Here is All You Need To Know: Coronavirus and Different Stages of a Pandemic
GUWAHATI: The novel coronavirus is the new strain of virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It comes from a large family of viruses which cause several kinds of illnesses ranging from the common cold to the more severe symptoms such as acute respiratory syndrome.
With the number of cases increasing rapidly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the virus outbreak as a pandemic. Coronavirus affects the respiratory tract of the infected person.
Here’s a look at the different stages of a pandemic:
Imported and sporadic cases
The first stage occurs when those who have a travel history of visiting countries affected by COVID-19 test positive for the virus upon arrival. In this initial stage, the virus is transmitted by people travelling from abroad. Currently, no positive case has been reported in Assam till now and the health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Assam is not even in stage one yet.
In the second stage, people come in contact with those who have travelled from affected countries. Local transmission occurs when the source of virus transmission is known and can also be located. In this stage, people with a travel history to affected countries and those in close contact with such people begin testing positive for the virus. As per authorities, India is in the second stage currently.
The third stage of community transmission is seen where by now several areas become affected and the source of the infection can no longer be located. Large scale spread of the virus takes place in this stage.
This happens when a person tests positive for coronavirus even after having no exposure to an infected person or has no history of travelling to an infected nation. Countries like Italy and Spain have reached the stage of community transmission.
Once in this stage, the authorities should strongly take steps to seal their country’s borders to contain the spread of virus.
This is considered as the last stage of an outbreak and occurs when the disease is termed an epidemic, or a very severe outbreak with no visible end point of the ongoing transmission. China is currently in this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), during the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave.
Suggestions by WHO: Plan and coordinate for additional resources and capacities during possible future waves.
In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza. It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus. At this stage, it is important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response plans accordingly. An intensive phase of recovery and evaluation may be required.
Suggestions by WHO: Review lessons learned and share experiences with the international community and replenish resources.
Symptoms of Coronavirus:
-Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
-Washing hands frequently with soap
-Maintaining social distance
-Avoid touching mouth, nose and eyes
-If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care immediately
-Avoid any contact with farm or wild animals
-Maintain good personal hygiene