Healthy Living key to keeping Coronavirus at bay | Daily News


Healthy Living key to keeping Coronavirus at bay

Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Muhammad Jazeem
Fellowship in Diabetes.
Specialist Family Medicine.

What is a Pandemic?

A pandemic is defined as the "worldwide spread" of a new disease. Whereas, an outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of what's normally expected and an epidemic is more than a normal number cases of an illness, specific health-related behavior or other health-related events in a community or region, according to the World Health Organization.

What is the advantage to declare a disease as a Pandemic for us?

Pandemic” has nothing to do with how serious the illness is. It just means a disease is spreading widely. The label triggers governments to activate preparedness plans and possibly take emergency procedures to protect the public, such as more drastic travel and trade restrictions. WHO already had declared COVID-19 an international emergency and where the virus hasn't yet spread, hospitals and clinics around the world have been preparing for a surge of coronavirus patients on top of the everyday illnesses they treat.

In other words, people who were in places where the virus was circulating have known risks. If they get sick, the chain of transmission is obvious. And as long as health authorities can trace those chains, an outbreak isn’t yet deemed out of control.

 But when people start becoming infected without obvious links that signals the wider spread of an infection throughout a population, the key for a pandemic declaration.

For flu, the WHO typically calls a pandemic when a new virus is spreading in two regions of the world; COVID-19 is now spreading in all continents except Antarctica.

What I mean here, the pandemic is the alert from the WHO to the health organizations of the countries to be vigilant enough to face the problem in order to protect their public. So this message is to protect us rather than to put our self in a panicking situation.


The last disease the WHO declared a pandemic was a new flu strain, initially called “swine flu,” in 2009. That decision came after the new H1N1 flu had been spreading in multiple countries for about six weeks. Today, that strain is what’s known as “endemic” worldwide — it became part of every season’s regular flu outbreak.

Promising news by WHO

COVID-19 has been labeled a pandemic, “but at the same time, we believe that it will be the first also to be able to be contained or controlled”- WHO.

Regular seasonal flu has a death rate of 0.1%. Exactly how lethal this new coronavirus will be isn't yet clear, and may vary from place to place especially as countries first grapple with an influx of cases.

But COVID-19 does seem less deadly than its cousins SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) even though it is spreading more easily than those earlier outbreaks.

For most, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and most recover in a couple of weeks. For a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia.

A recent WHO report stated that more than 70 percent of the Chinese population who contracted COVID -19 have successfully recovered, which even includes severe Pneumonia like complications of the disease. The recovery period varies according to the severity of the illness that takes up to 06 weeks. (Circular WHO-12th March 2020)

Quarantine period

Suspected people are to be quarantined for 14 days which is the incubation period of the disease.

What are our responsibilities?

Adhere to the precautionary methods and Healthy life style

1.  Personal hygiene: Hand hygiene, using face mask in an appropriate situation and its disposal, use tissues or handkerchief while sneezing and coughing and dispose them or wash and dry the hanky properly before reuse.

2. Avoid gatherings and crowds.

3. Adequate fluid intake specially water.

4. Healthy life style: proper diet, exercise, meditation and sleep hygiene.

5. If you have fever, cough, sore throat or body pain get medical advice as soon as possible.

6. Do not spread unauthentic news and messages

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