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Distance and Solidarity to combat COVID- 19

This, as in all the battles for human health, requires urgent support, not only on an individual level but also on a collective one. A sick person is a victim who could create more victims. These are times for good judgement, to end selfishness, to understand and look after others and to change many traditions. The transmission chain needs to be cut-off.

 

Covid-19 has the world scientific community under siege and although various medicines have been proven to have certain efficiency, “to maintain distance” between each other is the failsafe antidote.

Stay at home, avoid mass gatherings. No kissing nor handshakes – these are the best contributions that each person can make to halt this contagious illness provoked by the new coronavirus completely unknown until its appearance in the Chinese province of Wuhan in December 2019.

The evidence up until now shows that its mode of reproduction from person to person is “ through the respiratory drops expelled by the nose or the mouth with an infected person’s cough” for this reason it is important to keep a distance of more than a metre between people, as indicated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Droplets that logically expand over all the objects and things that surround this contagious individual, for this reason it is recommended to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and also to thoroughly wash hands with soap and water or use anti-bacterial alcohol based gel to kill the virus.

The fact that WHO have declared this as a global pandemic shows how easy it is to be transmitted and the geographic pathogenic spread, the RO – reproductive number – that the scientists use to describe the intensity of an infectious pathology.

This is the average number of new infections that result from one person being infected, and social distancing aims to reduce this number to less than 1.

Although many scientists throughout the world are working to create a vaccine, still without success, what is important now is adopting measures that will impede its spread and ways for individuals to avoid getting ill and putting other people at risk.

Without distinction, men, women and children catch the illness although its behaviour, according to experts, varies with age, gender and underlying health conditions. For example, older people of advanced age run the highest risk.

In effect, older adults with underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiac problems or diabetes – have more chance of developing a serious illness, so in these cases, if they have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulties in breathing, they should get medical attention.

Furthermore, as well as being informed on current government guidelines for each country – the authorities are asking for extreme care of the elderly, above all in the exposure levels. “They should stay at home”, advise health authorities.

WHO announced the COVID-19 and insisted on focussing more on containment strategies. Since then the number of cases outside of China multiplied by 13 in two weeks and the number of nations with infected people tripled.

There is nothing to tell us when the epidemic will reach its peak, and less about when it will finish, and although some calculations are indicating general trends, we have to remember that this is  a new virus, whose behaviour and character are still being studied.

The investigations show – and here is the danger – that a person can be a carrier of the virus, not have any symptoms and infect others before they get the typical symptoms such as fever, dry cough, nasal secretions, and sore throat.

It is thought that the incubation period, the lapse of time between infection and the appearance of the other symptoms, varies between 1 and 14 days.

On the other hand, it is known that around 80% of people infected will get over it without any type of special treatment, according to WHO: and one in six people could develop a serious illness and have breathing difficulties.

All measures, such as those adopted by Italy, earlier in China and since greatly extended to the rest of the countries where people have become infected, such as suspending classes,  public events, unnecessary movement and also closing non-vital businesses are directed exactly at this: to cut off the transmission chain. (PL)

(Translated by C M Byrne – Email: guerrera247@hotmail.com)Photos: Pixabay

 

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