As we all know, Corona Virus, A.K.A. Covid-19 is an infectious respiratory disease, that has been declared as a ‘Pandemic’ by W.H.O. Currently, the world is fighting against this invisible enemy, which is threatening each and every person, costing their lives, economy, productivity, and much more. This pandemic has cost us millions of dollars and every Government has geared up to combat the pandemic with proactive measures in line with global approaches and guidelines. Talking to the readers of Just A Library, is Dr. Ramkumar, from a Govt. owned hospital in Chennai, India working shifts in the corona ward, who has magnanimously agreed to throw light on some queries we all have, if and how to live with coronavirus without getting infected by it.
WHY ARE THE CASES SUDDENLY RISING IN CHENNAI?
Chennai has become a hotspot and daily records the highest number of cases in Tamil Nadu. A city that makes everyone’s life better (vantharai vazhavaikum nagaram) has turned into a massive cluster of corona cases and people are fleeing from Chennai. So why did Chennai get many cases when compared to other districts?
The first reason is the huge population (70.9 lakh as of 2011 data). Even though the population is less compared to Bengaluru or Mumbai, the problem in Chennai city is overcrowding, especially in North Chennai. Lack of awareness about the virus and taking lesser precautions while going out are the major causes of transmitting the virus.
TREATMENT AT GOVERNMENT/PRIVATE HOSPITAL
First and foremost, readers should know that the cost of treatment for the coronavirus is absolutely free in Govt hospitals and corona care centers. Govt has taken measures to make sure that food safety is provided round the clock to its citizens who have been infected and admitted to the Govt hospitals. A list of healthy food including dried nuts, sundal, kadalai, soup, egg, chicken, and kabasura kudeneer is being given to the patients to promote and boost their immunity.
Treatment at private hospitals is done to ensure that adequate beds are available for all the people and the Govt has introduced Fees slab so that there won’t be fee cheating in terms of treatment for the patients.
WHY INDIAN POPULATION IS MOSTLY ASYMPTOMATIC:
Well, it is a blessing in disguise. Thanks to the common resident bacteria and the virus dwelling in our country along with us, infecting our children and adults, thereby providing us an acquired immunity. That acquired immunity gained by repeated infection is providing us the shield right now; resisting the coronavirus from infecting our body. This is a hypothesis, but now widely accepted by researchers. Another reason is the widespread BCG vaccination which is being given to all the children as soon as they are born and the endemicity of malaria infection has provided us the adequate immunity to cross-react with the virus. Lastly, high temperature and humidity are indirectly helping in cutting the link for the transmission of the virus.
EVEN THOUGH SWAB NEGATIVE, CT SCAN SHOWS SIGNS OF INFECTION FOR SOME. WHY?
The PCR (Polymerase chain reaction), a common swab test done to detect coronavirus antigen may sometime show false negative (test result negative but the patient is positive for the virus). This is because of specimen quality and the viral load. The test done to extract the sample is painful and may initiate a powerful cough and sometimes choking sensation as the swab is introduced to the back of the nose and throat, because of that, improper sampling is highly possible. Next is the viral load, the test will detect the antigen if the viral load is more, so it may show negative when the viral load is few in numbers.
This creates a huge community problem as the person will be tested negative but still harbors the virus and may dangerously transmit the virus to the community. Such types of patients should be subjected to a repeat test and should be placed under quarantine. If the patient develops symptoms, they should be given additional tests like X-Ray and CT Scan of the chest to rule out the viral pathology in the lungs.
Asymptomatic patients do not require any treatment. What they need are adequate bed rest and strict home quarantine. The Officers from the Corporation of Chennai daily visits them at their doorstep to enquire about the symptoms and the doctors examine the health of the patient. If the patient’s oxygen level starts to decrease, they are immediately admitted for oxygen care. If he/she develops breathlessness, the patient is ventilated and given advanced life support in the hospital.
EFFECT OF CHLOROQUINE ON CORONA VIRUS:
There is a lot of controversies whether hydroxychloroquine will protect against the virus. Recently, India shifted lakhs of hydroxychloroquine to the United States and other countries.
So is HCQ really protective? Once again, not enough studies available, and lots of researches are going on to prove the effectiveness of HCQ on coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine has mild antiviral properties and immune-modulatory activity which can limit the spread of the virus in the body and can resist the severity of the infection.
CAN A PERSON GET REINFECTED WITH THE VIRUS AFTER GETTING CURED?
A person once infected with the virus will develop immunity so that when the same person is infected again, he/she will develop immunity to combat the virus and the symptoms will be minimal or mild or no symptoms than the previous infection. Since the person develops immunity in their body, the chance of getting reinfected is less but the risk is always there, so precautions should be taken even if the person is cured for the coronavirus before.
What the general public should know is how can we protect ourselves from the coronavirus without affecting our day-to-day life. The coronavirus has changed our routines immensely and at this time people should start to live their life along with the virus as the virus will not leave us in the near future.
- Stop traveling for vacation/tourist places.
- Stop greeting people by handshake instead greet with folded hands.
- Start wearing a mask when you go out for the market, public place, etc.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with normal soap or handwash frequently.
- Stop touching the mouth, nose, eyes often.
- Maintain social distancing when traveling in public transport, holy places, etc.
- Clean groceries, vegetables with turmeric water, and nicely wash it before cooking it.
- Drink lots of water and eat well; Have a protein-rich diet, vitamin supplements.
- Drink kabasura sura kudineer twice a week, Vitamin C supplements to boost immunity.
- And lastly, follow all the advice our Govt tells us and be responsible citizens.
Wearing a mask will protect from the virus (98%) than without a mask. So by wearing a mask and maintaining the social distancing, together we all can stop corona and drive it out of our lives and this world.
Let’s gear up and brace ourselves for the New Normal!
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