People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek Medical Attention.
A COVID-19 infection has the same signs and symptoms as the common cold and you can only differentiate them through laboratory testing to determine the virus type. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention and immediately isolate yourself from others. Call your local UN clinic/medical facility to inform them of your condition and relevant travel/exposure history. If you had been identified as a close contact of a case by the local Ministry of Health or WHO, please also indicate this. From here you will be advised if a medical assessment is necessary and how to get tested.
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. See the previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”
Protection measures for everyone:
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website, and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu, and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
- Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart, or lung disease. Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
According to the WHO, for individuals without respiratory symptoms, a medical mask is not required, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons. However, masks might be worn in some countries according to local cultural habits. If masks are used, best practices should be followed on how to wear, remove, and dispose of them and on hand hygiene action after removal. For more information, visit the WHO guidance on the use of masks in the community.
The risk depends on where you are – and more specifically, whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak unfolding there.
For most people in most locations, the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low. However, there are now places around the world (cities or areas) where the disease is spreading. For people living in, or visiting, these areas the risk of catching COVID-19 is higher. Governments and health authorities are taking vigorous action every time a new case of COVID-19 is identified. Be sure to comply with any local restrictions on travel, movement, or large gatherings. Cooperating with disease control efforts will reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Unfortunately, new outbreaks can emerge rapidly. It’s important to be aware of the situation where you are or intend to go. WHO publishes daily updates on the
COVID-19 situation worldwide.
You can see these at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus2019/situation-reports/
We do not have information from published scientific reports about the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes, which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly by close contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets. Whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or neonate by other routes of vertical transmission (before, during, or after delivery) is still unknown.
Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. You can learn more about who is most at risk for health problems if they have COVID-19 infection on CDC’s current Risk Assessment page.
No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs. There is much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children.
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones. We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. First and foremost, among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement, and gatherings.
While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
While some western, traditional, or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. (See Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus).
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a worldwide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely. WHO advises the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks (see Advice on the use of masks). The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing. See basic protective measures against the new coronavirus for more information.
In order to avoid infecting others, you should use a mask for as long as you are still coughing or sneezing. You should only stop after a complete recovery (which means 24-48 hours after having no symptoms without medication).
- You should limit the movement around the house of the individual who is ill and minimize shared space.
- Ensure shared spaces like bathrooms, and the kitchen are well ventilated. One way to do this is by keeping the windows open. Clean and disinfect the bathroom and toilet surface at least once a day using regular household soap or detergent for cleaning and then disinfecting with a regular household disinfectant containing 0.5% sodium hypochlorite.
- Do not forget the importance of hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand-rub or soap and water (if hands are visibly soiled).
- Whenever possible, household members should stay in a different room or maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from the ill person.
- When helping care for the sick individual, wear a tightly fitted medical/surgical mask that covers your nose and mouth when in the same room as the affected individual. Make sure you are careful not to touch your mask. If your mask gets wet or dirty, it should be replaced. When removing a mask, it is important to throw it away and perform hand hygiene. Dispose of any material with respiratory secretions immediately after use.
- Both the ill individual and you, as the caregiver, should perform hand hygiene after contact with respiratory secretions.
The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.
Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed. To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk, or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature, or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
If you are well, no testing is recommended. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should immediately isolate yourself from others. Call your local UN clinic/medical facility to inform them of your condition and relevant travel/exposure history. If you had been identified as a close contact of a case by the local Ministry of Health or WHO, please also indicate this. From here you will be advised if a medical assessment is necessary and how to get tested.
If hand sanitizers are not available, hand washing with soap and water is the recommended, and even better, alternative. Liquor is not effective against coronavirus. For an alcohol-based hand rub to be effective, it must have an alcohol content of 60% to 95%.
We know that for similar coronaviruses, infected people are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover. However, because the immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood, it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.
It is not known yet if weather and temperature changes impact or has any connection with COVID-19. At this time, it is not clear or known if the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when the weather becomes warmer.
Since the virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, the risk of catching it from somebody who is asymptomatic, even a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, is low. However, in light of the pandemic, everyone should maintain social distancing, which means keeping at least 1 meter away from others, avoiding mass gatherings and areas with large numbers of people, and practicing frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing according to the recommendation.
Although a fever is a sure sign that you are sick enough not to come to work, anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing should stay at home.
If you have just returned from an affected area, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after travel.
- During that period, you should immediately seek medical attention should you develop any signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath or cough.
