COVID Surges & What We Need To Be Prepared For?
As soon as fresh COVID-19 cases stop being reported for a while, any nation or region may begin to feel secure. This feeling of security, however, might not last long due to the possibility of other infection waves. With COVID making its comeback during the year-ending, we are now more mindful than ever to ensure all protocols are followed to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
Even though we might have learned many things about how to care and protect ourselves, there is still much to learn about the new covid-19 variant BF.7. Read on to know about the current COVID surges, how well-equipped the healthcare fraternity is, and how you as a healthcare professional can help combat covid.
About The Covid-19 Variant BF.7
The significant increase in hospital admissions in China has been attributed to the new Omicron BF.7 subvariant of Covid, and it has been predicted that the virus will kill millions of people in China over the next few months.
Despite the fact that the same subvariant has so far infected 4 people in India, health officials and scientists say there is still no need to fear. Omicron BF.7 has a faster rate of infection and is challenging to find with RT-PCR. It is known to affect those with comorbidities, weakened immunity, or those without a history of vaccinations, including children, the elderly, and pregnant women. People who have had vaccinations are thought to experience milder symptoms of infection. With the immune-evasive traits of BF.7 and alarming indications of its expansion in China, the variety appears to be holding constant elsewhere.
What We Know About Current COVID Surges Around the Globe
1. As alarming it may sound, nearly 37 million people in China could be infected with COVID-19 on a single day this week.
2. Approximately 248 million people, 18% of China, might have contracted the virus in the first 20 days of December.
3. India has reported 201 new coronavirus infections, and the number of active cases rose to 3,421, according to the Union Health Ministry.
4. For instance, it was expected to have caused 5.7% fewer illnesses in the US until December 10 than it had the week before (6.6%).
5. The most recent technical briefing states that BF.7 has been de-escalated due to decreased incidence and low growth rates in the UK, despite the fact that the UK Health Security Agency identified it as one of the most alarming variants in terms of growth and neutralization, data in a technical briefing published in October states that it accounted for over 7% of covid-19 cases during that time.
The specific reason why the situation in China appears to be different is unknown. The low degree of immunity due to past infections and potential vaccinations among the Chinese population may be the contributing factors to BF.7’s high R0. Of course, given that the data from China is based on reports, we should all proceed with caution to safeguard our livelihood.
Covid-19 Variant BF.7 Symptoms
From the previous waves, we’ve learned that symptoms can variate according to the severity of the infection. But, it is up to us to be mindful of every symptom that could make us vulnerable to covid. Here are a few symptoms which can occur when one might be infected with COVID.
The Omicron BF.7 subvariant is rapidly gaining ground worldwide. India has so far documented 4 cases of variant reported.
Covid-19 variant BF.7 symptoms:
2. Sore throat
3. Cold – runny or stuffy nose
4. Wet cough
5. Throat irritation
6. Weakness, tiredness, and fatigue
7. Breathlessness and breathing difficulty
8. Night sweats due to high fever
9. Chest pain, tightness, and pressure
10. Body aches and pains
11. Vomiting or upset stomach
The new and highly contagious subvariant’s symptoms are not significantly different from those of the earlier Omicron strains, but it has a higher rate of transmission and a shorter incubation period. In addition, strengthening your immune system can always help people from contracting Covid. Our health can be improved by eating healthily, exercising frequently, staying hydrated, and maintaining good sleep habits.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above it is best to start self-isolating yourself, get yourself tested, and consult your doctor at the earliest to ensure you are following all the safety protocols. It is also stated that the covid-10 variant BF.7 can cause serious illness in individuals with weaker immune systems.
How To Self-Isolate Yourself if You Have the New Covid-19 Variant BF.7
Here are a few ways you can self-isolate yourself when you have tested positive or may have come in contact with someone who has tested positive with the new covid-19 variant BF.7
- Make sure you isolate yourself in a room with an attached bathroom to avoid exposing yourself to others.
- Cover your mouth while you are sneezing and coughing even if you’re alone.
- Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, and other surfaces to curb the spread of the virus and germs.
- Deep clean and disinfect your room and washrooms to avoid bacteria and germs from breeding in your room. A clean room and washroom will make you feel refreshed and clean.
- Do not share any of your items with anyone even after you’ve recovered.
- Track your symptoms, heart rate, and any other new symptoms which may appear to track your health every day. If you feel your symptoms are becoming worse, visit the nearest hospital without any delay.
- Purchase a COVID self-care kit that has a pulse oximeter, immunity-boosting medicines, sanitizer, gloves, mask, etc. to ensure you have everything you require.
