COVID-19 broke out at the end of December 2019. Since then, many countries have declared a state of emergency as the virus has spread across the globe. Based on data from China, the virus is most deadly for people who have immunodeficiencies, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic illness or are above the age of 70.
All over the world, governments are taking measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, which includes shutting down non-essential businesses, stopping social and religious gatherings and recommending self-isolation or quarantine.
It’s difficult to know if you have a regular flu or if you have COVID-19 because the symptoms are so similar, sometimes identical. If you’re reading this and you’ve already tested positive for COVID-19, you can probably skip this part of the article. If you’re reading this because you think you may be infected, here are the symptoms you should be aware of, as per information from the World Health Organization website.
Most common symptoms:
- ● Fever
- ● Fatigue
- ● Dry cough
Less common symptoms:
- ● Aches and pains
- ● Nasal congestion
- ● Runny nose
- ● Sore throat
- ● Diarrhea
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to self-isolate for 14 days to be safe. If you have a fever, cough AND difficulty breathing, you need to seek medical attention right away.
Isolation vs. Quarantine: What’s The Difference?
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, isolation separates confirmed infected people from healthy people, whereas quarantine happens when healthy people who may be infected (but don’t show symptoms) separate themselves to see if they do get sick.
Your country will have its own guidelines on when to self-isolate or undergo quarantine - these may change as time goes on. If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you must follow the instructions given by your doctor or attending health professional.
- ● Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with 75% alcohol if you don’t have access to soap and water. When you’re coming and going from anywhere, wash your hands.
- ● Sanitize your smartphone regularly with a disinfecting wipe. It is among the dirtiest items that people carry (since it goes with us everywhere).
- ● Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze (either with your sleeve, or with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
- ● Maintain a distance of 2 meters when you are around other people.
- ● Sanitize surfaces that you touch often, especially if others in your household also touch them.
- ● Many people are taking extra precautions by working from home if possible.
Support Your Immune System
At the time of writing, there is no recommended antiviral treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 - only your symptoms can be treated. If your symptoms are severe or are becoming severe, please follow instructions for contacting your health care providers or emergency medical responders as given by your municipality or country of residence.
There are things you can do at home to give your immune system more support in the way of nutrition and lifestyle. Check out this list of simple actions you can take now for yourself and your family.
What you choose to eat can strengthen your immune system. Very Well Health suggests increasing your intake of specific foods to increase the antioxidant power inside your body. Choose foods that are naturally high in vitamins A, C, E and zinc, and make sure they are free of additives, low-quality fillers and preservatives (these may burden your immune system).
Hold The Sugar
An unhealthy diet that includes a high amount of refined sugar has been shown to increase inflammation in the body, which can lead to greater susceptibility to infections. Logically, it seems prudent to stop eating refined sugar while you’re in recovery from COVID-19.
Nourish Your Gut
According to this study, nearly 70% of your body’s immune system cells live in your intestines (this is where your food goes after it exits your stomach). It’s becoming more and more common to hear medical doctors talk about the health of your immune system as it relates to your “gut”.
You can support this part of your immune system with probiotic foods such as plain yogurt, kefir, kombucha, brine-fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut.
Get enough rest and sleep as much as your body needs to while you’re recovering. The less energy you expend, the more your body can use that energy to fight the virus. You may need extra hours of sleep over and above the normal amount you usually get. Try to listen to your body and be aware of when you need to get more rest.
It seems we’re inundated with fear-inducing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic at all hours of the day and night. Yes, it’s important to stay on top of the news, but you also need to give your mind a break for the sake of you getting better faster. Limit your consumption of depressing news and turn on some comedy, read a book, video-call a friend, do something that can occupy your mind in a good way.
Credible Sources for Updates
In an era of rampant social media posts and fake news, the last thing you want to do is take misinformation as truth, so be sure to only get your information from credible sources:
- ● The World Health Organization creates daily updates on global COVID-19 statistics.
- ● The Center for Disease Control has a comprehensive guide on further steps you need to take if you have been infected with COVID-19.
- ● Official government and department of health websites are generally trustworthy sources of updates and news. Do a Google search of your government website and its department of health.
The unprecedented turn of events in the last few days is frightening, however we as global citizens have the responsibility to stay informed. To the best of our abilities, we must take care of ourselves and others while remaining vigilant with hygiene, social distancing and quarantine. Stay safe and think positively. Let’s get through this one together.
Coronaviruses include a large number of viruses, which can cause respiratory infections among both humans and animals. These viruses are spread from animals to humans and can be lethal. At the end of the year 2019, news related to the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China spread, which led to a lockdown in the entire city. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) has passed its statement and declared COVID-19 a pandemic since this virus has spread rapidly all across the globe. Hundreds and thousands of cases have been reported, out of which 3% of the patients have died. After the statement by the WHO was released, most of the countries have been observing a lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading any further, since no cure for COVID-19 has been found as of yet.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
According to the report released by the WHO, the most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, cough, and fatigue. Not many people are able to detect the symptoms of coronavirus as they are very much similar to cold and flu. Moreover, it will take around 2-3 weeks for these symptoms to finally show up after you have been infected with the virus. It has been observed that a lot of patients have also been suffering from a runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, and aches. People who are infected with this virus have also been experiencing pneumonia and shortness of breath. Moreover, the elder people who have been experiencing other medical health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart issues, etc., are most likely to get seriously affected if they are diagnosed positive with coronavirus.
Criteria for getting tested
In order to get tested for coronavirus, there are criteria that you must first meet. Therefore you will be tested only if the doctor comes to the conclusion that your condition falls under the set criteria.
- • You have developed a respiratory illness.
- • You have been confirmed to be around a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- • You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days.
