We all perfectly know what is going on in the world with the health emergency that the Coronavirus has brought but unfortunately not all of us are really aware of the importance of knowing how to deal with the situation, knowing that we should not minimize the effects this could bring and to do anything in our hands to protect ourselves and to not risk anybody else.

There are certain basic aspects we have to know about Coronavirus, understanding in a better way what’s happening, and not falling into the panic that the disinformation causes, which is what is really worrying.  


This is a virus that spreads through aerosol sprays, this means that sick people cough or sneeze and liberate small “particles” contaminated with the virus, and these could land on other surfaces. How can you get sick? You can get infected if you’re too close to somebody who’s already infected (1.5 meters approximately) and their “aerosols” land on your face, or if you touch something contaminated (with areosols from somebody sick) and you put that contaminated hand in your face, because the virus enters through the mucous membranes, which are eyes, mouth and nose. The virus does not enter through the skin, as a matter of fact, the skin acts like a barrier that protects us from something entering our body.


How can we prevent? Understanding the previous point, it’s only natural to say that in order to prevent you must avoid being too close to a sick person, washing your hands constantly in case you touched anything contaminated, and avoid touching your face with your hands without having washed them previously. Using antibacterial gel throughout the day also helps.

Remember that if you cough or sneeze, cover with the inner part of your elbow so you don’t leave these “aerosols” in your hands and then stick them in objects. This is why it’s important to remember to not shake hands, kiss or hug each other. We know that this is a habit we do automatically but we must have this in mind to avoid making this kind of mistakes.


Now let’s understand the symptoms. The most common are dry cough and fever, but also fatigue and breathing difficulty can be shown, if you believe you may have the virus, first call your doctor and have a medical consultation over the phone before leaving your house. We have to understand well the symptoms and know how to identify them. It is diagnosed the following way: Suspicious cases (following the criteria of the symptoms, having been out of the country into a risk zone or having had direct contact with someone who’s been confirmed as sick, among other criteria), take a sample with a “special Q-tip” in nose and throat. That sample is analyzed and all the diseases we do know are being searched first, it means, all of them but the new Coronavirus. Why? Because they first have to rule out that you don’t have any of the many other known viruses that can cause respiratory diseases. If you test negative to all the known viruses, then it’s probable that you have the “unknown” virus, meaning the new Coronavirus and here’s when your sample will get analyzed against Coronavirus specifically. This will be done by the hospital you’re in and besides, that sample will be sent out to the INDRE, the national agency referred to give any official confirmation. 

 

Do all positive Coronavirus cases have to get admitted in the hospital? No. 

80% of the sick people only show mild symptoms that can be taken care of from your own home, isolated so you don’t go spreading it to the world, with phone supervision from your doctors. The remaining 20% should be treated under isolation in the hospital, due to respiratory difficulty or a very low oxygen saturation, among others. Only 3-5% of the sick people in the world have shown severe cases. Most of the half of the infected people in the world has already recovered. 


So why not going straight to the Coronavirus tests to everyone sick, like they do with influenza? Simply because there are not enough. This is a global crisis and there are not enough specific tests, therefore they cannot be “wasted” on any patient with respiratory symptoms and turn out to be any other virus.

And what about a vaccine and treatment? There is no vaccine yet, and neither a specific treatment. But literally, the whole world is working on it, let’s hope that in a near future we’ll have these options and everything will be more bearable, but for now, what we can do to take care of ourselves is to listen to what the official media and health centers have to say and stay home if it’s not really necessary to go out, avoid social gatherings and physical approaches, and most of all, stop spreading mass hysteria, not passing information that is not official or trust worthy. The best weapon against fear is real information.

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