Community Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)Infection

The present global coronavirus infection is caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The published data suggests the virus was not engineered, modified, or mutated in the lab but had a similar genome that is seen in an animal carrier.1 The origin of the pathogenic COVID-19 virus in China is thought to be from bat or pangolins. The published data of WHO indicates the probable source of COVID-19 is a bat and wet market of China near the city of Wuhan.2 The first case of COVID-19 infection was reported in December 2019 at Wuhan, China.2 The disease later extended in the surrounding area within the city and district of Wuhan resulting in an endemic infection. Today, COVID-19 coronavirus disease is wide spread pandemic disease.

What is Community Spread of COVID-19?

Community Spread of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 coronavirus infection is caused by a coronavirus that is classified as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus- 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Coronavirus Infectious Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) rapidly spreads along the respiratory tract and causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The SARS CoV-2 is also known as COVID-19 infections. Infection caused by COVID-19 rapidly spread in the community like influenza (flu). The disease can spread rapidly in community that includes healthy members of the family, friends, office colleagues, and neighbors. Viral infections like flu and COVID-19 spreads rapidly when a healthy individual comes in contact with infected individuals. Such communication is often observed in the house, birthday party, social gathering, marriages, religious gathering, and district local conventions. The community spread of COVID-19 infection involves infected and healthy individuals.

COVID-19 Infected Individual

The individual suffering from symptoms like running nose, sore throat, cough, hoarse voice, and fever is considered suffering from an infection. The infection could be viral or bacterial. Most seasonal infections are caused by the influenza virus known as flu. In December 2019, mutated coronavirus caused an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic infection. Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 disease are considered COVID-19 infected individuals. Such infected individuals are capable of transferring the COVID-19 virus to any healthy individual who is in contact with infected individuals and maintaining distance less than 6 feet.

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Infected Individual

The individual can be asymptomatic during the incubation period. The incubation period is between 2 to 12 days. An individual can transmit the virus during the later phase of the incubation period. Occasionally asymptomatic individual exposed to the virus may suffer from mild symptoms for 1 or 2 days and then become asymptomatic. Such an individual who is infected and asymptomatic can transfer the viruses and spread the infection. The published data also suggest a few individuals tested positive for COVID-19 never had any symptoms but were able to transfer the viruses to healthy individuals.

Healthy Individual

An asymptomatic individual who was never exposed to individual suffering from COVID-19 viral infection is considered a healthy individual. Such a healthy individual is of the high risk of getting infected from an infected spouse, friend, colleague, or family member. A healthy individual should be isolated from infected from COVID-19 infection. A healthy individual should follow all mitigation guidelines.

Source of COVID- 19 and Community Spread

The healthy individual gets infected by a virus during close contact with an infected individual. The viruses are transmitted from an infected individual when a healthy individual touches infected individual, shakes hand or inhales contaminated airdrops.

  1. Infected COVID-19 Airdrops

    The airdrops containing viruses are discharged in the air by the infected individual while talking, sneezing, and coughing. The floating airdrops hang in the air for a while and travels up to 6 feet distance before falling on the floor. A healthy individual inhales the floating contaminated airdrops with COVID-19 virus during inspiration through mouth or nose. Occasionally floating droplets stick to the mucosal membrane of eyes.

  2. Smear Over Hand And Arm: COVID-19 Contaminated Mucosal Secretions

    In almost all cases of individuals suffering from COVID-19 infection, contaminated mucosal secretions from mouth and nose are smeared over hands, arms, and cloths of infected individuals. Such spread occurs when an infected individual touches mouth or nose or frequently sneezes or coughs. The healthy individual can get infected during a handshake or touch of the arm of an infected individual, as well as the transfer of dry smear and virus can occur during the contact of clothes that are worn by an infected individual. The viruses stay alive in smeared secretions for 24 hours and rapidly multiplies once it enters into mucosal epithelial cells of a healthy individual. The virus, in most cases, enters the mucosal membrane of mouth, nose, or eyes.

  3. COVID-19 Contaminated Mucosal Secretions: The Smear Of Mucosal Secretions Over Furniture And Surrounding Objects.

    The common symptoms observed in individual suffering with COVID-19 virus infection is cough and running nose. The sputum during cough and nasal secretion during sneezing discharges a large number of viruses mixed with sputum and mucosal secretions. The patient suffering from congested nose and increased nasal secretion often sneezes a lot. Each time infected individual sneezes, he or she spreads the viruses mixed in nasal secretions over furniture and various objects around the house and office. Similarly, coughing spreads droplets of sputum containing viruses over the furniture and objects that lie within 3 to 5 feet. The healthy individual gets infected when such smear of nasal secretion and cough is touched and carried to nose or mouth.

How to Prevent COVID-19 Community Spread?

