CMAAO IMA HCFI Myths Buster 7 |
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CMAAO IMA HCFI Myths Buster 7
Dr KK Aggarwal,  22 March 2020
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Doubling of cases in one day can be ignored

No. Cases are doubled in 7 days.  Sudden doubling of cases is the first indication of community spread. For instance, on 20th March India has jumped to more than double cases then the previous day, which is a cause of worry.

One positive person can spread infection only to 3 people

No.  The attack rate or transmissibility of a virus is indicated by its reproductive number (Ro, pronounced R-nought or r-zero), which represents the average number of people to which a single infected person will transmit the virus.

  • WHOs estimated (on Jan. 23) Ro to be between 1.4 and 2.5. 

  • Other studies have estimated a Ro between 3.6 -4.0, and between 2.24- 3.58. 

  • Preliminary studies had estimated Ro to be between 5 and 3.5.

  • An outbreak with a reproductive number of below 1 will gradually disappear.

  • For comparison, the Ro for the common flu is 1.3 and for SARS it was 2.0.

  • So, with this one person can only infect 3-34 people.

However, it is a well-known fact that HIV with Gonorrhoea combination spreads HIV more rapidly than a person with HIV alone. A ‘super spreader’ is a fast spreader.

A South Korean patient has been linked to spreading the coronavirus to over 1,000 people and is a perfect example which goes ahead to show the significance of social distancing. The Asian country saw an increase in cases from hundreds of cases to thousands within days with a super spreader labelled "patient 31" linked to 1,160 cases. In the days before the diagnosis was confirmed, the woman who was a member of a large cult called Shincheonji, had multiple contacts with large gatherings.

 Cloth cannot be used as a mask

Thailand’s health authorities are encouraging people to make cloth face masks at home for the prevention of coronavirus spread. Cloth masks are adequate to prevent people from catching the virus via droplets from coughing or sneezing.

The droplet from coughing and sneezing is around five microns and it has already been tested that cloth masks can protect against droplets bigger than one micron. The masks have to be washed daily. Cloth mask is a better option than not using anything, as it can at least protect me from people’s saliva in close contact.

 Cloth cannot be reused after ironing it

For the purpose of using the cloth to protect the hands touching the mouth, one can use cloth mask after ironing it.

 China delayed informing the WHO

While there were 300 cases and 5 deaths with SARS before the Chinese government reported it to the World Health Organization, there were only 27 cases and no deaths with COVID-19 before it was reported to that agency.

 The virus only present with mild or serious cases

No. Different stages of infection are

  1. Asymptomatic mild

  2. Symptomatic mild

  3. Moderate oxygen independent pneumonia

  4. Moderate oxygen dependant pneumonia

  5. Severe pneumonia with ARDS, sepsis and septic shock.

  6. Severe critical pneumonia: Ventilator dependent

At entry of any gate any person can take thermal temperature

No. Use of no-touch thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, and limited observation and questioning, all require maintaining a spatial distance of at least 1 m. The person doing it must be trained personnel.

Presence of GI symptoms has no significance in COVID 19

Patients with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms who were admitted to the hospital and were diagnosed with COVID-19 were more likely to have severe disease than patients who did not have GI symptoms, based on results published on March 18 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Self-quarantining and self-monitoring are same

No. Both strategies aim to keep people who have been exposed, or might have been exposed, away from others as much as possible for a certain period, which is generally 14 days, (considered the incubation period of COVID-19). However, symptoms can also appear within a few days of exposure.

Self-monitoring includes regularly checking temperature and watching for signs of a respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 It also involves limiting interaction with others.

So, if you have attended a large conference where someone was later found to be positive for the coronavirus, even if you were not in close contact with that person.

If the person speaking at the podium was later diagnosed and you were in the audience, youre not considered at risk. However, such individuals should strictly observe self-monitoring. However, in case you had a long conversation with the speaker or the speaker coughed or sneezed on you, then self-monitoring is not adequate,

Self-quarantine is a step up from self-monitoring because the person at risk of infection, even without symptoms has a higher chance of exposure.

Doctors are less likely to get COVID 19

No. Health care provider infections in China were 3.8% with 0.3% deaths. The most recent death of Dr Stephen M. Schwartz, MD, PhD, a pioneer in the field of vascular biology and a long time professor of pathology at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, Seattle, died March 17 after being hospitalized with COVID-19. He was 78.

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