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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

26,10,35,501Cases
22,18,42,204Active
3,39,98,278Recovered
51,95,019Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,10,35,501 and 51,95,019 have died; 22,18,42,204 are active cases and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 3:39 am.

India

3,45,72,523 8,774Cases
1,05,6911,328Active
3,39,98,278 9,481Recovered
4,68,554 621Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,72,523 confirmed cases including 4,68,554 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,05,691 and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,612 507

11,905 248

64,80,799 738

1,40,908 17

Kerala

51,29,359 4,741

49,152 957

50,40,528 5,144

39,679 554

Karnataka

29,95,285 322

6,783 143

29,50,306 176

38,196 3

Tamil Nadu

27,24,731 740

8,382 36

26,79,895 765

36,454 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,446 248

2,158 5

20,55,856 253

14,432

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,373 5

86 5

16,87,377 9

22,910 1

West Bengal

16,14,152 701

7,820 27

15,86,882 717

19,450 11

Delhi

14,40,834 27

290 11

14,15,448 37

25,096 1

Odisha

10,48,492 264

2,222 6

10,37,864 255

8,406 3

Chhattisgarh

10,06,733 27

326 7

9,92,814 20

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,741 26

187 13

9,45,599 13

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,382 28

291 17

8,16,999 45

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,120 23

112 9

7,82,480 14

10,528

Haryana

7,71,654 11

159 1

7,61,441 10

10,054

Bihar

7,26,212 3

39 6

7,16,510 9

9,663

Telangana

6,75,479 160

3,545 11

6,67,946 148

3,988 1

Assam

6,16,435 123

2,720 71

6,07,624 189

6,091 5

Punjab

6,03,190 17

313 22

5,86,284 39

16,593

Jharkhand

3,49,216 20

109 0

3,43,967 20

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,183 14

150 6

3,36,626 8

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,386 149

1,724 5

3,30,189 141

4,473 3

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,941 82

809 18

2,22,287 97

3,845 3

Goa

1,78,839 40

275 9

1,75,183 31

3,381

Mizoram

1,34,279 358

4,117 110

1,29,672 466

490 2

Puducherry

1,28,860 35

326 5

1,26,662 30

1,872

Manipur

1,25,117 19

673 1

1,22,474 18

1,970 2

Tripura

84,784 13

89 9

83,874 3

821 1

Meghalaya

84,414 20

308 27

82,635 44

1,471 3

Chandigarh

65,443 5

52 4

64,571 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,269 9

37 4

54,952 5

280

Sikkim

32,211 4

114 5

31,694 9

403

Nagaland

32,100 4

135 1

31,269 5

696

Ladakh

21,494 27

249 6

21,032 21

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

28 1

10,315 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,680 2

5 2

7,546

129

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