  1. Healthy Individual-

    The asymptomatic individual is considered healthy unless the blood test or swab test shows positive results for coronavirus. A healthy individual should avoid close contact with people who are sick and been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection.

  2. Asymptomatic Infected Individual

    It is extremely difficult to know if one is not symptomatic and a silent carrier of COVID-19 infection. A healthy individual should get swab test of mouth or nose done if exposed to anyone with symptoms of infection or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 disease. Asymptomatic COVID-19 infected individuals may suffer from a mild sore throat, or mild running nose and body ache for one or two days. Such symptoms may be ignored as allergies. In such cases, get swab test to rule out COVID-19 infection. You may feel better in 2 days and build resistance to severe disease, but at the same time, you are transmitting the life-threatening infection to your friends and families.

  3. Infected Individual-

    The diagnosis of the COVID-19 infectious disease is the first and most important step for the prevention of the spread of contagious disease. The individual suffering from symptoms like increase nasal secretion, cough, and fever should immediately get tested for COVID-19 infection. Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

  4. Disinfectant Wipes-

    Infected and non-infected individuals should disinfect surrounding to prevent the spread of infection and prevent getting infected. Use disinfectant wipes to clean doorknobs, utensils, light switch, and furniture used by visitors. Individuals who are working must use antiseptic wipes to clean office furniture, chair, light switch, cabinet handle, drawer handle, countertop, and table until the pandemic period is over and COVID-19 infection is not transmitted. Check with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approved disinfectant wipes and solutions. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and also prevent any side effects.

What To Do To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19?

What To Do To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19?

Guidelines are published to prevent spread of infection by WHO, NIH, NHS and FDA. Such guidelines are periodically modified. Following guidelines are suggested for healthy and infected individuals to prevent getting infected as well as spread COVID-19 infection.

  1. Hand Wash-

    The hand must be washed for 2 to 3 minutes with soap. Healthy individuals must wash hands frequently, following outdoor activities. The hand should be cleaned for 2 to 3 minutes with detergent to kill and wash out the virus. Hand cleaning is essential following unpacking the groceries, packages delivered by mail as well as unpacking parcels delivered by retail stores or home delivery services. Healthy individuals must wash their hands after returning home from the office or outdoor activities. Infected individuals must wash hands frequently if in isolation or quarantine. Infected individuals must use disposable paper or cloth towels to clean the nose and cover their mouth if coughing. After each episode of coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose, one must wash both hands.

  2. Face and Nasal Mask-

    Both healthy and infected individuals must wear a mask to cover the face and nose. The infected individual should wear a mask to prevent the spread of infection. Healthy individuals must wear a mask to prevent disease. The face mask should be worn during outdoor activities or visiting public places. Healthy and infected individuals must wear Mask at home if one of the family members is affected and not isolated. If no one is infected in house and healthy, then covering nose and mouth with Mask is not needed.

  3. Gloves-

    A healthy and infected individual must wear gloves. The gloves used during outdoor activities or shopping must be discarded before entering the car or house to avoid contamination of vehicles and furniture or utensils in the home. The gloves should not be reused if possible.

  4. Maintain A Safe Distance-

    Infected individuals must maintain a safe distance of 6 feet and more if not isolated from a family member. Individuals living single or in isolation and quarantine in the house must maintain 6 feet distance or more from visitors. A healthy individual should maintain a safe distance of 6 feet or more during outdoor activities or visit groceries as well as a retail shop.

  5. Isolation-

    Home quarantine is requested for an infected individual with mild to moderate symptoms. Covid-19 patients suffering from severe symptoms are hospitalized. The patient suffering from mild to moderate symptoms or following return from hospital admission is infectious and transmits his viral disease to another healthy person. Such individuals should be kept in one of the adjacent or close rooms in the house, and all members of the house should maintain a safe distance of 6 feet or more while communicating with such an infected individual. Infected quarantine individuals must not leave home or place of quarantine for two weeks after being asymptomatic.

  6. Swab Test-

    Healthy individuals must consider the swab test when any of the symptoms of COVID-19 are observed. Similarly, any asymptomatic individual must consider for nasal or oral (mouth) swab test of COVID-19 if exposed to COVID-19 infected individuals. The health care provider must be frequently checked for COVID-19 infection if blood test suggests absent of antibodies for COVID-19 infection.3 If any health individual is suffering from allergic-like symptoms and body ache, then such individual should get tested for COVID-19 infection.

References:

  1. COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural originScience Daily: March 17, 2020 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317175442.htm
  2. Origin of SARS-CoV-2 (26 March 2020) World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus/who-recommendations-to-reduce-risk-of-transmission-of-emerging-pathogens-from-animals-to-humans-in-live-animal-markets
  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Serological Test Validation and Education EffortsUS Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-serological-test-validation-and-education-efforts

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