COVID19- The contagion

World is facing the warmth of Coronavirus outbreak, initially reported on 31st December 2019 and was then declared as global pandemic by WHO (World Health Organisation) in the statement released by its Director General’s opening remark  on 11 March 2020, due to its instant increase in the cases all over the world affecting large no of people. Before declaring it as pandemic, outbreak of COVID-19 was declared as global health emergency on 30 January 2020. Pandemic term has been used instead of epidemic due to its widespread rise in cases over a wide geographical area, unlike epidemic where there are stable number of cases during outbreak.

Summary to SARS-CoV-2

Coronavirus had been known dated back since 1960’s, having ability of causing illness in animals & humans, mostly affecting respiratory system causing disease such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

SARS-CoV-2 i.e. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-2 is a new infectious virus responsible for the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 also known as COVID-19. Coronavirus are positive stranded RNA viruses with layer of protein & enveloping layer of lipid. They primarily target cells of respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals including birds and mammals. Its epidemiological information are yet unknown.


Origination & Transmission  

Its origination was marked from Huanan seafood market (Live animal & seafood market in Wuhan), China. Several patients were hospitalized on 31 December 2019 with symptoms of severe pneumonia and subsequent increase in similar cases in China, people having travel history to China and people coming in contact with respiratory symptoms. Source of SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be from bats or possibly pangolins but its yet to be confirmed.

Virus have proliferation capacity when it is inside host and hence can be said they are incapable of multiplying independently. In humans, virus can reach respiratory or gastrointestinal cells either through ocular mucosa (eyes), nasal mucosa (Nose) or buccal mucosa (Mouth) and attacks the cells over their by multiplying aggressively.

Transmission of corona virus in humans are mainly either by direct transmission or indirect transmission.

  1. Direct Transmission: When healthy person comes in contact with respiratory secretion of infected person such as droplets from coughing & sneezing.
  2. Indirect Transmission: When healthy person comes in contact with infected objects or surface that are infected by the respiratory droplets of infected person.   Healthy person coming in contact with infected objects and touching their skin, cloth, eyes, nose etc. can transmit the virus.

Corona virus is able to survive on surfaces for certain period of time. Please refer below table for details-


Surface Type

Survival Time

(Approx. Hours)














  1. Currently respiratory mode is the only known way of virus transmission from human to human.
  2. Incubation period for this disease is between 2- 14 days.


Major drawback researchers are facing right now are not having enough information on its epidemiology. Trends shows this virus is majorly impacting respiratory system, with early symptoms being of flu like symptoms such as high fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, muscle pain, headache, running nose, sore throat, diarrhea, congestion and weakness. While patients with severe cases are observed with severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, sepsis and sepsis shock that can lead to death.

Relatively lower cases in children has been reported, and severely affected cases are of elderly people and those having history of health problem of high BP, heart issues, diabetes or lack of immunity.     


  1. People may be infected even without showing any of the above-mentioned symptom.
  2. People showing no symptoms are also potent of transmitting the virus.   


Guidelines has been released by WHO on prevention of infection for the public, which are basic preventive measures including frequent washing of hand, avoid touching of eyes, mouth, nose and skins, avoid touching of skin, proper disposal of respiratory discharge, avoiding contact with infected person, good respiratory hygiene.

Some of the general preventive method that can be consider are-

  1. Avoiding handshake & maintaining approx. one-meter distance from people having flu type symptoms.
  2. Avoiding crowded place, travelling, having foods from outside.
  3. Observing self-isolation & social distancing in case of having flu like symptoms.
  4. Covering face using mask in case suffering from any flu like symptoms.
  5. Frequent Hand Wash especially before & after touching one’s eyes, mouth, nose, switches, doorknobs, or surfaces that are publically used and before having food. Soap is able to disintegrate its outer lipid layer that is soluble in non-polar components.
  6. Incorporating diet consisting of high amount of Vitamin C.
  7. Use of warm water for consumption as well as for washing to increase the efficiency of cleaning.
  8. Sanitizing hands with sanitizer with more than 65% alcohol content
  9. Sanitizing masks & other personal, health care items under UV light that can breakdown the protein structure of virus.
  10. Prefer to be in dehumidified, dry, warm, bright and naturally ventilated space.


No specific treatment or vaccines for COVID-19 has been yet developed. Researchers from all over the world are working on vaccines for this disease and it shall not be wrong to say that for present scenario, prevention is the only possible way that can reduce the spread of COVID-19. A best possible way to prevent the spread of disease is to identify the person susceptible to virus and have them in proper isolation. Antiviral medicines used for treatment of MERS-CoV are being investigated for treatment of SARS-CoV-2.

Country and Technical Guidance for COVID-19 has been provided and published by WHO on their official website. (  2019/technical guidance).

It is of enormous importance to have awareness and knowledge on the recent update and advancement on COVID-19. Prevention and preparedness are the only way out of this crisis. Even measures imposed by government can be effective only if they are properly implemented and  acknowledged by citizen of the country.

“Break The Chain”.


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