How to determine if you have coronavirus & how to prevent contracting it
Though we are taking extreme precautions to mitigate any risks of COVID-19 for our patients and staff, we have still received many questions coming from our patients. Knowing that for most people under the age of 70, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low, we at least wanted to answer questions around how to detect Coronavirus, especially since the symptoms don’t show for many days.
We put together some quick guidance on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), actionable preventive tips that are less well-known, along with symptoms to look for and feedback on the Coranvirus (much of this insight has come from hospitals in China & California that have more experience with the virus as of now).
Quick Self-Test To Do Daily
Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning.
- The new Coronavirus may not show signs of infection for many days. Knowing this, how can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have a fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it’s too late.
- Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicating no infection.
- During these critical times of higher risks of spreading, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.
- Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry.
- Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least.
- Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all of the virus.
- If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs which then becomes very dangerous.
Good To Know Facts About COVID-19
Lead practitioners from Shenzhen Hospital (Guangdong Province, China) also provided the following notes on Coronavirus for guidance:
- If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold.
- Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
- This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26-27 degrees Celsius (78.8-80.6 Fahrenheit). It hates the Sun.
- If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
- If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
- On fabric, it can survive for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent will kill it.
- Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
- Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
- You should also gargle as prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
- Can’t emphasize enough – drink plenty of water!
- It’s best to wash your hands with soap and water vs. using hand sanitizer.
- Hand sanitizer helps reduce the number of virus-related germs on your hands but doesn’t get rid of all of them.
- Washing your hands helps to capture the germs using both the friction and soap and then wash these germs fully away with the water. If done for 20 seconds or longer, it has the highest likelihood of fully removing the germs from your hands.
- It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3-4 days.
- The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5-6 days.
- With pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
- The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind, it has been described as feeling like you’re drowning.
- If you experience these symptoms, it’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.
A Few Facts From The CDC
- For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.
- Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
- Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.
- Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others even though they are not at risk for spreading the virus.
- Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
- There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Seek medical advice if you Develop symptoms AND Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Dr Sunil Karkhanis, Lung Surgeon, ex KEM Hospital, Mumbai