According to Dr B Kannan, Paediatrician and Medical Administrator, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai, an epidemic like the coronavirus, now declared by the WHO as a pandemic of international concern, could be quite unnerving for anyone.

The virus that originated in Wuhan, China, has already killed over 9, 000 people and infected more than two lakh worldwide. Spread to almost 124 countries around the world, including India, cases of coronavirus are rising by the day in India as well.

he symptoms of coronavirus infection could range from a simple cough with fever or shortness of breath to serious infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Hence, it’s essential for parents to keep themselves and their children safe from acquiring an infection, the paediatrician said in a statement on Thursday.

Person-to-person transmission
Coronavirus spreads through transmission from one person to another such as through droplets while coughing and sneezing from an infected person. These droplets could stay on fomites such as door handle, metro seats etc., for four to five days. This makes it highly infectious and even fatal in a lot of cases.

Hence, people were advised to wash hands often, use soap and wash for 20 seconds, wash after using the restroom or being in public places like malls, playgrounds. While sneezing, people should cover nose and mouth and advised to sneeze into your elbows. Avoid touching face and don’t pick your nose, rub eyes, and touch your mouth. Citing these, he said such ones were common entry points of viruses into the body.

Parents should also ensure their children use proper medical grade masks, especially when travelling through crowded places with a risk of infection, or even when communicating with strangers on the road. They should avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough as infected persons may not necessarily show any symptoms.

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