Let’s Not Spread Panic But Awareness About Coronavirus

We’ve all heard about COVID-19. And for most of us, it’s simply an important news flash – and that’s about it. But for millions of elders around the world, COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease.

Let's Not Spread Panic But Awareness About Coronavirus

With new cases reported from across India, the total number of reported novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country has risen to 4682.

While the government is taking every step to curb the disease on the country level, we as individuals have to do our bit as well.

During these times, it is essential to keep ourselves and others informed and updated with the available information.

You can visit official websites of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to get all the latest information.

Elders are more susceptible to coronavirus. Therefore, they should be the ones most cautious.

Coronavirus symptoms are very common i.e. symptoms the same as that of viral or seasonal flu. Coronavirus symptoms are:

Fever

Dry Cough

Difficulty in breathing

We would request every elder to be careful and if they are experiencing any of the above coronavirus symptoms, they should not panic and inform their doctor.

But in severe cases, coronavirus symptoms can lead to pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and kidney failure.

However, there are a few coronavirus precautions which, if followed, will improve our immunity and lower the risk of catching the respiratory illness.

Few of the coronavirus precautions are:

Wash your hands thoroughly (back of your hands, between the fingers, under the nails) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes, and nose.

Avoid going to crowded places.

Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content, in case soap and water are not available.

If you feel sick, consult a doctor immediately.

These coronavirus precautions can really help us in protecting ourselves from the virus. Always keep these coronavirus precautions in mind!

Another important thing which you need to keep in mind is not to believe in everything that you hear or read. With every major thing comes a flood of misinformation and rumours.

Fake news can be spread through various mediums, be it WhatsApp, SMS, social media platforms or e-mails. One needs to be very cautious when writing down or forwarding any information on COVID-19. There is already a lot of panic among people due to this pandemic, let’s not worsen the situation by spreading anything and everything we hear.

One needs to keep in mind that they should publish or forward only that information which is verified. Moreover, it will be better if people consume only that information on coronavirus that is available on government websites (some of the names have been mentioned above).

It’s time to stay calm and stay strong. Do not spread panic, but awareness.

Once again a reminder for everyone, make sure to visit a doctor if you have any coronavirus symptoms. Also, follow all coronavirus precautions to stay safe.

How to Protect Your Children from COVID-19

It has been nearly over four months since the emergence of the first novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) case in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has transformed into a pandemic, killing thousands of people, infecting billions and confining billions to their homes.

How to Protect Your Children from COVID-19

Though a lot more is yet to be ascertained about the virus, it is believed to have less serious health effects on children than on adults. However, still, some infections and even deaths of some children from the disease have been reported in various countries.

Since there is no vaccine available to treat this fatal respiratory disease at the moment, the parents should take every possible measure to protect their children from getting infected.

The pediatricians at Edgewater Family Care Center, a leading family health care clinic in Edgewater, New Jersey, have some practical tips for the parents to protect their children form COVID-19.

Symptoms of Coronavirus in Children:

The symptoms of COVID-19 in children are similar to those in adults, including sore throat, dry cough, and difficulty breathing, though they are significantly milder than those experienced by adults. It is rare for children to have their symptoms so worsened that they need to go to the hospital.

It is yet unclear whether children with an underlying condition are more susceptible to catching the virus as compared to the children who are healthy otherwise, which is the case in adults.

Researches are still underway to determine how COVID-19 impacts the children.

Avoid Crowds:

The best way to keep your children protected from coronavirus is to limit their exposure to the people who are infected or suspected to have the infection.

This is important because when an infected person sneezes or coughs, he/she releases droplets into the air that may contain the virus. These droplets may land on the face of the child or nearby surfaces.

Keep Children away from Sick People:

Make sure to maintain a distance of six feet between the children and the people who have cough and fever, including the family members.

Encourage Children to Wash Hands Regularly:

Advise the kids to wash their hands regularly, with warm water and soap for several times a day, particularly after sneezing, coughing, using a toilet, and after they come inside after playing outdoors.

A hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% of alcohol is an effective alternative if water and soap are not available.

If your child refuses to wash hands, giving them small rewards like a sticker may encourage them to perform the practice again and again.

Cough or Sneeze with Care:

Urge all your family members to cover their mouth with a tissue or elbow while sneezing or coughing and wash their hands every time it occurs. Dispose of tissues immediately after using them.

Keep things Clean:

Clean toys and the surfaces that your child regularly touches like doorknobs, tablets, and TV remotes, using disinfectants.

Conclusion:

Like adults, children are exposed to coronavirus when it contacts their mouth, nose, eyes and lungs. Though children are less likely to become susceptible to COVID-19, it is important for the parents to work with them to minimize the risk.