- If you have any doubts, it is best to consult a doctor online instead of physically visiting the hospital if it isn’t an emergency.
- In case of an emergency, go to the nearest hospital as soon as you can.
- Try doing Pranayama, Anulom Vilom, and other breathing exercises, which will ease any chest congestion or breathing difficulties.
Rules For COVID+ve Caretakers:
For the people who are supporting an individual who is in isolation, they should not leave the house if they are in the same house.
While they are taking food to the person in isolation, make sure you don’t come in contact with the COVID+ve individual keep it at the doorstep and advise the person to take it only when you leave.
If that is not possible in this case of an immovable person, then it is best to maintain at least six feet distance, while you are wearing a mask until you leave the room, this practice is recommended for both the infected and normal person.
Avoid washing the COVID+ve person’s clothes, utensils, and bed sheets, as these items may contain germs that can expose you to the virus.
Few Precautions to Take If You Are Staying Alone & Have COVID
- If you are isolated alone, then it is even more crucial for you to stay safe and optimistic about the current situation, and also tend to your emotions and mental well-being.
- Store all your family members and doctors’ numbers on speed dial to have direct access to them at any time or day because emergencies can occur anytime.
- Write notes/post-its with positive affirmations and reminders that help you divert your mind and also motivate you to get through each day.
- Indulge in any activity of your liking and ensure that it is not strenuous and doesn’t exhaust you or lower your energy levels.
- If there is an instance where two or more people are COVID positive in the house, then they do not need to isolate themselves from each other. They should remain isolated from everyone else who is negative in the house.
- Never skip your current medicinal course, order medicines online, instead of heading outdoors to purchase the medicines.
- Order your medicines, groceries, and other daily items by using smartphone applications.
- Stay in touch with your loved ones with the means of technology you can either do; video call, phone calls, or message them. This can help you feel better and lift your spirits while you are alone in isolation.
- Talk to someone if you feel down and out, and don’t take your mental and physical health for granted.
Importance of increased testing in India To Combat the Covid-19 Variant BF.7
No nation in the world has yet administered COVID tests to all of its citizens since every government strives to make the best use of its resources. It is now widely agreed that a large increase in COVID testing is necessary to effectively manage this public health issue.
In the meanwhile, we must keep in mind the drawbacks of testing, the potential for false test findings, and the significance of repeat testing in the event of ambiguous results.
We won’t be able to understand the true scope of this spread until all patients and carriers have been detected through testing. Only then will the government be able to appropriately classify various areas depending on the likelihood that this sickness would spread and implement containment measures in response to the shifting field conditions.
Only then can the local government make the proper decision regarding who to isolate or quarantine in order to stop the virus’s spread, as well as who not to allow into hospitals for treatment.
Testing of individuals who have traveled to China during this period is also extremely crucial as they may showcase symptoms. It is mandatory for these travelers to test and quarantine themselves after their travel to help in curbing the spread of the covid-19 variant BF.7.
However, the future for COVID-19 testing looks promising with so many options on the anvil. We also need to regularly sequence a percentage of positive specimens from clinical cases to ascertain if there is any mutation of the viral genome. Any such evidence of variation can have momentous implications for diagnostic tests, the development of vaccines, and the treatment of infection.
The Calm Before the Storm
It is extremely important for our healthcare professionals to choose the right courses to help them eradicate the spread of the new covid-19 variant and ensure India is out of harm’s way.
Taking precautionary measures is always a step in the right direction when it is done consistently. Helping impact healthcare education and spreading more awareness about the new Covid-19 variant BF.7 is crucial for our nation’s safety and healthcare community.
6 Courses That Can Help Healthcare Professionals Combat the Surging Covid-19 Variant BF.7
Our healthcare community is now more aware of how to tackle COVID-19 cases due to the previous waves which took the world by storm. Many courses were introduced during the peak of the pandemic to help healthcare professionals to provide optimum care and treatment for covid infected patients.
Medvarsity has donated an online certificate course on the awareness and management of COVID-19 as a responsible player in the healthcare ed-tech industry. The organization successfully trained more than 1.5 lakh people in 120 countries through an online course on COVID-19 awareness and management.
To avoid falling prey to the new covid variant, our healthcare fraternity can choose to opt for certification courses that can help them in providing optimum care to patients and also help them add more credibility to their practice.
1. Advanced Certificate in Telemedicine and COVID-19 Management Essentials
2. Advanced Certificate in COVID 19 and Pulmonology Essentials
3. Certification Course on COVID-19 Telemedicine Practice
4. Advanced Certificate in COVID-19 and Critical Care Essentials
5. COVID-19– Certificate on Clinical Management
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