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All you need to know about COVID 19

Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, is brought on by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Late in 2019, the virus initially surfaced, and it spread fast over the world.

What signs and symptoms manifest COVID-19?

Four to five days after a person becomes infected with the virus, symptoms typically appear. However, in some persons, the onset of symptoms can take up to two weeks. Some folks never even exhibit any symptoms.

When symptoms do occur, they may consist of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling worn out
  • Shivers of chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sorethroat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Problems with the senses of taste or smell

Read more: Cough, runny nose, and sorethroat: read to understand what happened → Know99

In many cases, cold symptoms are relatively slight. Some people experience digestive issues like diarrhoea or nausea. Additionally, some complaints of rashes or other skin issues have surfaced.

The majority of people’s symptoms will subside in a few days to weeks. However, a small percentage of people develop severe illnesses and lose the ability to breathe on their own. In extreme circumstances, their organs fail, which can be fatal.

Some COVID-19 patients continue to experience some symptoms after several weeks or months. This appears to occur more frequently in patients who are very ill and require hospitalization. But even those who did not become seriously ill are susceptible to this. Medical professionals are currently learning about COVID-19’s long-term consequences.

Am I at danger of developing a major illness?

This risk increases with age, and it is also higher in people with other health issues like serious heart disease, chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sickle cell disease, and vaccination status. In some people, COVID-19 causes serious problems like pneumonia, which can result in a person not getting enough oxygen; it can also cause heart problems, or even death.

Getting immunized significantly reduces the risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness.

How is COVID-19 spread?

The COVID-19 virus is primarily spread from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks close to other people. The virus is passed through tiny particles from the infected person’s lungs and airways, which can easily travel through the air to other people who are nearby. In some situations, such as in indoor spaces where the same air keeps being blown around, virus in the particles might be able to spread to other people w

Living together makes it easy for the virus to spread, but it can also do so at social gatherings where there is close conversation, hand-shaking, hugging, sharing of food, or even singing. Eating out increases the risk of infection because patrons are often seated close to one another and do not wear face masks.

Even if a person does not exhibit any symptoms, they can still become infected and pass the virus to others.

What do variants mean?

Most of the time, new variants do not alter the way a virus functions, but when a variant has alterations in critical portions of the virus, it can act differently. Viruses constantly “mutate,” or change, and when this occurs, a new strain or “variant” can arise.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has undergone various additional variations, some of which appear to propagate more readily than the original virus and may also be more contagious.

To further understand how widely they have spread, if different people are affected differently, and how well certain vaccines defend against them, experts are investigating the many varieties.

Is the virus that causes COVID-19 subject to testing?

Yes, you should get tested if you suspect you have COVID-19. Testing involves taking a swab from inside your mouth or nose, and some tests also require a sample of your saliva. These tests can help you or your doctor determine whether you have COVID-19 or another illness.

For the diagnosis of COVID-19, two different tests are used:

  • Molecular tests, also known as “nucleic acid tests” or “PCR tests,” check for the genetic material from the virus. You can have a molecular test at a doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy. Depending on the lab, it may take up to several days to receive test results.Because they can identify even very low quantities of virus in the body, molecular testing are the most accurate technique to determine if a person has COVID-19.
  • You can buy antigen tests to use at home or acquire an antigen test at a doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy. Antigen tests check for proteins from the virus and can provide results faster than other molecular testing.

Experts advise “repeat testing,” which is getting tested again a few days after an antigen test is negative, if a person has symptoms or knows they were exposed to the virus. Antigen tests are less reliable than molecular tests and are more likely to give “false negative” results, which occur when the test shows a person is not infected when they are.

Additionally, there is a blood test known as a “antibody” test that can reveal a person’s history of COVID-19. Antibody tests are typically not used on their own to diagnose COVID-19 or make decisions regarding care, but public health experts can use them to determine how many people in a given area were infected without realizing it.

Is COVID-19 preventable?

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. In the US, people age 6 months and older can receive a vaccine, and people age 5 years and older should also receive a “booster” shot to provide them with additional protection. People who have received all the recommended vaccinations are at a much lower risk of contracting the virus.

In addition to vaccination, there are additional steps you can take to help protect yourself and others, such as using a face mask when appropriate, washing your hands frequently, staying home and getting tested when you are ill, and making sure there is adequate ventilation (air flow) in your home and other places you visit.

Should I keep my mask on?

In general, experts advise continuing to take the precautions if you are in an area where the COVID-19 “community level” is high. It’s also a good idea to take extra precautions to protect yourself if you are at high risk for severe illness.

Many individuals worry when it’s safe to quit doing these things in areas where the COVID-19 level is not high. The answer to this depends on:

  • Your health and the likelihood that you will become seriously ill if you contract COVID-19
  • Whether you reside with individuals who are susceptible to developing terrible illnesses
  • How comfortable you are taking some amount of risk

Everyone will have a different opinion on the answers to these questions, as different hobbies have varying degrees of risk and some people choose to continue wearing masks in public or around large gatherings.

When with other people, you should continue to wear a mask if you:

  • Have signs that COVID-19 may be to blame
  • Have recently had a virus test that was positive
  • Recently come into contact with COVID-19

Experts advise wearing a mask on flights, trains, buses, and other public transit, and certain businesses and activities mandate masks.

