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Why Does Coronavirus Spread So Easily? Experts Explain

As the number of coronavirus infections approaches 3.32 Lakh people worldwide, researchers explain why it infects humans so readily

Why Does Coronavirus Spread So Easily? Experts Explain

New Delhi: The initial reports of the new coronavirus emerged from Wuhan, China, in December 2019, with patients indicating pneumonia-like symptoms. As of March 23, according to World Health Organisation’s situation report, more than 3.32 Lakh cases had been confirmed worldwide and more than 14,500 fatalities. With the number of cases increasing exponentially within three months of the reporting of the first few cases, the medical community worldwide has been trying to understand what makes coronavirus spread so fast. In this regard, NDTV spoke with experts to know the latest findings about how COVID-19 spreads.

Also Read: India Fights Corona: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Follows Social Distancing Norms During Cabinet Meet

Pyramid Transmission Of Infection Caused By Person-To-Person Contact

According to Dr. Nivedita Gupta from Indian Council of Medical Research, coronavirus has been found to spread mainly through person-to-person contact. She said,

The virus spreads easily between people who are in close contact with one another, say within about six feet. It is transmitted through tiny respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Thus infecting them with the disease.

She further said that understanding the transmission of the virus is key to its containment and prevention.

Dr Surya Kant, Professor and Head of Department of Respiratory Medicine, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) Lucknow said that once a person becomes a carrier of the virus, they can easily transmit the same to other people who then spread among some more and so on. Thus, causing a pyramid effect. He said,

If you see what happened in Itlay, USA and earlier in Japan and South Korea, it was initially, a person who had travelled to China or any other COVID-19 affected country and the people who came in contact with such a person were at the risk of being infected by the coronavirus but then as the chain of such contact increased, it started spreading in the community as well.

According to experts, India is currently in stage two of the transmission, where the virus infects people directly in contact with affected patients who returned from abroad. However, if the spread of the virus is not contained soon, the country may enter the state three called as community transmission in which the number of infected people will spike extremely making it impossible to trace the chain of transmission.

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People With Mild Symptoms Can Spread Coronavirus

Dr. Meenakshi Jain, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, Patparganj and Noida said that people who are asymptomatic who exhibit no symptoms or have mild symptoms are major threats when it comes to spreading of the virus. She highlighted that while symptomatic people can be quarantined and provided with some medical care, asymptomatic infected persons are not even aware about their infection but can easily spread the virus. She asserted,

One big question about the new coronavirus is how many people transmit COVID-19 without showing symptoms at all, or showing so few symptoms they hardly realise they are sick. People experiencing symptoms such as a mild fever, cough and congestion are unlikely to visit a doctor. Older people or those with weak immunity, who are on immunity depressants or have health problems like diabetes are at serious health risk for being in contact with the infected persons.

Also Read: PM Modi Announces A Nationwide Lockdown From Midnight To Fight Coronavirus Outbreak

Infected Air And Infected Surfaces Can Also Spread The Virus

Dr. Surya Kant said that doctors and health experts are so insistent that people cover coughs and sneezes because if let loose, those germs may also land on nearby surfaces: a countertop, table, light switch or doorknob, for example. He said,

Most of the infection is spread through contaminated hand contact and the negligence of the people. If a healthy person touches those infected surfaces, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, they can get infected.

He further said that members of the household of an infected person are at higher risk since they are exposed to multiple surfaces/air touched by the infected person.

Dr. Jain informs that according to a study, the virus can live in the air for several hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. She recommends washing hands frequently and cleaning surfaces with effective cleansers.

Experts say, the key lies in stopping, or at least slowing, the spread of coronavirus via a practice called “social distancing.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it involves physically staying about six feet from other people, as well as avoiding public transportation, including ride shares and other crowded places. They also strongly recommend practising frequent hand washing and covering the mouth and nose during coughing and sneezing to reduce the incidence of coronavirus infection significantly.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Here Are The Answers To All Your Frequently Asked Questions On COVID-19

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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