A virus can be defined as an infective agent or microorganism that can cause harmful and life-threatening diseases to its host by producing many identical copies of itself in a short duration of time. Before moving towards the steps to control its spread, let’s discuss some facts about the virus.
VIRUS. Either living or nonliving?
The virus shows a dual nature. It does not show any growth or reproduction outside a nonliving body but as soon as it enters a living body it becomes activated and produces thousands of copies of its DNA by using host cell protein, therefore it is considered to stand at a borderline between living and nonliving creatures.
Steps Taken to control its spread:
History reveals that in the early period, people showed a serious concern and steps to stop the spread of the virus. The reason is that the virus causes many epidemics, endemic and pandemic diseases that cause harm at the global level. There are two methods to control its spread:
It includes sanitization, sterilization, pasteurization, Heating, filtration, radiation, etc
It includes the use of certain chemicals like alcohol, phenol, and aldehydes as antiseptic and disinfectants.
Steps Taken By General Public To resist the viral Spread
When a viral infection becomes pandemic like a novel Coronavirus. It becomes very difficult for the respective government and health care administration to control the situation and to control the mortality rate. In such a scenario, every common citizen should join hands to protect himself and other people by restricting local transmission of the virus. Here are some general steps that should be taken and practiced by the general public to make themselves safe in the war against the virus.
Avoid Social Dealing:
People should avoid social dealing when a country is facing any epidemic or pandemic disease. As the virus can easily spread through airborne droplets from one person to another person, therefore, do not arrange large gatherings, either it is of religious type or some sort of educational and celebrations.
Maintain Social Distance:
It is also a good idea to keep yourself at a distance with everyone. Maintaining social distance includes:
- avoid handshakes
- avoid hugs
- avoid sharing of objects
Maintain Personal Hygiene:
A healthy individual can contribute to maintaining a healthy society, this requirement can be fulfilled by maintaining good hygienic conditions and sanitary conditions. Previously, it is reported that improper sanitary conditions result in outbreaks of diseases like diphtheria, malaria, measles meningitis and cholera. To maintain good hygiene one should
- Take regular shower
- Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste
- Change clothes
- Wash the clothes with lukewarm water
The use of sanitizers should be practiced before eating and drinking at the place where the source of washing hands is not available. Also it must be used after being in contact with objects like door handles or door of a bus during public transport
Constantly wash your Hands
Hands are most susceptible to catching viruses as they are in continuous contact with daily life objects like cell phones, laptops, books, tables or desks, etc. It is a good practice to keep the hands clean by washing them more often with a good soap or liquid soap. An individual must wash the hands when:
- Coming home from the workplace or outside
- Before eating
- After eating
- After touching the floor or objects having contact with the floor like shoes
This process involves the complete removal of micro-organism from a non-living surface. It is usually practiced in hospitals where surgical instruments need frequent sterilization. However, you can also perform sterilization on household objects like knife and nail filler by exposing them to direct flame for five to ten minutes
This process is involved in the preservation of food, especially milk. Before preserving it is exposed to 63°C for 30 minutes. This excessive temperature will effective in killing and suppressing the growth of micro-organisms.
Cover the nose and Mouth:
In the case of coughing and sneezing, make sure that your nose and mouth are covered with some piece of cloth, handkerchief or disposable tissue. In a pandemic situation like Corona virus, people are advised to keep their mouth and nose covered even they are not ill because it will help them to protect themselves from virus present in airborne droplets.
Steps Taken to control virus spread at WORKPLACE:
- Don’t hesitate to maintain a social distance of 6 feet from your colleagues and other personnel
- Don’t share things like water bottle or pen or some most common stuff used in everyday routine
- Try to clean your cell phone screen and laptops with an alcoholic swab
- Convince other people to follow the same simple steps to avoid any health issue.
- In case of not feeling well, stay at home and choose your health overwork
Role of Hospitals in providing resistance towards viral Infection
Hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, diagnosis laboratories and pharmacies face the most difficult challenge and bear extreme pressure. On the one hand, they have to work to save the life of the patient, but on the other hand, they have to protect themselves too from being infected with such infections. To fight against such epidemics and pandemics and to provide a barrier for outbreaks, following steps should be taken seriously:
Strict hygienic protocol
The strict protocol should be followed in which general wards are properly disinfected after a regular interval of time.
A separate space i.e isolation chambers or quarantines should be allocated to the patient infected by the virus. Proper facilities should be there to face any emergency. The patient is kept isolated to control the spread of the virus and keep in isolation under the situation that seems to be in control. It is a wise step for the patient as well as for his family and other people.
The movement of paramedical staff should be restricted. They should be properly guided to take precautions and safety protocols.
There should be adequate amounts of masks, gloves and respirators. A hospital should be equipped with enough machinery to cope up with any emergencies on a large scale. Personnel like nurses and ward boys should be very careful in treating the patients of viral infections and shouldn’t treat other patients using same gloves, masks and head coverings otherwise they act as a career of a specific strain of the virus.
Before you Leave!
The spread of virus can only be controlled with precautions and care. Still, now no proper treatment for viral infections are reported so precautions and above-mentioned steps serves best to fight against it as well as control its spread to a large proportion within a community.
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A student of Pharm D from University of Karachi. She has keen interest in all the attributes towards pharmacy especially community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy with an objective to make medications sound and safe. She loves to provide information about Pharmaceutical Analysis and Pharmacology in a best way so people with no medical background can understand.