COVID-19 is an on-going pandemic battle in Malaysia and worldwide caused by a new strain of coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV 2). It was first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and has since spread to many countries. Since the virus constantly change through mutation process, there has been several variant identified such as Alpha (from UK), Beta (from South Africa), Gamma (from Brazil) and Delta (from India). Since 2021, variants of the virus have resulted in widespread waves in several countries with Delta variant being the most virulent. As of September 2021, more than 219 million cases have been confirmed with more than 4.6 million confirmed death, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in the history.
Symptoms of COVID-19 infection can varies between individual. It has wide range of symptoms reported ranging from no symptom or very mild to severe illness in elderly as well as those invidual with certain underlying medical conditions. Symptoms may appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Among symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
COVID-19 virus passed from an infected person's mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze and speak. The risk of transmission is highest when people are within close proximity of each other especially indoors. The virus can also be transmitted if there is splased or sprayed of contaminated fluids into the eyes, nose or mouth, and, rarely, via contaminated surfaces.
Here are several ways that you can do to prevent spread of COVID-19 to your loved ones and within community:
- Clean your hands often either by washing them with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub
- Maintain at least 1 meter distance from anyone who is coughing and sneezing
- Wear mask
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when you cough or sneeze to prevent release of droplets to others
- Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently especially those which are regularly touched such as door handles
- Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth
- Avoid 3C's, spaces that are closed, crowded and involve close contact. Having outdoors meeting is safe than being indoors
- Stay home and self-isolate even if you have minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever until you are fully recover. If you are unwell with chest pain and difficulty breathing, seek treatment immediately
- Get vaccinated regardless whether you already have COVID-19 in the past as soon as possible once it's your turn and not wait
Currently there are several vaccine available in Malaysia from KKM such as Pfizer, Astrazeneca and Sinovac. Vaccines available are safe and effective to keep you from getting and spreading COVID-19 infection and also keep you from getting seriously ill even if you get COVID-19 infection. Vaccines work by training and preparing your body's immune system to recognize and fight off the viruses more effectively. You may experience mild symptoms such as arm soreness, low grade fever, headache, lethargy, nausea and body ache. You may take paracetamol to help you relief some of the symptoms. However if you experienced severe symptoms of headache, chest pain, weakness or difficulty breathing, seek treatment immediately
If you are concern and have questions about COVID-19, talk to our doctor for more information.