Foto: AP Photo/Vincent Thian
It starts with a fever. That’s the most common symptom among patients who get the new coronavirus that has swept across China.
A recent study of nearly 140 patients at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University identified a typical pattern of symptoms associated with the virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19. Around 99% of the patients developed a high temperature, while more than half experienced fatigue and a dry cough. About a third also experienced muscle pain and difficulty breathing.
Research from the Chinese Center for Disease Control suggests that around 80% of coronavirus cases are mild. Around 15% of patients have gotten severe cases, and 5% have become critically ill.
Here’s how symptoms progress among typical patients:
- Day 1: Patients run a fever. They may also experience fatigue, muscle pain, and a dry cough. A small minority of them may have had diarrhea or nausea one to two days before.
- Day 5: Patients may have difficulty breathing – especially if they are older or have a preexisting health condition.
- Day 7: This is how long it takes, on average, before patients are admitted to a hospital, according to the Wuhan University study.
- Day 8: At this point, patients with severe cases (15%, according to the Chinese CDC) develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), an illness that occurs when fluid builds up the lungs. ARDS is often fatal.
- Day 10: If patients have worsening symptoms, this is the time in the disease’s progression when they’re most likely to be admitted to the ICU. These patients probably have more abdominal pain and appetite loss than patients with milder cases. Only a small fraction die: The current fatality rate hovers around 2%.
- Day 17: On average, people who recover from the virus are discharged from the hospital after two-and-a-half weeks.
However, the first symptoms might not come right after a person has been infected. Lauren Ancel Meyers, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas at Austin, told Business Insider that a typical patient may be infected without showing symptoms for five or more days.
Once symptoms do appear, they can be similar to pneumonia. But Paras Lakhani, a radiologist at Thomas Jefferson University, told Business Insider that the way COVID-19 can worsen over time distinguishes it from pneumonia.
„Pneumonia usually doesn’t rapidly progress,“ Lakhani said. „Typically, most hospitals will treat with antibiotics and patients will stabilize and then start to get better.“
Coronavirus patients, however, can get worse even after they receive treatment such as fluids or steroids. One case study found that three days after a 33-year-old woman started receiving treatment at a hospital in Lanzhou, her case was more pronounced than when she arrived.
In total, the new coronavirus has killed more than 2,200 people and infected more than 76,000. It originated in Wuhan, central China’s most populous city, and has since spread to 29 other countries. The majority of cases are still located on the Chinese mainland.
Read more about the coronavirus:
Coronavirus: Could you have already had the virus? 5 questions answered – WPXI Pittsburgh
The list of symptoms that have been associated with the virus is not a small one. According to the CDC, symptoms such as a dry cough, fatigue, low-grade fever, body aches, nasal congestion and sore throat are the most common with COVID-19. In addition, symptoms such as the loss of the senses of taste and smell, diarrhea and the appearance of conjunctivitis – commonly known as “pink eye” – have also been seen.
Here's what you should know about wearing cloth face masks – CollingwoodToday
Medical officials are still stopping short of recommending the general public wear homemade masks, but they are suggesting a cloth mask could help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said today a homemade cloth mask could help someone who doesn’t know they have the virus keep from spreading it to others.
“People should be aware they’re not of proven value,” said Gardner. “If there is any value in them it’s more from the point of view of avoiding infecting others.”
A cloth mask could keep droplets from your nose and mouth from entering someone else’s airway or landing on and contaminating a surface.
“They have not been shown to prevent respiratory viruses from entering your airway,” said Gardner.
But it shouldn’t replace any of the other preventative measures being recommended by public health organizations in the province and country.
“What’s really important is that people do their physical distancing and their handwashing,” said Gardner.
He also recommends people stay home, think twice about whether or not they need to go out, and if they do, to focus on quick trips for essential items while still maintaining a two-metre separation with any other people.
“The more we do, the better we do this, the less that surge will be,” said Gardner. “April is a very key month for us in this outbreak. This month we’re going to see the extent to which the surge occurs. If we were very successful it will be a limited surge. If we were less successful it will be a bigger surge more likely to overwhelm our healthcare system.”
There are now 98 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, more than 10 of those at Bradford Valley, a long-term care facility.
Gardner stressed members of the general public should not be wearing medical-grade masks.
“All of those we really need to retain for healthcare workers because of a limited supply,” he said.
Additionally, there are specific fits and protocols that make surgical masks and N95 masks effective PPE. Without following those specifications, a medical-grade mask will not offer effective protection.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 including coughing and sneezing, stay home, indoors, for at least 14 days.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer of health, said today people can use homemade cloth masks to prevent spreading the virus to others. She said there is increasing evidence people can transmit the virus before knowing they are sick, and keeping their mouth and nose covered while in public – in addition to frequent handwashing and physical distancing – could help reduce spread.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted some tips on its website on using cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC says to use a mask that fits snugly, is secured with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric, and can be laundered and machine dried without changing shape.
If you are using a cloth mask, put it on before you go out in public, and then don’t touch it or your face again. Once at home, remove the mask without touching your face, and put it in the laundry. Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect surfaces you touched on the way in.
The CDC also states a cloth face mask is an additional, voluntary public health measure and should only be used with proper handwashing and physical distancing practices.
You can find sewing and no-sew instructions for cloth face masks on the CDC website.
Homemade face masks can protect others, but not you: health officials – CTV News Winnipeg
The increase in demand for personal protective equipment has led to an increase in demand for homemade face masks.
Monday both the Federal and Provincial Government said there’s a benefit to wearing homemade masks when in public.
Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer for Canada, said the Special Advisory Committee for COVID-19 concluded wearing a non-surgical mask can help protect those around you, but it doesn’t protect the person wearing it,
“Wearing a non-medical mask in the community does not mean you can back off of the public health measures that we know work to protect you,” said Tam.
She said we can’t “relax” any of our physical distancing efforts, but added people who want to wear masks as an extra precaution can make them out of household items.
”Simple things, not complicated,” said Tam. “If you can get a cotton material like a t-shirt, you cut up, fold it, (and) put elastic bands around it. Those are the kind of facial coverings we’re talking about.”
Some Manitobans have been pulling out the needle and thread to craft homemade face masks.
Grace Webb, the creator of the Facebook page Face Masks for Manitoba, said she got the idea to sew masks and donate them after reading a U.S. article.
She said the idea snowballed and she started the Facebook group so other mask makers could join her.
“From there it became apparent that people wanted to do this but didn’t have material,” said Webb. “So I thought, why don’t we (build) a kit we can send to people with everything they need to make mask.”
Webb said she’s donating the masks to care homes and people in the community.
Each mask comes with instructions on how to clean them properly, along with a reminder to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.
Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer for Manitoba said wearing a non-surgical mask is like coughing into your sleeve.
He said he doesn’t want this information about homemade masks to distract from the most important message.
“If you were staying home before, stay home now,” said Roussin. “Don’t go out now because somebody has said we can use cloth or non medical masks.”
Webb said she’ll continue to sew homemade masks as long as there’s a need.
“I hope it gives them some comfort and a little bit more security,” Said Webb. “I would love to say that we did something to help slow the spread.”
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