- Remember to share your previous travel history with your health care provider and make every effort to inform them by phone prior to visiting a medical facility and wear a medical mask when you seek medical care.
- You should only return to work when you are well and completely free of symptoms.
- HR personnel and managers are encouraged to exercise flexibility around remote working to support staff.
- If you have just returned from an affected area, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after travel. During that period, you should immediately seek medical attention should you develop any signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath or cough.
- Self-quarantine for 14 days is recommended when you have been exposed to contact with lab-confirmed COVID-19.
- Since this is a rapidly evolving situation, many member states are imposing quarantine recommendations for travelers, which varies by country. We suggest monitoring the travel advisories issued from WHO and DHMOSH for up to date information
There are three approaches to the management of Epidemics/Pandemics in Homoeopathy.
- The gold standard in homeopathic practice is individualization. There is ample evidence of the effectiveness of individualized homeopathy for epidemic diseases. Trained homeopathic prescriber determines the specific remedy for each person, based on the Totality of Symptoms. Such indicated medicine has worked very well in acute diseases as well as in epidemics too, bringing rapid and gentle cure. For prevention of the disease, constitutional medicines prescribed helps to build up immunity; this is the age-old experience of the Homoeopathic fraternity. It works well in patients whose chronic constitutional medicine has been defined previously. What about Homoeopathic preventive at mass level? Founder Dr. Hahnemann answered in his book, Organon of Medicine which becomes the second approach to the epidemic management.
- Genus epidemicus: The genus epidemicus is the remedy found to be most effective for a particular epidemic once data has been gathered from several cases. This concept was first put forth by Samuel Hahnemann in the Organon of Medicine, Aphorism 241. as There is evidence that homeopathy was successful during the H1N1 Spanish flu Pandemic of 1918 to 1919, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 people in the United States alone . According to the historian Julian Winston, the death rates for patients treated with homeopathy were 1 to 2% compared with a 30 % mortality for those where Homeopathy was not used. The genus epidemicus for the Spanish Flu, according to Winston, was Gelsemium . Professor Mike Wallace, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, author of the book; “Greater Gotham: A History of New York City From 1898 to 1919,” gives account of “How New York Survived the Great Pandemic of 1918; Better than many cities, it turns out” and gives full credit to the homeopathic physician and city’s health commissioner, Dr. Royal S. Copeland for managing this sinister epidemic well so New York had lowest mortality rate compared to others. On 20/03/2020 New York Times revisited this area .
Homeopathy has been a boon to the patients of scarlet fever, typhus fever, yellow fever, Pneumonia, Cholera, Influenza, Hepatitis, Dengue, Leptospirosis, and Conjunctivitis during the times of pandemics and epidemics. Examining annals of medical history, you can come across various illustrations. When Cholera struck Europe in 1831, Homoeopathic intervention brought down mortality rate from 40% to 9%, Austria saw Homeopathy’s remarkable contribution, “and on account of this extraordinary result, the law interdicting the practice of Homeopathy in Austria was repealed . It is hard today to comprehend what kind of scourge such an epidemic was. As was seen in the later Flu Epidemic of 1918, one could be healthy in the morning and be dead by evening– it moved that rapidly. Exactly after a century, history repeats, and we are facing the severe pandemic of COVID 19!
Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) has been doing commendable work in researching epidemics. In the 2006 chikungunya epidemic, a homeopathic preventive Eupatorium 30C, was distributed to 1061 people with significant prevention (p < 0.0001). During the year 1999-2003, the government of Andhra Pradesh adopted Belladonna-Calcarea carbonica-Tuberculinum bovinum (BCT) regimen as preventive and the response was encouraging.
