Between a Hospital and a Hard place
“It has almost been a week since I went home. Waking up at 7:00 am, getting dressed in a hurry and rushing to the Out Patient Department before the patients start arriving has become second nature to me. I feel like I missed out two important things here… Ah yes! My Breakfast and the surgical mask that our hospital duly provides every morning. Knowing fully well that it is not going to protect me against the COVID-19 virus, I put it on anyway because, something is better than nothing right?
Amidst the outbreak of a pandemic, even with a nationwide curfew in place, despite all the warning, hordes of parents bring their children to the hospital with complaints like fever, cough and cold. While some are there due to a genuine emergency, most of them are there mainly because of the panic l that surrounds this disease thereby putting themselves and their children at a great risk of contracting the virus.
On an average, close to 80 times a day, through the sweaty and suffocating mask, my fellow doctors and myself give out the following advice-
” Fever, cough and cold are the most common symptoms presenting in the Paediatric age group. A fever that persists for more than 4-5 days is the one that needs a Blood workup and possible hospital care. Until then, it can be treated at home using the only drug available for reducing fever- Paracetamol.
While Cough is an important symptom of COVID-19, many forget that Cough and cold is seen more in the Common cold which is also a viral infection. It can be treated at home by cutting down or restricting the intake of cold juices, milkshakes and Ice creams and by drinking warm water instead. Antibiotics are not useful in viral infections and are hence not required. Cough syrup may however be used to relieve the symptoms.”
As a general rule, the most appropriate measure to be taken when in doubt is to ‘ Wait and watch’ the symptoms. If it’s progressively worsening, only then should the person be brought to the hospital. On behalf of all the doctors who work tirelessly to provide care and medical support, our plea to the general public is to remain inside their own homes and practice basic hand hygiene until the quarantine period ends. We would collectively fail in our duty if you came to the hospital and went back harbouring a new disease!! Kindly stay indoors and do your part in helping the country overcome this calamity. Always remember,
‘Prevention is better than cure’.
– Dr. Sruthi RD
The CORONA VIRUS and the history of a pandemic
The entire world fears that one word right now “CORONA”. I just want to assure you that there is nothing to panic.
Looking back into our history such a scenario is not new to us. We have had various pandemics like SARS in 2003, MERS in 2012 with mortality rates of 9.5% and 30% respectively which have been handled well by our public health care systems globally.
1) So what’s this COVID-19?
It’s a new strain of Corona virus which was first identified in Wuhan, China and has now spread globally with 4,16,686 cases and 18,589 deaths as on 26th March.
It’s a Respiratory Tract Infection with various symptoms like cough, running nose, sore throat, shortness of breath and fever. It spreads through droplet infection with an incubation period of 2-14 days.
2) Who are at higher risk ?
Elderly people (>65 years of age)
Patients on immunosuppressive drugs, cancer patients, People with Chronic Diabetes, Hypertension etc. Please note that young people are not invincible.
3) Is there any ways to boost our immunity ?
VITAMIN- C rich foods like oranges, guava, amla can be consumed.
Or 1 VITAMIN-C capsule per day can be taken.
4) What should we all do ?
Basic Preventive Measures should be followed since there is no vaccine or specific medication for COVID-19 till date.
a) Personal hygiene should be maintained. Wash your hands with soap and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
b) Distance of 1 metre (3 feet) to be maintained as recommended by WHO.
c) Cover your cough with the bend of your elbow or use a tissue and then discard it immediately.
d) Please do not take any self medication like antibiotics or antiviral drugs without the Doctor’s prescription.
e) Mask is recommended only for people who are essential workers. Do not waste the resources.
f) Please seek medical advice when you develop any of the symptoms mentioned above.
g) Finally the most important thing is “QUARANTINE”. (For 21 days as per the govt rules to prevent community spread)
Stay home, Stay Safe.
Dr. Sharanya Shankar