Coronavirus: Avoid contact with animals, suspected cases

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Dr Rakesh Kumar Mahajan , RML Hospital, Delhi

With an upsurge in suspected cases of Novel coronavirus in various parts of the country, doctors at RML Hospital, Delhi, are advocating greater precautions for citizens. The precautionary measures include avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals and with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.

The warning came after 40 cases, suspected of being affected by the novel coronavirus, were kept under observation at an isolation ward of RML hospital from January. However, 38 of them were discharged after their test reports were negative.

Dr Rakesh Kumar Mahajan, Professor & Consultant, Dept. of Microbiology, told DTMT, “Any person having even slight symptoms of cough, fever and weakness should immediately report to RML Hospital or their nearest health centers.”

As of now, there is no definite treatment, antibiotics or vaccines available for combating the particular virus strain and only supportive treatment for pneumonia is given, Dr Mahajan says.

He said, “Several vaccines to aid the conditions are still under development. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.”

According to Dr Kirti Nirmal, Assistant Professor, RML Hospital, “The basic principle is to reduce the general risk of transmission by avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections, frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people, or with their environment.”

People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette such as maintaining distance, covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and washing hands, he added.

The doctors also suggested enhanced standard of infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.


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