- The third approach for Homoeopathic prophylactic is the use of nosode or Isopathic medicine. Isopathic remedies are made from the actual cause of the illness, or from its by-products, to treat that same condition. It is somewhat akin to conventional vaccination, although the preparation is made in the homeopathic manner of potentization, with repeated dilutions and shaking (succussion) at each step. The particular agent can be a nosode made from diseased tissues or bacteria or sarcode from healthy tissue. Cuba has elegantly utilized this aspect of Homoeopathy to control the epidemic of leptospirosis from 2007 to 2008. Caused by a gram-negative bacterium, leptospirosis is spread through the urine of domestic and wild animals and can cause serious infections such as meningitis, hepatitis, and pneumonitis. During a period of widespread flooding and increased incidence of leptospirosis in three provinces of Cuba in 2007, 97% of the entire population over 1 year of age was treated with the Homeopathic nosode that comprised four strains of inactivated Leptospira. Over a 5-week period, more than 2 million people received two oral doses of the 200C potency of this preparation. This was followed nearly a year later with two 10M doses of the same nosode. Disease surveillance statistics revealed an 84% decreased incidence of the disease in these provinces in 2008 compared with previous years, despite the occurrence of three large hurricanes. In contrast, the incidence of leptospirosis in the other, untreated, provinces of Cuba rose by 21.7%. The results from the 2007 and 2008 interventions were unambiguously successful in that the prevalence of leptospirosis was far lower than expected during the hurricane season in the 3 provinces where homeoprophylaxis was used (ie, in the intervened regions) compared with the remaining 12 provinces in Cuba (ie, rest of the country) . The Cuban experience with homeoprophylaxis against leptospirosis has been and remains a very positive one. It has given rise to further government-directed immunization against hepatitis A, swine flu, pneumococcal disease, and dengue fever using homoeoprophylaxis. The Cuban health system in general demonstrates how conventional and complementary medicine can be usefully integrated, and their willingness to use both vaccination and homoeoprophylaxis as evidence-based immunization options is an excellent example of this. Lot of things to learn from Cuba, especially in the field of public health.
Refer ministry of Ayush: Immunity booster:
Ministry of AYUSH-
Ayurveda’s immunity-boosting measures for self-care during COVID 19 crisis
In the wake of the Covid 19 outbreak, entire mankind across the globe is suffering. Enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health.
We all know that prevention is better than cure. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times.
Ayurveda, being the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining a healthy and happy living. Ayurveda’s extensive knowledge base on preventive care derives from the concepts of “Dinacharya” – daily regimes and “Ritucharya”
– seasonal regimes to maintain a healthy life. It is a plant-based science. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining his or her immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda’s classical scriptures.
Ministry of AYUSH recommends the following self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health. These are supported by Ayurvedic literature and scientific publications.
Drink warm water throughout the day.
Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation for at least 30 minutes as advised by Ministry of AYUSH (#YOGAatHome #StayHome #StaySafe)
Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander), and Lahsun (Garlic) are recommended in cooking.
Ayurvedic Immunity Promoting Measures
Take Chyavanprash 10gm (1tsf) in the morning. Diabetics should take sugar-free Chyavanprash.
Drink herbal tea/decoction (Kadha) made from Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kalimirch (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) – once or twice a day. Add jaggery (natural sugar) and/or fresh lemon juice to your taste, if needed.
Golden Milk- Half teaspoon Haldi (turmeric) powder in 150 ml hot milk – once or twice a day.
Simple Ayurvedic Procedures
Nasal application – Apply sesame oil/coconut oil or Ghee in both the nostrils (Pratimarsh Nasya) in the morning and evening.
Oil pulling therapy- Take 1 tablespoon sesame or coconut oil in the mouth. Do not drink, Swish in the mouth for 2 to 3 minutes and spit it off followed by a warm water rinse. This can be done once or twice a day.
During dry cough / sore throat
Steam inhalation with fresh Pudina (Mint) leaves or Ajwain (Caraway seeds) can be practiced once in a day.
Lavang (Clove) powder mixed with natural sugar/honey can be taken 2-3 times a day in case of cough or throat irritation.
These measures generally treat normal dry cough and sore throat. However, it is best to consult doctors if these symptoms persist.
The above measures can be followed to the extent possible as per an individual’s convenience.
These measures are recommended by following eminent Vaidyas from across the Country as they may possibly boost an individual’s immunity against infections.
1. Padma Shri Vaidya P R Krishnakumar, Coimbatore
2. Padma Bhushan Vaidya Devendra Triguna, Delhi
3. Vaidya P M Varier, Kottakkal
4. Vaidya Jayant Devpujari, Nagpur
5. Vaidya Vinay Velankar, Thane
6. Vaidya B S Prasad, Belgaum
7. Padma Shri Vaidya Gurdeep Singh, Jamnagar
8. Acharya Balkrishna ji, Haridwar
9. Vaidya M S Baghel, Jaipur
10.Vaidya R B Dwivedi, Hardoi UP
11.Vaidya K N Dwivedi, Varanasi
12.Vaidya Rakesh Sharma, Chandigarh
13.Vaidya Abichal Chattopadhyay, Kolkata
14.Vaidya Tanuja Nesari, Delhi
15.Vaidya Sanjeev Sharma, Jaipur
16.Vaidya Anup Thakar, Jamnagar
Disclaimer: The above advisory does not claim to be treatment for COVID 19.