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Tips to Keep Rising COVID-19 Cases and its New ‘Double Mutant’ Strain at Bay

The COVID-19 pandemic has overtaken the storyline of healthcare and the world, for the past year. In India, after a brief lull, the number of daily COVID-19 cases is once again rising, signaling that the country may be on the verge of a second wave of infection. 

New Double Mutant Variant Detected in India

Additionally, a new double mutant strain of COVID-19 virus has been detected recently in India. An analysis of the samples collected from the state of Maharashtra revealed an increase in the samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations.

The new virus strain with two mutations, is indicated to be highly infectious and has the potential to evade the immunity developed either by vaccines or natural infection. As the second wave of the COVID-19 is looming large, the development of this new double mutant COVID strain emerges as a cause of serious worry.

Experts say that although the new double mutant COVID strain symptoms are the efficient, it is not yet a superspreader and therefore, there is no reason to believe that it is more deadly, or is the reason the emerging second wave in India, just yet. However, we must prepare ourselves to stop it. The confidence brought by India’s vaccination drive to fight against the pandemic so far should not cause carelessness.

If we do not stop it here, then a condition for a nationwide outbreak may emerge again. We all have a role to play. We have to continue to wear masks, maintain physical distance and wash hands regularly.

Let’s not become careless and lower our guard.  

Important COVID-19 Information

Following are some important facts on COVID-19 to prepare you in case of any potential infection.

How do you know you have COVID-19?

  1. Dry throat
  2. Itchy throat
  3. Dry cough
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. Fever
  6. Fatigue
  7. Body pain
  8. Loss of smell and taste
  9. High temperature

What are the 3 phases of COVID-19 Symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 appear from the third day after the infection.

Phase 1 (From 1st Day to 3rd Day)

Symptoms in the first phase may include :

  1. Headache
  2. Body pain
  3. Eye pain (Burning eyes)
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Vomiting
  6. Runny nose or nasal congestion
  7. Decomposition
  8. Burning while  passing urine
  9. Feverish feeling
  10. Fatigue
  11. Sore throat

It is important to count the days of symptoms .

Phase 2 (from 4th Day to 8th Day) – Inflammatory

Symptoms in the second phase may include:   

  1. Fatigue with minimal physical effort
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Loss of taste and/or smell
  4. Chest pain or pain in the rib cage
  5. Tightening of chest
  6. Pain in the lower back
The difference between shortness of breath and fatigue: Shortness of breath (or lack of air) is when you are just sitting – without making any physical effort – and are out of breathFatigue is when you move around to do something simple and feel tired.

Phase 3 (9th Day to 14th Day) – Healing

The healing phase begins on 9th day which may last until 14th day (recuperation).

Do not delay treatment, the sooner the better!

Tips to Keep COVID-19 at Bay

  1. Wear Mask: Masks should be worn by everyone above 2 yeas of age, especially at public places. Wear the mask above your nose and mouth always , and secure it under the chin. If a loved one or a family member is infected, people in the household should avoid contact (if possible) and take all necessary precautions including wearing mask to avoid spread to others.
  2. Maintain Physical Distance: Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, especially around those people who do not live with you. Remember, that some people without COVID-19 symptoms may still be able to spread the virus. Maintaining distance from others is extremely important for those who are at a greater risk of getting very sick. Also, avoid close contact with people including family members who are sick. If possible, try to maintain 6 feet between yourself (and other household members) and the person who is sick.
  • Get Vaccinated: You should get a COVID-19 vaccination whenever it is made available to you. Authorized COVID-19 vaccines may help protect you from COVID-19 infection. Once you are fully vaccinated (2 doses), you can start doing things that you have stopped because of this pandemic. Masks and social distancing as well as hand washing need to be followed even after vaccination.
  • Avoid Crowds and Poorly Ventilated Spaces: Avoide crowded places like bars, restaurants, fitness centres, movie theatres, etc. that can put you at a greater risk for COVID-19 infection. In addition, avoid indoor spaces which do not offer fresh air from the outside as much as possible. And, if indoors, allow fresh air to come in, by opening windows and doors.
  • Wash Hands Frequently: Wash hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after coming back from a public place, or after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Washing hands is especially important:
  • After leaving a public place
  • After using the washroom
  • Before preparing or eating food
  • After handling your mask
  • After changing a diaper
  • After caring for someone who is sick
  • After touching pets or animals
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, eyes and with unwashed hands
  • Cover sneezes and coughs: Use a tissue to cover your sneezes and coughs and throw the used tissue in the trash. Wash your hands immediately with soap and water and if soap and water are not available, clean hands using a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol

Frequently Asked Questions

Is India’s COVID variant more deadly?

For now, there is no evidence that India’s COVID variant (B.1.617) is causing more severe illness. There is currently insufficient evidence or proof to show that any of the variants that was recently detected in India cause more severe disease.

In addition, scientists do not know for sure whether the new variants are resistant to vaccines.

Can the coronavirus disease spread through food?

While COVID-19 is said to spread from person to person, there is no evidence that it can spread through food or food packaging. But, it is always important to practice good hygiene while handling food to prevent any food-borne diseases.

How long does COVID-19 recovery take?

To begin with, the COVID-19 recovery period depends on the severity of the disease. If the infection is mild, recovery period can be within about two weeks. However, for severe cases, it may take six weeks or more to get better, and hospitalization might be needed. 

Please note that if you are currently positive for COVID-19 infection, you should not get vaccinated till you recover fully.

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