What is Coronavirus?
In December 2019. The Chinese authorities notified the world that a virus was spreading through their communities. In the following months, it spread to other countries with cases doubling within days. This virus is a severe acute respiratory syndrome. This virus is named coronavirus 2 (SARs was Coronavirus 1). Coronavirus 2 causes the disease Covid-19 and that everyone simply calls coronavirus.
How the Coronavirus Spreads
A virus is really just a hull around genetic material and a few proteins arguably not even a living thing. It can only make more of itself by entering a living cell. It may spread when people cough dropping droplets on surfaces. They could be in the air or on a surface that you touch before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. That gives the virus a passage to the mucous membranes in your throat. Within 14 days, your immune system may respond with early symptoms like a sore throat, a fever, or a dry cough.
The Mechanism by the Coronavirus infects human cells.
A virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.
The new coronavirus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.
Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks healthy cells and takes command. Eventually, it kills some of the healthy cells.
The virus moves down your respiratory tract, which is your airways (mouth, nose, throat, and lungs). Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of your respiratory tract. So COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper than viruses like the common cold.
Your lungs might become inflamed, making it tough for you to breathe. This can lead to pneumonia.
How sick does the coronavirus make you?
For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs a few days later.
ARDS can cause rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, dizziness, and sweating. It damages the tissues and blood vessels in your alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. This makes it harder or even impossible for you to breathe.
Many people who get ARDS need help to breathe from a machine called a ventilator.
As fluid collects in your lungs, they carry less oxygen to your blood. That means your blood may not supply your organs with enough oxygen to survive. This can cause your kidneys, lungs, and liver to shut down and stop working.
Some people who have COVID-19 also get dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries.
Not everyone who has COVID-19 has these severe complications. And not everyone needs medical care. But if your symptoms include trouble breathing, get help right away.
How bad is this pandemic?
Fast pandemic is a horrible pandemic and will cost many lives, a slow epidemic will not be remembered by history. This pandemic will only be harmful if it is allowed to spread fast. A fast outbreak begins with a very rapid rate of infection because there are no countermeasures in place to slow it down. Many people get sick at the same time if the numbers get too large, Healthcare Systems become unable to handle eight. There aren’t enough resources like medical staff, nor hospital beds nor equipment like ventilators to deal with it. Luckily in Australia, the pandemic has been slowed down by the fast action taken by the authorities.
Fast Pandemic cost lives
A fast pandemic means people will die untreated, and as more healthcare workers get sick themselves the capacity of Health Care Systems Fails, even further. If this becomes the case, then horrible decisions will have to be made about who gets to live and who doesn’t. As seen overseas, the number of deaths rises significantly.
Social Behaviour Saves Lives
To prevent such a scenario as a fast pandemic, this means we all need to do what we can to turn this into a slow pandemic. Especially in the early phase so that everyone who gets sick can get treatment and there’s no crunch point with overwhelmed hospitals since we don’t have a vaccine. We have to socially engineer our behaviour to act like a social vaccine. This simply means two things, not getting infected and not infecting others. Although it sounds trivial, the very best thing you can do is to wash your hands with soap. This is actually a powerful tool, the coronavirus is encased in what is basically a layer of fat, soap breaks that fat apart and leaves it unable to infect you. It also makes your hand slippery, and with the mechanical motions of washing, viruses are ripped away. The next thing is social distancing, which is not a pleasant experience. Still, the right thing to do, this means no hugging, no handshakes, and staying at home to protect those who need to be out for society to function from doctors to Cashiers or police officers.
There are quarantines which can mean different things from travel restrictions or actual orders to stay at home. Quarantines are not pleasant to experience and certainly not popular, but they buy us time. So if you are put under quarantine, you should understand why and respect it. None of this is fun. But looking at the big picture, it is a minimal price to pay.
The question of how pandemics end depends on how they start. If the epidemic starts fast with a steep slope, the epidemic ends badly. If the epidemic begins slowly with a not so steep slope, the pandemic end okay and in this day and age, it really is in all of our hands.
Flu Vaccination and COVID-19
Health authorities are predicting both the influenza virus and COVIC-19 will co-circulate during the Australian winter months. Both are infections that affect the lung and overlap in symptoms.
People should have the influenza vaccine before the onset of each influenza season. In most areas of Australia, peak influenza season is from June-September. People caring for young, older or vulnerable people should be vaccinated immediately. People aged over 65 or older should almost definitely be immunised with a particular flu vaccine Fluad Quad® boosting immunity. If unvaccinated while influenza viruses circulate, there is benefit in the vaccine, irrespective of time left in the season.
Revaccination later in the same season year is not recommended; however, for some individuals, it may be appropriate such as travellers and pregnant women.
Masks use effectiveness is controversial, and its role is limited. Face masks are associated with low adherence and may provide a false sense of security. Individuals not used to wearing a mask will likely touch their faces more frequently and increase the chances of infection.
Disposable respirators (e.g. P2, N95) are designed to protect wearers from infection aerosols. Respirators can filter approximately 94% of particles less than 5 microns in size.
Australian Government states individuals need not wear a face mask unless directly caring for a person with suspected COVID-19.
Handwashing remains the cornerstone of infection control for this coronavirus. However, alcohol-based hand rubs (Sanitisers) (containing between 60-80% v/v ethanol or equivalent) is effective in reducing virus transmission.
The TGA has made exceptions to the regulation of hand sanitisers due to the high demand of hand sanitisers during the pandemic.
The following is posted on the TGA website (https://www.tga.gov.au/hand-sanitisers-and-covid-19)
On 28 March 2020, specified hand sanitiser formulations were excluded from TGA regulation, as long as they only contain particular ingredients in particular quantities in the final formulation, and comply with certain manufacturing practices, and advertisement and labelling conditions. Provided that the exact formulation and other requirements are followed, this formulation is permitted for use in both healthcare facilities and consumer use.
This exclusion will facilitate the urgent and continued supply of large volumes of hand sanitisers in Australia.
The formulations are based on advice by the World Health Organization and similar decisions by the US Food and Drug Administration. The final formulation of the hand sanitiser must contain only the following ingredients:
- EITHER ethanol 80% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade or food standard grade) OR isopropyl alcohol 75% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade) in an aqueous solution;
- sterile distilled water or boiled cold water;
- glycerol 1.45% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade);
- hydrogen peroxide 0.125% v/v (pharmacopoeial grade); and
- does not contain any other active or inactive ingredients, including colours, fragrances or emollients.
There are strict requirements for labelling of these products. Manufacturers must also test the alcohol concentrations of each batch, manufacture under sanitary conditions and maintain production record-keeping. The legislation enabling production of these sanitisers is the Therapeutic Goods (Excluded Goods – Hand Sanitisers) Determination 2020.
The products will continue to be regulated as consumer goods under Australian Consumer Law. Manufacture of this product is not considered compounding.