What if I’m fine physically yet believe I was exposed?

For 10 days, you should wear a mask indoors if you were in close proximity to someone who has COVID-19. During this time:

Whether or not you have received a vaccination, if you begin to have symptoms, you should get tested.

Even if you do not have any symptoms, you should be tested at least 5 days following the exposure.

Experts advise being tested again with an antigen test 2 days after a negative antigen test result, and if that test is also negative, taking a third antigen test 2 days later for a total of 3 tests.

What must I do if I exhibit symptoms or a positive test result?

You should get tested if you have a fever, cough, cold-like symptoms, or other COVID-19 symptoms. You can use the flowchart to choose whether to test and what to do based on the results.

When a test is favorable:

  • The 5 days should begin the day after you first noticed symptoms or received a positive test result. If you have a weak immune system or if you still have a fever, you might need to self-isolate for longer than 5 days. Self-isolation means staying apart from other people, even the people you live with.
  • Some people utilize antigen tests to determine how long to keep the mask on; if you do this, you can stop wearing a mask if you test negative on 2 antigen tests done at least 2 days apart. After self-isolating for 5 days, wear a mask around all other people for at least 5 additional days.
  • Calling your doctor or nurse will allow them to determine whether you need to be seen and, if necessary, recommend treatment if your symptoms are severe or you are at risk for a serious illness.

If an antigen test results in a negative result despite your symptoms:

  • You should have at least one more test to ensure that you are virus-free, such as a molecular test at least two days following the initial antigen test.
  • Till you receive the results of a second negative test, keep a mask on around other people.
  • Make an ambulance call if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency

Is there a treatment I require if I have COVID-19?

Most people with mild COVID-19 symptoms can rest at home until they recover; “mild” means you may have symptoms like fever, cough, or other cold symptoms but you don’t have trouble breathing. It typically takes about 2 weeks for symptoms to improve, but it’s not the same for everyone. While you are recovering, try to rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can also use over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms like fever and cough.

Even if their symptoms are moderate, doctors nonetheless advise therapy for those who are at high risk of developing a serious illness, those including:

  • 65 years of age or older adults
  • Adults with specific medical disorders, such as obesity, a chronic renal illness, a significant cardiac ailment, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
  • 50+ year old adults who haven’t had their shots
  • You can still consult your doctor or nurse about treatment and they can discuss the risks and benefits with you if you are unsure if you fall into any of these groups.

What is the ideal COVID-19 treatment?

The drug most frequently used for mild COVID-19 is a “antiviral” called nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (trade name: Paxlovid), which can reduce your chance of becoming more ill.

If your doctor advises this course of treatment, it’s crucial to understand:

  • Paxlovid is a tablet that you take daily for five days.
  • Because treatment must be started within 5 days of the onset of symptoms, it’s critical to get a test done as soon as possible to determine whether you have COVID-19.
  • Your doctor should check any vitamins and medications you use before prescribing Paxlovid; in some situations, they may want to adjust or cease them while you take Paxlovid.

Alternatives for those unable to take Paxlovid include:

  • A medication known as “monoclonal antibody therapy” is administered intravenously (IV) or as a shot.
  • Another antiviral medication is available, although it might not be as effective as the other options. One option, remdesivir, is administered intravenously.

“Viral rebound” – what is it?

People who take Paxlovid occasionally experience this, which is when they initially test negative after having COVID-19 but then test positive again. Symptoms may also return, but they are nearly usually minor.

It’s crucial to be aware that this could occur if you get Paxlovid; if it does, you might need to self-isolate once more. However, if you are at risk for a serious disease, the benefits of treatment still outweigh the danger of viral rebound.

Treatment options for severe COVID-19

If you need to stay in the hospital, you may need to be in the intensive care unit (also known as the “ICU”), where you will likely be in a special isolation room. Only medical staff will be allowed in the room, and they will have to wear special gowns, gloves, masks, and eye protection. If you have other health issues, you may need to go home.

In the hospital, treatments may include:

  • Monitoring and supporting your breathing and other bodily processes; Making you as comfortable as possible.
  • Oxygen
  • A breathing tube and breathing assistance device (ventilator)
  • Steroids, antibiotics, or other medications to treat the illness
  • Blood clot-preventing medications
  • Medications to treat symptoms

How should I respond if a member of my household has COVID-19?

Keep the ill person away from other people. If at all possible, the sick person should stay in a separate room, use a different restroom, and eat in their own room.

Improve the airflow in the sick person’s room by opening windows if you can.

Have them wear a mask – If the sick person is unable to wear a mask, you can still protect yourself by covering your face while you are in the same room as them.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Clean frequently. This includes routinely wiping off surfaces in the bathroom, computers, phones, bedside tables, and other frequently touched areas.

What can I do to look after my mental health?

Everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways; some have had to deal with losing loved ones or friends to the disease; some have had to care for others who are ill; and the majority of people have had to deal with their lives changing in some manner, sometimes permanently.

You may look after yourself by making an effort to:

  • Get frequent exercise and consume nutritious foods.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Find healthy coping mechanisms for stress, such as engaging in hobbies.
  • Find secure channels for communication with your friends and family.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you are having trouble coping, especially if you are feeling particularly depressed or nervous. They can suggest remedies or put you in touch with mental health services if you need them.
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