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With the spread of the COVID-19 comes a lot of panic and fear and that’s not it. Along with that, there’s a great amount of misinformation that’s been shared all over. From the origin of the virus to transmission to preventive measures, every aspect has some of the other misinformation attached to it. And, if we want to seriously fight the deadly COVID-19, it is important to first have the detailed and correct information regarding the same. Spreading misinformation and half-knowledge will only add on to the misery and anxiety levels.

Let us now learn a few facts about COVID-19 and clear all the myths surrounding it.

MYTH 1: COVID 19 can transmit through the air and spread through mobile networks

FACT: COVID 19 does not spread through mobile networks or air transmission. Viruses cannot travel on radio waves. COVID 19 is spreading in many areas without mobile networks. COVID 19 can be spread only via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth, or nose. This is the main reason why the focus is being given to social distancing.

MYTH 2: COVID 19 virus cannot survive under sun exposure or temperature above 25 degrees Celsius

FACT: This is a myth. You can get infected with COVID-19 no matter how hot the climate is or the strength of sunshine.

MYTH 3: All patients can recover from the disease

FACT:  Most of the COVID 19 patients can recover from the COVID-19 infection. But, patients who are at an advanced age or are suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory diseases, etc can even die due to weak immune systems.

MYTH 4: If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds means you don’t have COVID-19 infection

FACT: Having the capacity to hold your breath for more than 10 seconds does not mean you don’t have COVID-19. Dry cough, fatigue and fever are the most common symptoms of the infection. Some patients may develop more severe forms such as pneumonia. The best and the only way to confirm if you have COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test.

MYTH 5: Alcohol consumption can save against COVID-19

FACT: Drinking alcohol cannot save you against COVID-19 instead it is dangerous and can increase the risk of health problems.

MYTH 6: Extreme cold weather can kill COVID-19 virus

FACT: Extreme cold temperature or snowfall cannot kill the virus as irrespective of the atmospheric changes, the human body temperature remains steady.

MYTH 7: Taking a shower under hot water prevents COVID-19 infection

FACT: Taking a hot shower does not alter the body temperature as your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Taking an extremely hot shower can, on the contrary, cause skin problems.

MYTH 8: The COVID 19 infection can be transmitted through mosquito bites

FACT:  COVID 19 viral infection is not a mosquito-borne infection such as malaria or dengue. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

MYTH 9: Hand dryers are effective in killing the COVID-19 virus

FACT: Hand dryers are ineffective in killing the COVID 19 infection. Only frequent hand washing with soap water or sanitizer will help.

MYTH 10: UV lamps should be used for hand sterilization

FACT: Ultra-violet (UV) lamps should not be used for hand sterilization as UV radiation can lead to skin irritation and damage your eyes.

MYTH 11: Thermal scanning detects all COVID-19 patients

FACT: Thermal scanners can only detect COVID 19 infection in patients who have a fever. Asymptomatic patients cannot be identified.

MYTH 12: Pneumonia vaccines help prevent COVID-19

FACT: No. Pneumonia vaccines cannot protect the novel coronavirus. It needs inventing a new vaccine, dedicated to the virus.

MYTH 13: Regular nose rinsing with saline water protects against COVID 19

FACT: No. There is an absence of any evidence confirming that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.

MYTH 14: Garlic consumption can save against coronavirus

FACT: Garlic eating cannot help against COVID -19, though being a healthy food with anti-microbial properties.

MYTH 15: COVID 19 only affects the elderly

FACT: COVID 19 affects only aged patients is a myth. Persons belonging to all age groups are susceptible to get this infection. Older people or people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to getting infected hence advised to take precautions to protect themselves from the virus.

MYTH 16: Antibiotics can treat COVID-19 infections

FACT: COVID 19 disease is a viral outbreak. Hence, no antibiotic, can work against it. Antibiotics can only be used against bacteria.

MYTH 17: Treatment for COVID-19 infection exists/is now available

FACT: Until now, no medicine is capable of preventing or treating the new coronavirus.

