In India, the fear of the coronavirus, which has already claimed over 1500 lives in China, is on the rise. Many cases similar to coronavirus have started to appear in India and people have started to get anxious.
Experts apprehend that people in the cold areas of India like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and even the plains of India should not confuse the highly-contagious seasonal-flu with the deadly coronavirus.
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) said a substantial rise in flu-like illness has been observed in Jammu and Kashmir, predominantly among the children. However, experts have warned that flu-like symptoms shouldn’t be incorrectly diagnosed for coronavirus, even though the symptoms could be strikingly similar.
President of DAK Dr Suhail Naik issued a statement making an appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir asking them to not panic and not to pay any heeds to rumours. The government of Jammu and Kashmir also warned the people of the highly contagious season flu via adverts in regional newspapers.
The seasonal flu is a viral infection of the respiratory tract caused by an influenza B virus. Symptoms can include fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat, or cough and chest congestion which are quite similar to coronavirus.
Meanwhile, coronavirus is spreading like a wildfire all over the globe and India is naturally affected. As of now, three confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been found in Kerala and two in Kolkata. All of them are currently stable.
What is Coronavirus?
If you haven’t heard already, the novel (new) coronavirus is a part of the coronavirus family normally found in animals. Some scientists predict snakes to be the source of the virus while others say it is highly likely to have originated through bats as 96% of it is similar to the coronavirus found in bats.
Originated in Wuhan, China, India has three confirmed cases of this virus all of who had travel history of visiting Wuhan, China.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
According to W.H.O (World Health Organization), common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, fever, cough and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure which may result in death.
However, new figures suggest the virus could be far more transferrable. It has spread to more than 60,000 people within weeks of its detection, surpassing the total from the months-long SARS outbreak. Moreover, coronavirus may take up to two to eleven days of incubation.
However, as the amount of coronavirus cases jumps drastically in China, a top infectious-disease scientist cautions that things could get far worse: Two-thirds of the world’s population could catch it, as per the Bloomberg. India has a population of more than a 1.5 billion people. Could it survive the outbreak?
Some standard recommendations to prevent infection spread given by W.H.O comprise of regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding close contact with someone showcasing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
How Dangerous is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is an epidemic that is spreading like a jungle fire. With no medical procedure available and scientists still working on and an anti-vaccine, the chances of you infecting it is exponentially growing high.
There is deep ambiguity about the new coronavirus’ mortality rate. While the high-end estimate is up to 20 times that of the flu, some estimates go as low as 0.16 per cent for those affected outside of China’s overwhelmed Hubei province.
Can face masks protect you?
Health experts say only a properly used reusable N95 respirator mask certified by an independent agency is a guard against the coronavirus. Paper or polyurethane foam masks don’t filter out smaller particles responsible for transmitting infectious agents.
They definitely can help prevent sick people from transmitting the virus to others. However, it may be of no use for people who are healthy.
Who is most at risk?
Adults ranging of all ages have been infected according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine the median age of the first 425 patients in Wuhan was 59 years old, and 56% were male.
Many of the first patients who died were over 60 years old, had other illnesses such as diabetes or were severely ill and were admitted to hospitals when their illness was advanced. Few numbers of children have been contacted with the infection, but that could change.
What is being done to contain the spread of the virus?
China has put the epicentre of the virus, the city of Wuhan in isolation, and numerous other cities, affecting millions of citizens. Officials have built a large field hospital in Wuhan to isolate and treat the patients affected by coronavirus and are investigating chains of transmission. But these measures are failing to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The U.S. imposed entry restrictions on foreign visitors who have visited China in the last 14 days when coronavirus news broke. Americans returning from Hubei Province, the source of the epidemic, are being quarantined for 14 days.
Passengers arriving from elsewhere to mainland China are being directed to one of 11 airports, where they are screened. If they have symptoms, they are taken to a medical facility immediately. If they have no symptoms, they are still asked to isolate themselves for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
Could goods imported from China carry the virus?
That is highly unlikely. Coronaviruses don’t survive long on non-living surfaces.
Numerous Indian businesses have a substantial direct dependence on materials from China. Goods such as antibiotics activated pharmaceutical ingredients and fertilizers are serious commodities and any disturbance in the supply over the long-term could have far-reaching economic costs for India.
Textiles and automobiles could also face supply troubles for important raw materials. All this together could further worsen the recovery in industrial production over near to medium term.