New viruses: Coronavirus and SARS disease

Cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or better known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) still place headlines in most of the world’s mass media. And even day by day people are increasingly panicking because the number of patients continues to grow, while there is no way to overcome them. WHO has appointed 11 laboratories in various countries, including the Tokyo Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -Atlanta, to examine the virus that causes it. Initially researchers in China said that the cause was Chlamydia bacteria. But after that researchers from Hong Kong and several researchers from other countries suspected that there were two possible causes, namely Coronavirus and Paramyxovirus. After going through a long period of time, finally WHO announced that the mastermind of SARS was Coronavirus.

Coronavirus and SARS disease

Analysis of the search for the cause of SARS is done by isolating the virus from patients suspected of having SARS. Certainty against Coronavirus is due to the discovery of this virus from SARS patients. The analysis carried out included analysis by microscopy, PCR and sequencing. The results of microscopy and PCR analysis confirmed that the virus concerned was Coronavirus, but the results of the sequential analysis found differences between Coronavirus from SARS patients and Coronavirus found so far. This difference in sequence raises the prejudice that the possible virus that causes SARS is a mutated Coronavirus. Because of this difference, specifically for Coronavirus that causes SARS, it has been given a new name, the SARS virus.

What is Coronavirus?

The word “Corona” comes from the Latin meaning crown or crown. This is in accordance with the form of Coronavirus itself which when viewed with a microscope looks like a crown (see picture). The shape of this crown is marked by the presence of “Protein S” in the form of shoes, so it is called a spike protein, which is spread around the surface of the virus (arrow). “Protein S” is what plays an important role in the process of virus infection in humans.

Microscope image of Coronavirus. Taken from the home page of Queen University Belfast, UK). Appears on the arrow “Protein S” around the surface of the virus to make the virus shape like a crown.

Coronavirus is a round virus with a diameter of around 100-120 nm. Therefore, prevention of Coronavirus infection will be effective when using masks that are porous smaller than 100 nm.

This virus was first isolated in 1965, from a child’s nasal discharge which showed symptoms of a cold (common cold), which is usually caused by a Rhinovirus infection or influenza virus. And, in fact, it is indeed very difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of Rhinovirus infection, Influenza virus and Coronavirus.

This is also an obstacle in determining the virus that causes SARS. Because if a virus is found from a patient who is not suffering from SARS and it is stated as the cause of SARS it will result in a fatal error. That is, patient selection is very important for the determination of the virus that causes SARS.

This virus has positive RNA as its genome, and is usually often called an RNA virus. Viral mutations occur at the time of replication and RNA viruses mutate about 1 million times faster than DNA viruses. If the DNA virus has a mutation speed of 10-8 to 10-11 nucleotides each time the replication process, the RNA virus has a 10-3 to 10-4 density. Therefore, it cannot be denied that the virus that causes SARS is a mutated Coronavirus.

Coronavirus genome length ranges from 27 to 32 kilobasas. This genome forms viral body building proteins such as phosphoprotein N, glycoprotein M, protein E, protein S, and glycoprotein HE, and proteins or enzymes needed for replication of the virus itself.

Besides infecting humans, Coronavirus also infects animals such as pigs, dogs, cats, mice, rabbits, cows, and chickens. In these animals, this viral infection generally also causes respiratory symptoms (pneumonia) as well as in humans.

However, this virus is very host-specific, so Coronavirus that infects one animal only infects the animal. The virus cannot infect other animals and even humans. This virus is unstable in the air, and can only live for 3 hours, so there is very little possibility of airborne transmission. Most likely the transmission of this virus is through sneezing or coughing from an infected person to someone close to him.

Coronavirus replication

Most Coronaviruses only infect cells from their parent species and species that are closely related to their parent. In these stem cells, Coronavirus can only multiply in certain tissues. That is, the cells and tissues for breeding this virus are very specific. This specificity is determined by the nature and distribution of the receptor molecule from the cell and the variation of the “Protein S” sequence from the virus itself.

Coronavirus replication takes place in the cytoplasm of cells and this virus can also multiply in cells that have already taken nucleus (enucleated cells). In experiments outside the body (in vitro), actinomycin D can inhibit the replication of Coronavirus in cells. But there are no studies on the effectiveness of these antibiotics clinically. Therefore, there is no decision whether antibiotics can suppress the proliferation of this virus in the human body.

The Coronavirus replication process can be simply explained as follows. The virus first binds to cells through interactions between “Protein S” and receptors. After that the virus enters the cell and the viral RNA genome comes out of the viral membrane. Then part of the RNA genome functions as mRNA and partly as a template for negative RNA synthesis. The genome that functions as mRNA is translated into various proteins. Among these proteins, some of which function to form the body of the virus and some that function for the process of replication / multiplication of RNA. While some other RNA genomes are used for negative RNA synthesis. This negative RNA is then used as a template for positive RNA synthesis. And so on this process takes place repeatedly. With this process, finally the positive RNA that becomes the genome will multiply. The positive RNA that has been multiplied is wrapped by viruses that make up the body of the virus, so new viruses are formed (progeny). This new virus finally comes out of the cell and has a function as a normal virus that can infect the next cell.