MYTH 18: Spraying chlorine or alcohol all over the body can prevent COVID 19 infections

FACT:  Alcohol or chlorine sprayed on the body cannot save you from the virus that has already entered the body. These can be poisonous and cause irritation and damage to the skin.

Grocery stores are one of the only few places where we are allowed to go during the lockdown. Though this news manages to put a smile on your face every time but somewhere also raises a question that are you unintentionally putting yourselves and your families at risk after a round- trip to the grocery shop? Honestly, there’s nothing much that you can do about this because we all need to eat food to live and no matter how risky it gets someone from our families will have to step out and do it.

With WHO clearly stating that there are high chances of the virus surviving on the surfaces for few days and can be transmitted through the same, it becomes even more crucial to understand the need of the hour. The earlier you accept the fact that it is going be crowded every time you visit a grocery store the better it is. People are going to sweep the supermarket shelves irrespective of what the government says on the availability of the essential items and hence it makes it even more important for you to follow every precautionary measure whenever you are out for a grocery shopping.

Below are a few safety tips that you can follow when you step out of the house next time to buy groceries:

1) Maintain at least six-feet distance from other customers.

2) Don’t shake hands or have any form of physical contact with the customers or the shopkeeper.

3) Wipe the carts or basket handles with disinfectant wipes.

4) Avoid touching your face.

5) Always keep your face mask worn.

6) Carry your hand sanitizer and use it while waiting at the counter and after leaving the store.

7) Avoid going to the store if you are sick.

8) Wash your hands after unpacking the items.

9) If possible, prefer home delivery of groceries with proper precaution.

10) Rinse fruits and vegetables with warm water and baking soda before using them.

Have you ever thought about why you often fall sick? Do you think it’s the climate change or overexertion that makes you feel weak and eventually fall sick? You may be right but you wouldn’t want to play the blame game every time because not everyone whom you know is falling sick that often but it’s only you. So, how do we go about it and change this phenomenon of your body?

Firstly, it is important to know the defense system of our body before jumping on to activities strengthening it. Our immune system is a host defense system comprising many biological structures and processes within the body that protects against disease and potential health hazards.  When functioning properly, the immune system can identify multiple threats like viruses, bacteria and parasites and works towards distinguishing them from the body’s healthy tissue. As long as your immune system is running efficiently, you don’t notice that it’s doing the job, however, the moment it stops working properly or becomes weak to fight harmful substances, you get ill.

Hence, it becomes very crucial for you to follow measures that can boost your immunity system. Because healthier the immunity system, healthier are you. We have listed below a few tips that can play a vital role in boosting your overall immunity. Take a look and incorporate those in your lifestyle to stay healthy and fit.

Although it looks as if the pandemic is affecting almost everyone in some or other way, it may be even more crucial for people suffering from hypertension to stay updated and informed about COVID 19. Doctors suggest that coronavirus infection can be more fatal in those with hypertension and also alter the action of antihypertensive drugs.

The outbreak of COVID 19 is indeed more vital for hypertensive patients. Present data confirms that hypertensive patients are at elevated risk of getting COVID 19. Also, such patients carry a higher risk of needing hospitalization, ventilation requirement and even death. As per WHO, hypertensive patients fall under the highest-risk category for getting affected by more severe COVID 19 cases and even death. The COVID 19 death rate in hypertensive patients is 8.4% vs. 0.9% in patients without any pre-existing condition. Two special implications have been found for hypertension and COVID 19:

  • Hypertensive patients have elevated ACE2 levels
  • Hypertensive patients on ACE inhibitors or ARB therapy may need to stop taking these medications or need re-evaluation if they contract COVID 19.

Hypertensive patients require to follow the same precautionary measures as normal individuals to prevent getting the infection, apart from keeping their BP in check.

