From our caller tunes to colleagues–everyone has something to say about coronavirus. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has finally declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.
As of right now, 68 cases have been reported in India and unfortunately, taming it is becoming a big task.
There is no good news on the global front as well. Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in other countries over the last two weeks, with around 30,000 cases now in Iran, Italy, South Korea, Spain, France, and Germany. Many have seized their boundaries to protect their people from this menace.
Even the UN Secretary General has been tweeting about it:
Today’s declaration of a #COVID19 pandemic is a call to action – for everyone, everywhere.
It’s also a call for responsibility & solidarity – as nations united and as people united.
As we fight the virus, we cannot let fear go viral.
Let’s overcome this common threat together. pic.twitter.com/upAda4Lvzy
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 11, 2020
Thankfully, we are aware of just how bad things can get and are taking appropriate precautions like washing hands and so on. But, it is also important to watch over the most vulnerable group of people: the elderly. Sadly, our parents are the ones who are most likely to bear the maximum brunt of it according to a study published in the journal Lancet.
Want to know why? Here is what science has to say on the matter
If your parents have diabetes and high BP then their risk is higher
With age come lifestyle diseases and according to this study people who are older or have underlying diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes may be at a higher risk of death from the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
The observational study was carried on 191 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in two hospitals in Wuhan, China.
Lower immunity promotes viral replication, says researcher
The Lancet study is the first time researchers have examined risk factors associated with severe disease and death in hospitalised adults who have either died or been discharged from hospital.
“Older age, showing signs of sepsis on admission, underlying diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, and the prolonged use of non-invasive ventilation were important factors in the deaths of these patients,” said Zhibo Liu from Jinyintan Hospital, China.
“Poorer outcomes in older people may be due, in part, to the age-related weakening of the immune system and increased inflammation that could promote viral replication and more prolonged responses to inflammation, causing lasting damage to the heart, brain, and other organs,” Liu said.
In the study of 191 patients, 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. However, the researchers note that interpretation of their findings might be limited by the study’s sample size.
Researchers say that isolation technique is the best way to deal with the spread
The researchers are presenting new data on viral shedding, which indicates that the median duration of viral shedding was 20 days in survivors (ranging from 8 to 37 days), and the virus was detectable until death in the 54 non-survivors.
While prolonged viral shedding suggests that patients may still be capable of spreading COVID-19, the researchers caution that the duration of viral shedding is influenced by disease severity. They note that all patients in the study were hospitalised, two-thirds of whom had severe or critical illness.
The researchers recommend that negative tests for COVID-19 should be required before patients are discharged from hospital. In severe influenza, delayed viral treatment extends how long the virus is shed, and together these factors put infected patients at risk of dying, they said.
The researchers noted that effective antiviral treatment may improve outcomes in COVID-19, although they did not observe shortening of viral shedding duration after antiviral treatment in the study.
This is how you can see the progression of coronavirus
For the first time, the study describes the complete picture of the progression of the COVID-19. The median duration of fever was about 12 days in survivors, which was similar in non-survivors. However, the cough may last for a long time – 45% of survivors still had cough on discharge, the study found.
In survivors, dyspnoea (shortness of breath) would cease after about 13 days, but would last until death in non-survivors.
The study also illustrates the time of the occurrence of different complications such as sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute cardiac injury, acute kidney injury, and secondary infection.
So, now you know why you have to keep a check on your parents’ health to save them from the rut of coronavirus. We do understand that at times it is a little hard to convince them to use products like hand sanitisers–but it’s also your duty to make them aware about their utility.
Another thing you can do is take them for a full body check-up to ensure that they are in the pink of health with conditions building up.
(With inputs from PTI)