.
For the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory disease. However, using a mask alone is not a guarantee that the spread of infection would stop. The practice of wearing a mask should be made concurrently with other prevention measures, including hand and respiratory hygiene and the avoidance of close contact between yourself and other people, which is usually recommended at three feet. Remember to take the necessary protection when going to markets where live animals are being sold, stay away from animals and places where animals live because it is very likely that the new virus has spread on the surfaces of these places occupied by these animals. Never eat raw or improperly cooked animal meat or animal products, since the new virus is still living in these. It is still not clear what kind of animal this new virus came from even today.
As of now, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is rampant in China, where the vast majority of people infected have been reported. People living or traveling in an area where the new strain is present may be at risk of infection. Those infected from other countries were among the people who have recently come from China or who have been living or in close proximity to those people who came from said country. These could be family members, co-workers, or medical professionals who gave medical attention to a patient before they knew that particular patient was infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Health workers caring for persons who are sick with this new strain are at higher risk and must protect themselves adequately.
Are there any updates on the activities of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
The new virus has taken the lives of several hundreds of people (more than four hundred according to authorities in mainland China). The virus continues to spread and has infected thousands more beyond China's borders.
Twenty-five countries and territories acknowledged that there have been confirmed infections in their respective jurisdictions brought about by the new virus since said the virus was first detected in China in December last year.
International medical professionals are trying to beat the clock to find and make a vaccine that could stop and contain the virus, while there are close to sixty million people not being allowed to leave their homes in cities across China.
Are there travel restrictions imposed on China?
Yes, in light of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak, several countries have already imposed travel restrictions against China. These countries are:
- Australia. According to the Australian Government, no one from mainland China will be allowed to enter Australia. Australian Government has advised against any travel to mainland China. Australian citizens are still able to come home, provided that they submit to the requirements of the Australian Government about isolation.
- Hong Kong authorities will quarantine anyone arriving from mainland China. This will include Hong Kong residents and visitors entering through the international airport. A large harbor was closed as crew, and passengers on a cruise ship remain under quarantine. Most border crossings with mainland China were already closed.
- According to India's Health Ministry, anyone traveling to China will be quarantined on their return, and all foreign nationals' visa was canceled if they were traveling from China.
- The Indonesian Government has also suspended visas on arrival for Chinese citizens, and direct flights to and from mainland China have been banned.
- In Japan, all foreigners who have visited China's Hubei province within the past fourteen days have been denied entry into Japan, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he's considering an expansion of the immigration restrictions.
- The New Zealand Government has highly restricted its citizens to any travel to China.
- The Republic of the Philippines has widened a travel ban previously imposed on visitors from Hubei province to all of China, including Hong Kong and Macau. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has imposed a fourteen-day quarantine for Filipinos coming from China, while also temporarily barring travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has proclaimed that citizens of Saudi Arabia and foreigners living in the country are banned from traveling to China. Expats who have been to China will not be allowed to return, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
- The Singaporean Government has blocked the entry and transit of people who had traveled to mainland China in the previous fourteen days. As visas of Chinese citizens who will visit Singapore have been suspended, including those already issued.
- In South Korea. The South Korean Government barred the entry of foreigners who have visited or stayed in China's Hubei Province in the previous fourteen days. The capital of Seoul also suspended its no-visa entry for Chinese tourists to Jeju Island.
- The Taiwanese Government mandated that all Chinese residents, excluding those from Hong Kong and Macau, will be banned from entering Taiwan. The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control instructed that travelers who have visited Hong Kong and Macau will be quarantined at home and must monitor their health for fourteen days.
- In the UK. The British Government has said all British citizens must go home and leave China and told them not to travel to China unless it is very important to travel there.
- The United States has temporarily barred entry to foreign nationals who have visited China and pose a risk of spreading the 2019 Novel Coronavirus unless they are immediate relatives of United States citizens or permanent residents of the country. The State Department issued its highest level of do-not-travel advisory against China.
- The Vietnam government has banned all foreigners who have spent time in China in the previous two weeks from entering its borders. The country has already quarantined about nine-hundred people, most of them Vietnamese, who arrived from China.
What do we expect from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the next few days?