  1. Maintain your recommended blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
  2. Frequently monitor your blood sugar and BP levels to rapidly identify any irregularities and get appropriate treatment adjustments.
  3. Get enough supplies related to your co-morbid testing and medications, in case of an outbreak, for at least 15 days.
  4. Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water.
  5. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing.
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  7. Avoid unwanted travel and socializing.
  8. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease.
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  10. Consume yogurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
  11. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels.
  12. Avoid crowd exposure and handshaking.
  13. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, difficulty in breathing or fever.
  14. Last but not the least, stay hydrated.

Like many others out there, you would also probably have questions about the mighty Coronavirus and the one topping the list is about the spread of the virus. Currently, the Novel Coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across the globe, affecting 175 countries and claiming more than 21,000 lives. With the global pandemic showing no signs to stop, here’s a closer look at how the deadly virus spreads.

Think of all the frequently touched surfaces where germs can lurk: kitchen counters, bathroom counters, doorknobs, elevator buttons, the handle on the refrigerator, handrails on staircases. The list goes on and on.

As the initial cases of the disease were associated with direct exposure to the seafood sellers in China, the first presumption of the spread of the virus was thought to be a case of “animal-to-human transmission”. However, subsequent patients were not linked to the above mechanism. Hence, the experts concluded that the virus could also be transmitted through person-to-person contact, and patients having the disease symptoms are the most common source of the spread of the disease. The possibility of spread prior symptom developments seems to be rare but is possible. Also, evidence exists that infected patients not showing symptoms can also spread the virus. This fact indicates that practicing self-isolation is indeed the best way to control the epidemic.

As evident with other respiratory illnesses, the spread of the disease is thought to occur through
respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. Aerosol transmission is also possible in case of closed spaces. The latter spread, however, mainly occurs to family members, healthcare workers, and other proximal contacts.

Data also indicates that cases of COVID 19 double every week in the epidemic. Thus average, each patient spreads the disease to an additional 2.2 individuals.

With the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus and the speed through which it is spreading, one way to surely slow the spread is social distancing (also called physical distancing). The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread. With death count increasing massively every day, it has become even more important to follow all the guidelines shared by the government and the respective health authorities to protect yourself from the global pandemic.

Currently, isolation is the only effective way out to restrict or prevent the transmission of the infection. Hence, current strategies of prevention revolve around isolation of patients along with careful infection control, including undertaking suitable measures at the time of diagnosis and treating an already infected patient.

International healthcare authorities have enlisted several recommendations, given below to prevent oneself from getting a COVID 19 disease:

  1. Avoid close contact with patients demonstrating any respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. Maintain a minimum of 3 feet distance.
  2. Frequently, wash your hands, especially post-contact with a patient having respiratory disease symptoms, preferably for >20 seconds with soap water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  3. Patients having symptoms of a respiratory infection, should behave responsibly and cover their mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue or cloth and adhere to strict hand washing.
  4. Avoid handshake while greeting someone.
  5. Hospital authorities must also strengthen their hygiene practices.
  6. Immunocompromised or patients with low immunity, such as elders must avoid going in public.
  7. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing.
  8. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  9. Avoid unwanted travel and contact with unknown persons.
  10. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease.
  11. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  12. Consume yogurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
  13. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels.
  14. Avoid crowd exposure.
  15. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, and difficulty in breathing or fever.
  16. Last but not the least, stay hydrated.

People with diabetes need to be extra careful during this tough hour and should adhere to all instructions given by their doctors. Because uncontrolled diabetes itself can be fatal and with the current devastating scenario of Coronavirus, it becomes even more important for a diabetic patient to take all the preventive measures. Diabetes patients are believed to be at added risk for getting COVID 19 infection.

Majority of health experts working on COVID 19 patients term diabetes to be a high-risk condition for the COVID 19 infection, mainly due to a raised rate of case-fatality (CFR) among diabetes patients, who get COVID 19. As per evidence, the overall CFR of COVID 19 is 2.3% while the CFR for patients having pre-existing diabetes gets raised to 7.3%. Also, the scenario gets further elevated in the case of elderly patients, with patients aged >80 years reporting a CFR of 14.0%. In general parlance, patients with diabetes, especially with uncontrolled or poorly controlled blood sugar levels are more prone to getting infected with any sort of infections including COVID 19, possibly due to the reduced immunity levels as a result of high blood sugar levels.