- • You are suffering from pneumonia.
- • You work directly with patients and are exposed to patients suffering from COVID-19.
How to prevent yourself from getting infected?
If you want to prevent yourself from getting infected, then you should not go to public places, and avoid physical contact. Wash your hands and face as soon as you get home. Don't leave your home without wearing a mask and carry a hand sanitizer with you at all times.
How to prevent the virus from spreading if you are diagnosed positive?
The best way to prevent the virus from spreading is isolation and staying in quarantine. You can do this by not going to school or work, and doing all your work at home. It is best to clean your hands regularly and not touch your face, nose, or mouth. Wear a medicated mask and avoid physical contact with other people as much as possible.
As numbers of affected people with the coronavirus or Covid-19 rise every day around the world, people living with HIV deal not only with their existing health issues but increasing levels of fear. Since your existing diagnosis means that you have a compromised immune system, you are at higher risk of contracting this new virus than others.
Understanding the coronavirus itself and how to protect yourself from transmission are important parts of your focus on staying healthy and avoiding as much risk as possible. Instead of listening to frightened friends and family members or the media frenzy surrounding hand sanitizer shortages, focus on the scientific facts and recommendations.
How to Recognize Covid-19
Symptoms of the coronavirus may be quite mild or very extreme. People affected by this virus get fever, may feel short of breath, and develop a dry cough. For the vast majority of infected patients, the symptoms never get worse than your average cold with a mild fever. For some, however, the respiratory issues can send into distress syndrome or pneumonia.
At the present time, there is no definitive data about the incubation period or whether the coronavirus stays in your body and you can relapse later. When you are living with a positive HIV diagnosis, you understand more about how the immune system works and how certain diseases like this can affect you for a longer period of time. If you have any concerns or questions about your specific health status, it makes sense to speak with your physician directly.
Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus Risk
By now, you have probably seen all the recommendations for stopping the spread of this virus. Self-isolate as much as possible, and especially stay away from large gatherings and public places. Wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based sanitizer to help kill the germs associated not only with coronavirus but also the flu and other illnesses. Cover your sneezes and coughs in the crook of your elbow, avoid shaking hands, and try not to touch her face too frequently.
If you have a lower white blood cell count due to living with HIV, or do not currently take anti-retroviral prescriptions, it makes sense to practice these measures with extreme attention.
Is It Really Worse for People Living with HIV?
Now that you are armed with the important information about how this pandemic virus manifests and how to help protect yourself from it, you can let go of some of the fear you may have felt. Also, although general recommendations say that older people and those with suppressed immune systems are at a greater risk, there is no current data that shows people living with HIV are being infected or facing mortality at a higher rate.
Use all necessary preventative measures and stay up to date with Covid-19 diagnoses in your area. However, do not let worry about the risk overwhelm your senses. Prevention and smart response are the best rules to go by when you are living with HIV during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading fast across the world. The number of casualties has been reported, and these numbers are adding up every day. In between all of this chaos, what can we do to protect ourselves from getting infected?
First of all, stop buying facemasks. Scientists have repeatedly reported during recent days that facemasks cannot help you much in this regard. Basic hygiene and sanitation is the best way to go. Coronavirus is large families of viruses that may cause a range of illnesses to humans and animals from the common cold to severe acute respiratory infection.
The means of transmission is not yet fully understood, but some evidence indicates the following:
- • Drop-lets from the patient during sneezing or coughing.
- • Touching the things, services, and objects contaminated with the virus.
- • Direct contact with the infected person.
- • Possibility of transmission from infected animals.
Main signs and symptoms of coronavirus are:
- • Fever
- • Cough
- • Sore Throat
- • Shortness of Breath
- • In some cases, Diarrhea and Vomiting
Some cases with low immunity may develop renal or respiratory failure and even death.
According to World Health Organization, if you haven’t traveled to an area where the virus is spreading or had contact with someone who has it, your chances of getting infected are very low despite the growing numbers.
Facemasks are helpful, but according to medical scientists, they should not be the only preventive measure you should take to protect yourself from getting infected with the coronavirus. Add basic hygiene and sanitation into your preventive measures list as well.
Imagine how stupid that would be if someone is wearing a mask and unnecessarily touching everything (i.e., Railings, Doorknobs, Desks, etc.) wherever he/she goes.
Masks are really meant for those who are already infected with flu, virus, or sick patients or if you're a professional health worker.
Practical preventive measures you can take on your own to protect yourself from coronavirus. Followings are:
- 1. Avoid public areas. Don’t go outside if needed.
- 2. Avoid animal markets.
- 3. No unnecessary visitors. It may sound anti-social but avoid close contacts. Don’t share glass Or Cups.
- 4. Wear wraparound glasses. Coronavirus can get through eyes as well.
- 5. Use gloves and meticulous hand hygiene.
- 6. Don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- 7. You can use facemasks if you’re really into it. N95 masks are recommended.
- 8. Use trusted medical hand sanitizers.
- 9. Avoid hospitals if necessary.
- 10. Add good nutrition in your daily diet, especially vitamin D.
- 11. Keep yourself warm
- 12. Cook meat and eggs thoroughly.
- 13. Cover your toilets and trash bins.
- 14. Disinfect your in-touch surfaces thoroughly.
- 15. Use handkerchief while coughing and sneezing.
- 16. Drink lots of water.
- 17. If some symptoms appear described above, seek medical assistance immediately.
If you've to travel for work or any personal reason, avoid infected areas i.e., Wuhan, China. Consult with your doctor. Plan basic hygiene in advance to avoid getting sick on planes.
Last but not least, do your research, be careful about the source of your information, and, most importantly, stop being the victim of ignorance.