Coronavirus mutation

RNA virus mutations, not just Coronavirus, usually occur during the RNA replication process. In this process, negative RNA is synthesized from positive RNA or vice versa. This synthesis is carried out by the enzyme RNA polymerase and the sequences of synthesized RNA are those that complement the template. At the time of this RNA synthesis, RNA polymerase is sometimes misread so that what is formed is not a sequence that complements the template. As a result, the sequence formed is mutated.

For DNA viruses, where DNA polymerase is at play, the same error occurs. But this error can be fixed, because for DNA replication there is an enzyme exonuclease that functions as “proof-reading” or “error correction”. That is, if there is a synthesized sequence that does not complement the template, this exonulease enzyme will get rid of the sequence, and only then the synthesis process will proceed again.

This difference actually causes the RNA virus, which includes Coronavirus, to mutate much faster than the DNA virus.

Now the extent to which Coronavirus is suspected to be the cause of SARS is mutated. The results of a team analysis from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States, showed that protein genes from proteins that make up the body of Coronavirus that causes SARS are very different from Coronavirus known during this, compared to viruses that infect humans and animals.

USA University Admissions Amid COVID-19

Amongst the top-ranking institutions worldwide, a large proportion of them are located in the USA. These institutions rank highly due to multifold of reasons some of which include, quality education, technological advancement, infrastructure and much more.

USA University Admissions Amid COVID-19

The US education system utilizes a professional approach which enables you to learn a formidable amount of knowledge. The aim of institutions in the US is to not only make sure you receive relevant knowledge but also imbibe in you professional skills. This ensures you have the relevant skills in the professional world, giving you better growth prospects.

These are a few of the many reasons students decide to study in USA and it continues to be one of the most sought-after study destinations.

However, due to the pandemic COVID-19 that swopped the floor off everybody’s feet, it is natural that there has been an impact on the university admissions in the USA. The novel virus, is unique to everyone and its repercussions can only be understood with time. The probable answer to any question related to the COVID-19 is time. It is anxiously with bated breath that everybody is waiting for this phase it pass. It is through time that we will truly be able to capture what the future holds for us. USA universities and colleges as well as the Department of Homeland Security are providing all possible means of support to international students.

To look at how the COVID-19 has affected university admissions in the USA, look at the below given comprehensive points:
Students planning to study in USA

A considerable number of students who were planning to study in USA in 2020 are met with a roadblock. However, not all hope is lost for them. Students are given the choice to either start their courses online in their home country or can defer their admission to the next intake or year. Patience is the key here. It would be quite detrimental to decide against studying in the USA, because as mentioned earlier, studying in the USA is definitely a feather in one’s cap that will allow one to have a kickstart to their career. The most practical solution is to wait and see how things pan out and let time take its course.
Students who are currently studying in the USA

Students who are currently studying in the USA were met with two options, they could either stay back or return to their home country. Those who decided to stay back are now completing their courses online. However, with the curtail in flights they are now stuck in the USA. Those who have decided to return to their home country are now completing their course online. However, students are facing issues in terms of time zones and internet connectivity. The number one question on students’ minds is how soon can they return to their study destinations. What the work opportunities will be like after this, ends can only be answered with time.

Things are expected to fall into place in the times to come.
Online Courses

USA has always been renowned for its online courses. And even before the outbreak occurred, a considerable number of courses were conducted online. Spring semesters are almost seeing an end; however, the summer semester is still incomplete.
Job Opportunities

Like most countries, the USA is also following the trend of working from home. IT companies especially are increasingly seeking work from home interns. Nearly everything is making its presence online.
Online Proficiency Tests

Entrance exams such as TOEFL, GRE, GMAT are now conducting tests online. Duolingo is becoming an increasingly used platform by universities for English proficiency tests.
Visa

The I-20 form which was earlier sent to prospective students by currier is now sent in an electronic format. Enabling the students to take a printout and use the same. The I-20 is now referred to as the eI-20.
What next?

Students who have already made applications: Students who have already made applications to study in the USA in the Fall’20 intake, will have to wait and figure out how things pan out. Nobody knows how the COVID-19 will pan out and thus should wait and evaluate the situation. Classes may either start online or the start dates may get pushed back. Whether or not you will receive scholarships and the cost component of the program will all be understood with time.

Students looking to make applications: Application deadlines are likely to get extended; it is recommended that you keep the process on and prepare for the required tests. Students have quite a few months in hand before the start of the Fall intake. Programs that earlier started in August end or the first week of September may get pushed to the end of September or the first week of October.

It’s best to not make hasty decisions because it is too early to say how things will pan out. No one can predict anything; it is thus best to wait and watch.