Following precautions are advised for Diabetic patients to prevent COVID 19:

  1. Maintain the recommended glucose control by strictly adhering to diet, activity and medication regimens.
  2. Frequently monitor your blood sugar levels to rapidly identify any spikes in glucose levels and getting appropriate treatment adjustments.
  3. Get enough supplies related to your diabetes testing and medications, in case of an outbreak, for at least 15 days.
  4. Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water.
  5. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing.
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  7. Avoid unwanted travel and contact with unknown persons.
  8. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease.
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  10. Consume yogurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
  11. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels.
  12. Avoid crowd exposure.
  13. Avoid handshaking.
  14. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, difficulty in breathing or fever.
  15. Last but not the least, stay hydrated.

With more than 5 lacs infected cases and nearly 20 thousand deaths till now, COVID-19 famously known as Novel Coronavirus has put the entire world to a standstill. Though there are conspiracies and theories around the origin of the coronavirus, we will help you debunk some rumors and give you real insights on the origin, symptoms, and causes of Novel Coronavirus.

A coronavirus is a virus group, belonging to betacoronavirus family responsible for causing a range of respiratory diseases, from common cold, influenza to more severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Recently, a new addition to this family has been found out which is responsible for the global outbreak of a potentially fatal disease, COVID 19. The virus is named as SARS-CoV-2 or the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, while the resulting disease is referred to as COVID 19 or coronavirus disease 2019. The COVID 19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2019 owing to its rapid spread in over 250 countries, globally.

Symptoms of COVID 19

Signs and symptoms of COVID 19 may emerge in 2 to 14 days in the patient after getting exposed to the virus. They can range from very mild to fatal and may include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing, called dyspnoea
  • Fatigue or Tiredness
  • Body or Joint Pain
  • Constantly running nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Diarrhea and vomiting have also been reported in a minor group of patients
  • Some patients even remain asymptomatic

Elderly patients, patients with impaired immunity such as HIV/AIDS or those suffering from co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, heart or lung diseases are at elevated risk of fatal outcomes from COVID 19.

Causes of COVID 19

COVID 19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus as it spreads to persons in close contact with an already infected patient through the respiratory droplets, by coughing or sneezing. It can also spread by touching the surface containing the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with the same part.

The fast spread of the coronavirus has surely prompted the global alarm. From closing borders, global airlines suspending flights to some governments even barring entry to foreign nationals, the outbreak has created serious fear in the minds of the common man. Everyone irrespective of height, weight, body shape has fallen prey to the deadly disease across the globe.  Doctors are constantly asking individuals with low immunity to be safe and take necessary precautions. When it comes to patients with heart history, they have been asked to take extra care during this time. We all know that patients suffering from heart diseases are especially vulnerable to respiratory tract infections, including COVID 19.

However, the extent of damage in heart patients is currently uncertain. As per evidence, patients with known cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a CFR of 10.5% in case of a COVID 19 infection. Also, evidence suggests that 16.7% of COVID 19 patients, having CVD, develop abnormal heartbeat while 7.2% of patients get acute cardiac damage. Cases of acute-onset heart failure, heart attack, and other fatal cardiac symptoms have also been reported in COVID 19 patients with CVD. Heart complications in COVID 19 patients are comparable with SARS and MERS patients.

Following precautions are advised for CVD patients to prevent COVID 19:

  1. Maintain your recommended blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
  2. Frequently monitor your blood sugar and BP levels to rapidly identify any irregularities and get appropriate treatment adjustments
  3. Get enough supplies related to your co-morbid testing and medications, in case of an outbreak, for at least 15 days.
  4. Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water
  5. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow, in case of coughing or sneezing
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes
  7. Avoid unwanted travel and socializing
  8. Stay vaccinated for each available infectious disease
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  10. Consume yoghurt and probiotics for a healthy digestive system
  11. Sleep for at least 8-9 hours to reduce stress and maintenance of immunity levels
  12. Avoid crowd exposure and handshaking
  13. Immediately contact your doctor if you develop any respiratory symptoms such as cold, cough, difficulty in breathing or fever.
  14. Last but not the least, stay hydrated

