By Annan Boodram
The majority of coronavirus patients were infected, by someone, who wasn’t showing any symptoms of the deadly virus (asymptomatic persons), a new study of cases in China found.
Researchers, from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, estimated how long it was taking for someone to become infected with COVID-19. Using mathematical modelling, the team found that 79.7 percent of people, with the deadly virus, caught it from someone not showing any symptoms.
According to the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail, the findings of the Chinese study mirror already available data on viral shedding studies in close contact areas – particularly from confirmed cases.
These findings seem to contradict the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) position, as published in the Guyana media, which quoted PAHO/WHO country representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow, as saying that the “risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from an asymptomatic host is relatively low”.
Another point to note is, stats from New York State, released on April 7, 2020, revealed that the majority of coronavirus deaths (61 percent) were among men; 63 percent of the deaths were among those, aged 70 and older; and 86 percent of all deaths were among people, who had underlying illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes.
Additional findings included:
(a) The leading, underlying illness was hypertension, which showed up in 55 percent of the deaths.
(b) Next was diabetes, which was diagnosed in about 37 percent of the cases.
(c) Other top illnesses, found in those who died from coronavirus were, hyperlipidemia; coronary artery disease; renal disease and dementia.
It is also to be noted that early treatment does lead to greater chances of recovery. Thus, as soon as someone suspects that he/she is having symptoms, quarantine (in a separate, well-ventilated room, if possible) should go into effect; sanitizing should be the order of the day; focus should be on foods and beverages that help boost immunity, especially ones containing vitamins C and D, such as citrus fruits, garlic, papaw, crabs, gooseberry, watermelon, sweet potato, eddo, carrot, broccoli and ginger.
In fact, everyone should be using foods to boost the immune system, at this time, and everyone should wear masks and gloves, once outside the home. No one is immune to this disease, no matter how young, strong and/or healthy you are!
As well, foods, beverages and herbs that contain anti-viral properties, should be used – aloe vera, sage, basil, garlic, peppermint, oregano, ginseng, rosemary, bell/table peppers, pomegranate, coconut, green tea, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, walnuts and lemon balm.
Other steps should include:
wearing a mask all the time, essential for the protection of others in the home as well — including pets;
using only Tylenol or acetaminophen. While there is no evidence to show that ibuprofin or aspirin can create problems, there is not enough evidence to show that they are absolutely safe, either;
sponge-baths, with slightly warm water, instead of showers; and change of clothing, at least once a day;
stay hydrated, with warm liquids (ginger or green/black tea for example) or citrus fruit juices – lemon, orange, lime or tangerine;
lozenges, cough drops, halls, ginger tea, mint tea for the cough, as well as a cough suppressant, such as Ferrol Compound;
if the body pain is continual, a vigorous body rub-down, maybe once a day, will help;
chills is also a symptom associated with COVID 19, so make sure you are able to keep warm, if that becomes necessary;
eating regular meals. You may not have an appetite and you may find that your taste buds are not operating, so it is recommended that you eat small portions often — chicken soup is highly recommended;
adequate rest, especially since the symptoms can interfere with a patient’s sleep;
if symptoms worsen, please see your doctor or go to a hospital, to get tested, firstly, and then be advised accordingly;
The WHO also recommends that:
bathrooms and kitchens should be well ventilated;
one member of the household, who is in good health with no underlying chronic medical conditions, should take on the role of caregiver – no one else should visit the patient, until they are symptom-free (both patient and caregiver must wear masks);
caregivers should wash their hands, after every contact with the patient, as well as before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever hands look dirty;
after washing hands, with soap and water, it is preferable to use disposable paper towels to dry them. If these are not available, use clean cloth towels and replace them, frequently;
the sick person should use separate cups, dishes, utensils, towels and bed linen to the rest of the household. And all these items should be washed, separately, using soap and water;
any surfaces and objects that have been touched by the sick person, should be cleaned and disinfected, at least daily.
Finally, the fact that at least two COVID 19 deaths could have been avoided in Guyana, had the hotline responded in a timely manner, leaves much to be desired. A hotline must be manned 24/7 and a rapid response team be in place, in the event that patients are struggling, especially with breathing.
Remember, safety, protection and knowing that help is immediately available, if needed, contribute to easing stress, anxiety, panic and tensions, factors that will certainly compound the condition of anyone suffering from COVID 19.
Annan Boodram is the President of The Caribbean Voice, a New York-based, registered, volunteer-driven, not-for-profit NGO, engaged in suicide and all forms of abuse prevention in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines — in partnership with sister NGO, ‘Say Enough is Enough Support Group — and the Caribbean Diaspora in North America.
The Caribbean Voice offers free counseling. For more information, please contact us at: email — firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; telephone — What’s App 646-461-0574 or 592-621-6111; or check out our website at www.caribvoice.org.