South Asian countries like Pakistan, are beginning to see their fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak, with COVID 19 claiming at least six lives across the region within a spike in cases in Pakistan and elsewhere.
The outbreak does not appear to have reached the widespread secondary contact stage seen in Europe and the United States and earlier in China and South Korea yet, but cases are continuing to rise as governments across the region climb to enforce social distancing guidelines.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the WHO on 11th March 2020. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person.
It is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has transferred to humans from animals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it a pandemic.
According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are
- dry cough
Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhoea. About 80% of people who get COVID-19 experience a mild case about as serious as a regular cold and recover without needing any special treatment.
About one in six people, the WHO says, become seriously ill. The elderly and people with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, or chronic respiratory conditions, are at a greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has identified the specific symptoms to look for as experiencing either:
- a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new continuous cough - this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work, and there is currently no vaccine. Recovery depends on the strength of the immune system.
You can protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others if you:
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.
- Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell.
- Touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.
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