However, despite the significant actions taken by the respective governments, the rise in transmitted cases has created the need for the people to be more cautious and take preventive steps and break the transmission chain.
Dr Sweta Gupta, the Clinical Director at Medicover Fertility, has shared some insights on the preventive steps to break the chain and stop further spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in an interview with an intent to express her concern and spread the awareness in the society.
What is Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Where does it Come from?
Well, it is an infectious disease that causes respiratory illness, characterized by symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, general weakness, etc. and in severe cases causing difficulty breathing. It is caused by a new virus named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus -2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the disease is called the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
What is the Mode of Transmission of the Disease and how does it Spread?
The Mode of Transmission of the Coronavirus Disease is Human to Human, and it is spread by the droplets of sneeze or cough of the infected person. If a healthy individual inhales these droplets or even interacts with one another in close proximity of less than one meter, or shakes hand or hugs the infected person, and touches his eyes, ear, or nose after getting in touch with the contaminated surfaces, he gets infected with the disease.
These infected people, on an average, seem to pass the virus to a minimum two or three individuals. Since there is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, yet, we need to take proper precautionary measures to avoid further transmission.
The Indian Government, in this regard has taken a significant move to Lockdown the entire country for 21 days to stop the transmission chain and save the lives of our citizens. It is our duty to take it on a serious note and together fight for this fatal pandemic.
How severe is COVID-19 infection?
The global data today suggests that approximately 20-30% of the diagnosed COVID-19 cases are hospitalized with 4% suffering from severe illness. The data might vary according to the daily changing reports. However, the rates of hospitalization of those aged above 60 years or more and of those with other underlying health conditions are higher.
Does Coronavirus affect Fertility?
There has not been any evidence till date, that whether this virus affects fertility or not. It is also not known if it can affect oocytes (eggs) or not. However, elevated core body temperature in case of men infected with COVID-19 might affect sperm quality. Also, the stress of this pandemic might have certain consequences on fertility, which is why it is crucial to stay calm and do things that interest you that might keep you from stressing out.
What is the Risk of Infection in Pregnant women and Neo-nates?
There is limited scientific evidence on the severity of illness in pregnant women after COVID-19 infection. It has been expected that maximum pregnant women can experience mild or moderate cold/flu-like symptoms. It seems that pregnant women appear to experience similar clinical manifestations as non-pregnant women affected by COVID-19. Till date, there has not been any maternal deaths or pregnancy losses due to this virus, and also there is no evidence of transmission of Coronavirus from mother to baby during pregnancy. No current evidence suggests any effect of this virus on the fetus. From the cases of pregnant women affected with COVID-19 there were no traces of the virus in the mother’s amniotic fluid, cord blood, or breast milk.
However, pregnant women should be more precautious in their approach of prevention against Coronavirus Disease, by washing hands regularly, avoiding individuals who are sick, self-isolating in case of any symptoms, and also consulting a healthcare provider immediately.
How can a person avoid getting infected and avoid infecting others with the coronavirus disease?
There are some precautionary measures (The Do’s and Don’ts), that I believe, everyone should follow to avoid getting infected or avoid infecting others:
- Use a tissue while coughing or sneezing and dispose it off quickly and safely just after a single-use.
- Keep washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, blowing nose etc. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content can also be used instead. Washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer kill the viruses.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands. This might limit the spread of germs and reduce the likelihood of being infected with the virus. Our hands come in contact with several surfaces during the day, resulting in picking up viruses. There have been several shreds of evidence on the basis of researches suggesting that the virus SARS-Cov-2 can stay on certain surfaces for up to 3 days. This virus can stay on hard, shiny surfaces for 72 hours and on porous surfaces for almost 24 hours, although it does degrade over time.
- Maintain social distancing by keeping at least 1-2 meter of distance.
- In case of developing specific symptoms, like Fever, Cough, or difficulty breathing etc. immediately consult for medical support.
Strictly follow this Lockdown Rule imposed by the Government and Stay at Home to Stay Safe, as it is for our own good.