THE MYSTERIOUS CORONA VIRUS

Right now the entire globe is victimized by a deadly virus called corona virus. The outbreak was first observed in china. After that WHO declared it as a pandemic. The given name COVID-19, where ‘COVI’ stands for corona virus, and ‘D-19’ stands for disease 2019. Now the spread reach about to millions and recorded deaths in thousands. Nations around the globe criticize eachother, as per them it is a lab-made virus. And it is used a biological weapon, to disturb the world economy.

But looking back at plague outbreak 1720, cholera outbreak 1820, and Spanish flu 1920, the present pandemic seems absolute natural. The believers of evolution thinks that it is population balancing and selection of the fittest by nature “survival of the fittest”.

CLINICAL POINTS:

The incubation period of corona virus is 2-12 days. Clinical features range from no symptoms (asymptomatics are still carriers) to severe pneumonia and death. Symptoms includes:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Myalgia and arthralgia
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nasal congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemoptysis
  • Conjunctival congestion

DEATH DUE TO CORONA:

It causes both upper and lower respiratory tract infection. Virus approaches to cell membrane, causes alter of DNA and cell functions. This cause release of excess of cytokines and chemokines, leading to increased ESR (erythrocytes sedimentation rate) and increased CRP (c-reactive proteins). The conditions worsens and the patient enters into  a state of hyperinflammation. Causes of the death may be

  1. Complications of “cytokine storm syndrome”
  2. SARS (severe acute respiratory distress syndrome)
  3. Fulminant myocarditis

RISK FACTORS:

  • Immuno-compromised people i.e HIV positive people, diabetic people.
  • Smokers and alcoholic people
  • People with bronchial asthma
  • People with malignancy
  • Cardiovascular patients
  • People with any chronic disorder
  • Aged people. Average age of patients died from COVID-19 is 78 years old.

PRE-EXISTING ILLNESS:

Corona virus alone can do a little harm, situation worsen when there is a co-morbidity (pre-existing illness) in a patient. For example, hypertension is the most common pre-existing illness among patients who have died from COVID-19 in Italy. Other co-morbidities are;

  • Diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Recent cancer (5 years)
  • Heart failure
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Dementia
  • Stroke
  • Chronic liver disease

TREATMENT:

There is no specific treatment for corona patients. Treatment option in the entire world is “supportive care”. Steps are

  1. Hospitalize and isolate the patient, to prevent spread.
  2. Maintain airway, breathing and circulation.
  3. Correction of electrolytes imbalance by I/v fluids.
  4. Correction of temperature by paracetamol, avoid ibuprofen.
  5. Correction of any active symptoms.
  6. Ventilation, if the oxygen saturation goes below 55%.
  7. Avoid steroids.

EFFECTIVE DRUGS:

Nothing is officially postulated. Scientists across the globe are trying their best, but they are not succeed yet. The drugs listed below are just used to relieve the active symptoms in patients.

  • Theophylline (improves breathing by opening air passages)
  • Tocilizumab (IL-6 inhibitor) and anakinra (IL-1 inhibitor). Effective against cytokine storm.
  • Antivirals like remedesivir, lopinovir are also tried.
  • Physicians from different countries believes that hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malarial drug) shows good result in treating corona patients, some people suggest it for prophylaxis. But still WHO approved nothing about it.

PREVENTION;

  1. Social distancing, staying alone and avoiding crowds.
  2. Frequent hand wash with soap.
  3. Use of hand sanitizers.
  4. Germicidal sprays in public.
  5. Avoid touching anything in public specially metallic objects.
  6. Masks for all, infected as well as healthy individuals.
  7. Testing the whole family and all relatives of infected person.
  8. Quarantine the place where a person is declared positive for corona.
  9. Self quarantine for suspected people.

Simply, the only thing we need to do right now is to break the spread of the virus. The only fear regarding corona virus is that it is highly contagious, otherwise the recovery rate is good. Mortality rate is 2-3%, many of these 2-3% deaths are aged patients with co-morbidities.

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He is owner of this website. He is MBBS student in Bannu Medical College, Khyber Medical University Pakistan.

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