There are many scenarios that can possibly come true at this point since experts still have too many questions left unanswered around the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The source of the new strain has yet to be identified, and there is still no viable cure being developed. The next few days will determine if the circumstances improve or get worse. What we know is that countries and international organizations are trying to contain the outbreak. It is best to be up to date with the advisories given by the authorities concerned.
Now that some of the details about the Coronavirus were presented above, we can now bring our attention back to how to fight these infectious diseases. We can expound further on ways to make our body and our minds strong and capable enough to ithstand an assault by our invisible foe.
As you can find out yourself, a lot of these online doctors that give advice will always advocate prevention with more emphasis. The reason is that in reality, some illnesses can be prevented relatively easily compared to actually being treated or cured because such treatment will require a lot of attention and effort from your doctor. This, in turn, would cause more pain, discomfort, and additional expenses for the patient. Saying it in another manner, doctors, generally strongly advocates the adage that "prevention is better than cure."
If indeed prevention is better than cure, you don't need to look far for tips and techniques to combat virus infections, but these tips are not necessarily applicable to recent 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Let us look at these free prevention methods that we found on the Internet or the Web.
Examples of the tips you can find on the Web in relation on how to stay away from viral infections:
a) Eat right. Eating nutrient-rich foods instead of high-calorie foods could boost your immune system.
b) Exercise regularly. Regular proper exercise makes your body healthy.
c) Get vaccinated upon proper consultation with your doctor.
d) Follow a strict hygiene routine, which includes:
- Always keep your hands clean. Observe proper handwashing tips and techniques.
- Observe rules for coughing and sneezing without contaminating other people and the surfaces of things around you.
- Avoid touching one's nose, mouth, and eyes since they are considered entry points among bacteria and viruses.
- Avoid interaction with sick people as they might be contagious. Neither should you touch objects they have used, such as bedsheets or utensils, nor get close to them.
- Habitually clean your environment and sanitize all the appliances. Wash the sinks and toilets in your area to maintain its cleanliness. Clean the doorknobs as well as other surfaces, which are commonly used or touched with hands. Cleaning is a foolproof way to kill viruses that thrive on the surroundings' hard surfaces.
- Clean with soap and water and use detergents or bleach.
The tips and methods mentioned above are good, but are they adequate enough to address the present health scare?
If you are planning to engage the services of an online doctor for a fee, because you are going to be ill or you are already sick and therefore looking for a doctor to get better you must remember to take these steps to make your online doctor consultation even more efficient and effective:
- Remember to make your in-room well-lit and quiet and check your internet connection to make sure it is stable before the consultation.
- Know your basic health information and take note of the usual questions that doctors ask and be ready to provide an appropriate answer during the session.
- Prepare a summary of your medical history.
Since you have been given some information on what Coronaviruses are and made aware of the updates and activeness of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The question that needs to be asked is, are you going to engage the services of an online doctor or just be contented on the tips about prevention you have just read?
If you decided on the side of caution and will consult an online doctor, then you have made the right choice! Certainly, in this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Aside from the routine health checks, you now have the opportunity to ask your would-be online doctor specific questions about the Coronavirus and how to be safe from it, ask him for the necessary precautions such as what kind or brand of vitamins is the most beneficial for you to take to strengthen your immune system. Explain to him that you need to know or be validated on the choices you make on your diet and exercise routine. In other words, ask for a comprehensive consultation. The online doctor you hired could possibly refer you to another doctor if the need arises just to get all the bases covered. But always bear in mind that online doctors can only treat non-life-threatening conditions.
Since we have talked about online doctors and how they can help you be safe and healthy despite Coronaviruses, let us go a little farther and talked the role of doctors as a whole on this recent 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak or viral outbreaks in general.
Doctors, apart from saving lives, also provide patients with care to lessen pain and discomfort. Doctors are the first to act and respond during outbreaks and spearheads groups that work to eradicate the cause of these outbreaks. Doctors are always essential and invaluable to our society.
As a final remark, in the fight against the Coronavirus, it is essential to bolster and update what we know or the knowledge that we possess in fighting this illness. It is well and good that we know how to get the needed tips and methods of prevention online on our own, but it is even better if we take advantage of the advances in technology and, thus, seek consultation and medical advice from doctors online.
These professionals are well-trained in their respective fields, and more often than not, we would, later on, realize that what we know is not nearly enough to face the existing health dangers around us. You can never go wrong, asking for professional medical help.
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