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Covid-19 (Coronavirus): Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

 

The first coronavirus infection was reported on 1st of December 2019 in Wuhan in Hubei province of China. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus which affects the lungs and airways. It is highly infectious, easily transmitted through bodily fluid. Coronavirus can survive outside the body for up to 9 days.

As per 31st of March 2020, there have been about 850,000 reported Covid-19 cases in around 200 countries. Since 7th of March 2020, the number of active Covid-19 cases outside China has been higher than that of in China. USA is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak with more than 170,000 active cases.

The number of active Covid-19 cases among the worst affected countries as per 31st of March 2020 at 20:29 GMT:

Country

Active Cases

%

USA

171,989

27.29%

Italy

77,635

12.32%

Spain

66,889

10.61%

Germany

54,479

8.64%

France

39,161

6.21%

Iran

27,051

4.29%

UK

23,226

3.69%

Switzerland

14,349

2.28%

Turkey

13,074

2.07%

Netherlands

11,306

1.79%

Belgium

10,374

1.65%

Austria

8,899

1.41%

Portugal

7,240

1.15%

Canada

7,210

1.14%

Brazil

5,389

0.86%

Israel

5,114

0.81%

Norway

4,583

0.73%

Sweden

4,239

0.67%

South Korea

4,216

0.67%

Australia

4,205

0.67%

Total Worldwide

630,191

100.00%

Outside USA

458,202

72.71%

USA

171,989

27.29%

 

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The Covid-19 Symptoms

About 95% of the coronavirus infection cases only involve mild symptoms, nevertheless, Covid-19 may cause severe pneumonia, particularly among elderly people and those with underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease. Severe pneumonia can cause death within hours due to lack of oxygen in the body. As the coronavirus has spread all over the world, it is crucial to get yourself tested if you suspect you might have Covid-19. The Covid-19 symptoms may include:

  • a fever, shiver and sweating.
  • a cough, usually dry continuous cough; however, be well informed that Covid-19 patients may have runny nose and phlegm coughed up from the lungs.
  • breathing difficulties such as rapid sallow breathing, worsening chest pain with every deep breath and cough.
  • irregular heartbeat.
  • fatigue and loss of appetite.
  • body aches including headache, joint and muscle pain.
  • loss of appetite and vomiting.
  • confusion or disorientation and drowsiness.

As the symptoms may overlap with those of common cold and flu, if you suspect you might have been infected by the coronavirus, call the dedicated helpline in your country. In the UK, call NHS 111. Don't go to hospitals or GP practises as this can spread the virus to other people. Self-isolate at home until you get proper medical support.

How To Avoid Catching or Spreading Covid-19

Coronavirus is easily transmitted through bodily fluid, particularly when the infected people cough, sneeze or don't wash their hands properly after going to toilet. To help avoid catching or spreading Covid-19, try these following recommendations:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds every time after you may have come in contact with the virus. Be well informed that coronavirus can stay on door handles, lift buttons, tables and chairs in public places including on public transport.
  • Coronavirus is an airborne virus that can stay in the air for a few hours, therefore keep a 2 meter distance from each other when you are out in public places.
  • Carry hand sanitizer gel ready for use whenever you can't wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth before you wash your hands.
  • Stay away from people who have cold or flu symptoms.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hand afterwards. 
  • If you are feeling unwell with cold or flu symptoms, wear a protective face mask when there is someone around you. This helps protect other people from the potentially coronavirus.
  • If you suspect you might have been infected by the coronavirus, self-isolate yourself at home. Try to avoid any contact with other people for up to 27 days. There were Covid-19 cases in China with a 24-day and 27-day incubation period. Again, don't go to hospitals or GP practises as this can spread the virus to other people. Call the coronavirus helpline service in your country. In the UK, call NHS 111 for proper medical support.

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    How To Diagnose Covid-19

    There are few ways to diagnose Covid-19 disease, for examples, laboratory test and CAT scan (CT). As this is a new disease and they way to diagnose it may depend on the country where you live, it is best to contact the coronavirus helpline service in your country if you suspect you might have Covid-19.

    Treatment for Covid-19

    At this moment, there is no vaccine or specific drugs for Covid-19. Clinical trials in China showed that plasma therapy can improve the condition of critically ill Covid-19 patients within 12 to 24 hours. However, plasma therapy may not yet available in other countries. In most cases, the treatment for Covid-19 aims to relieve the symptoms and prevent premature death. Antibiotics may be used to prevent a secondary infection by bacteria. In people with a healthy immune system, it is expected that their body will eventually produce antibodies to fight off the coronavirus. 

    More than 93% of the coronavirus infected people in China have recovered from Covid-19. All countries that have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak should ask the Chinese government to publish the detail treatment used in China that have helped more than 76,000 people recover from the coronavirus infection.

    According to data from the Covid-19 cases in Europe, the coronavirus may still be present in the faeces, blood, urine, serum and saliva of the infected people for up to 5 weeks after the initial symptoms. To reduce the spread of the disease, it is crucial that all recovered patients are tested negative before they are allowed to be discharged. This should also be applicable for all Covid-19 infected people with mild symptoms who self-isolate at home.

    At this moment, there isn't a centralised and validated information on Covid-19 for everyone who need it. There is a lack of coordination among medical scientists worldwide to maintain a centralised database. Many medical practitioners do not know about the virus and disease well enough, hence, tens of thousands of medical workers were and are ill with Covid-19. Medical workers should be well protected from the disease as they have been risking their own life to save others.

     

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    Author:

    Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with USA, UK and Singapore at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips. 

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    Scientific sources: Pneumonia, NHS (UK); Top 20 Pneumonia Facts—2018, American Thoracic Society; Number of deaths from Influenza or Pneumonia, Clinical Commissioning Groups in England, registered between 2015 to 2017, Office for National Statistics (UK); Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016: 3012462; Doctors in China Are Starting Human Trials for a Coronavirus Treatment, Time, 03-February-2020; Suppression of inflammatory and infection responses in lung macrophages by eucalyptus oil and its constituent 1,8-cineole: Role of pattern recognition receptors TREM-1 and NLRP3, the MAP kinase regulator MKP-1, and NFκB, PLOS One, November 15, 2017; Effect of the cooling sensation induced by olfactory stimulation by L-menthol on dyspnoea: a pilot study, ; Methods and apparatus to prevent, treat and cure infections of the human respiratory system by pathogens causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), United States Patent, US7048953B2; Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents—Myth or Real Alternative?, Molecules, 2019 Jun, 24(11): 2130; Exam revision students 'should smell rosemary for memory', BBC, 4-May-2017; Covid-19 Coronavirus Otbreak, Worldometers; Coronavirus: 100,000 may already be infected, experts warn, The Guardian (UK), 26-01-2020; Coronavirus claims 97 lives in one day - but number of infections stabilises, BBC; Top Chinese expert Zhong Nanshan clarifies only 1 case in coronavirus study shows 24-day incubation period, The Straits Times Singapore, 12-02-2020; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: increased transmission in the EU/EEA and the UK – seventh update, 25 March 2020, ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control); Top Chinese expert Zhong Nanshan clarifies only 1 case in coronavirus study shows 24-day incubation period, The Straits Times Singapore, 12-02-2020; Covid-19 Coronavirus Otbreak, Worldometers; Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and its inactivation with biocidal agents, The Journal of Hospital infection.


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