Hernia’s are a common ailment with over 10% of the world, men, women and children, developing one at some point in their life. It occurs when an organ pushes through the muscle or tissue opening holding it in place. A hernia is referred to the sac that consists of the lining of the peritoneum/abdominal cavity after it enters through the hole in the stronger muscle region of the abdominal wall surrounding the muscle or fascia. A hernia may be visible as a bulge in the abdomen, upper thigh, belly button and groin areas, depending on the location of its occurrence. Groin hernias are the most common, making up to 9/10 of hernia cases.

Types of hernia: 1. Inguinal Hernia: Occurring mostly in men due to the improper closure of the inguinal canal after postpartum testicle descent. This is a groin hernia.

2. Incisional hernia: When the organ pushes through the surgical incision after surgery, mostly abdominal. It can occur many years later through the scar of the initial surgery too.

3. Femoral Hernia: Another groin hernia, but one which is more common in women. Usually observed as a bulge on the upper thigh, exactly below the groin.

4. Umbilical Hernia: Almost exclusively seen in children and babies under 6 months old. This bulge around the navel is usually seen due to the improper closing of the muscles around the navel.

5. Hiatal Hernia: This is an abdominal hernia that occurs in the stomach’s upper region. This is observed when a part of the stomach’s upper part enters the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm.

What can cause a hernia? A hernia is usually the result of a combination of weak muscles and straining due to lifting heavy objects. It is more likely to affect those born with weak abdominal muscles.

How do I know if I have a hernia? In a majority of cases, hernia patients do not exhibit many symptoms. What they might complain of though , is discomfort or pain which is exacerbated during standing, straining or while lifting heavy materials. Another common symptom is a sore and growing bump in the abdominal area. Major symptoms like nausea, vomiting, not being able to expel gas or have bowel movements occur when the hernia is strangulated, i.e., when it gets stuck due to increasing size and restricted blood supply. This is a medical emergency and should be operated on immediately.

Is surgery the only option? Not in all cases. Hernia treatment depends on the size of the hernia and the severity of the symptoms. In mild cases, lifestyle changes and medication may be enough to manage the situation. This is mostly true for hiatal hernias where dietary changes like avoiding heavy meals, lying down or bending over after meals can alleviate the symptoms. Keeping one’s body weight in check can also help. Hiatal hernia patients can also benefit from medications like antacids, H-2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors that reduce stomach acid.

If the hernia patient requires surgery, there are two options available depending on their case history. ● Open hernia repair or herniorrhaphy: The patient is provided either spinal, general or a combination of both anesthesias. An incision is then made in the groin and the hernia is moved back into the abdomen and the wall is reinforced with stitches. The weak muscles are reinforced through hernioplasty wherein they are provided additional support through the use of a synthetic mesh or screen. ● Laparoscopic surgery: A minimally invasive option that takes place under general anesthesia. Three incisions are made in the abdomen, one of them being through the umbilicus. The laparoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera at its end is then inserted through the umbilical port or opening. The camera then sends a magnified image from inside the body to a monitor, which gives the surgeon a close-up view of the hernia and allows them to repair the hernia with the help of a mesh. Patients undergoing laparoscopy experience a much shorter recovery period overall.

The type of surgery one undergoes totally depends on the surgeon, the type of hernia, its size and the patient’s history.

Is the recovery very painful? As with any surgery, there is a certain level of discomfort that is to be expected. However, this can be managed with pain medication. Resumption of normal activities depends on the patient’s progress and doctor’s evaluation, though vigorous activity and heavy lifting are restricted for several weeks. This holds true for both adults as well as children.

Living with hernia is no joke and left untreated, can cause fatal complications. If you or your loved ones are exhibiting symptoms of hernia, then going to a doctor for a full evaluation of the condition is a must. Early treatment is the best way to ensure a positive outcome.