Hello Doctors, Doctors-To-Be!
Today, via this monthly newsletter of LAU, instead of providing university news, we are taking a different approach to inform you about COVID-19, scientific progress on it so far, and measures to keep yourself and your community safe, which is the utmost priority now.
#1 Sailing Boat Through Corona Storm: Message From Vice-Chancellor
Dear Students The Coronavirus pandemic is here to stay for some time. The airports and countries are in various stages of lockdown to check the further transmission of the virus since if it does, then most of the elderly population will be severely affected. That is why international airports have virtually been shut down, and anybody entering any country by any means is being compulsorily quarantined for a minimum of 14 days and no longer in their homes but in camps. So, you are safer where you are today.
You all are medical students, and therefore you should appreciate the epidemiological concerns better.
You must also understand that for young and healthy students, there is NO NEED TO PANIC.
The young have only mild flu-like symptoms, and nobody below 19 has been adversely affected across the globe, including China and Italy. The least effect is on population between 20 years to 39 years, where the mortality rate is just 0.2 percent. It is beyond 40 years that the mortality rate rises to 2 percent; beyond 60 years, it is 4 percent, and beyond 80 years, it is 18 percent.
80 percent of the affected people have mild illness and recover. 15 to 16 percent have longer and slightly moderate symptoms but they recover in the age group of 60 years and less.
The important need of the hour is to follow preventive, precautionary, and contributory measures as under:
- Strict hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water for 30 seconds every three hours, after using the toilet, before and after eating food, or whenever touching likely infected surfaces if people have sneezed and coughed nearby those areas. Sanitize such areas with 70 percent alcohol-based sanitizers, which can be used for hand hygiene also if soap and water are not easily accessible.
- Strict respiratory hygiene by sneezing and coughing into tissue papers and disposing of the tissue papers in covered bins. If using a handkerchief, wash the same with detergent every day.
- Do not touch your face, eyes, and nose with your hands.
- Do not take ibuprofen medication for fever as it exacerbates the symptoms. Use paracetamol 500mg tablets instead.
- Practice social distancing. Maintain at least 1-meter distance from others. Do not contribute to overcrowding in a public place.
- If anyone has symptoms of fever, cough, chest pain, body ache, runny nose, breathlessness, and easy fatigability, s/he must go to the hospital immediately and get tested.
- Do not mix much with the elderly population as even if you are an asymptomatic carrier, you can adversely affect them. Ask your parents staying in home countries to neither allow visitors from outside nor go to temples or religious congregation and other social gatherings at least during the recommended lockdown-time and social distancing phase.
- If an elderly person in your family is suffering from chronic lung disorders like asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, cardiac ailments, or living on immunosuppressant drugs, they should be advised to take all the aforementioned precautions extremely strictly. Also, you must emotionally support your family. Tell your parents not to worry and remain safe. Tell them that you are safe and well. Do not add to their anxiety
- Masks are not to be worn by healthy individuals. The masks will be worn by those having symptoms or tested positive, by healthcare workers and by those who are specifically vulnerable, being immune-compromised.
- If you are an MD 3 or a higher-level student, you can contribute to better the situation by offering your services voluntarily in spreading awareness about preventive measures, coordinating with the respective universities for various academic and recent updates on Coronavirus and by preventing students from unnecessarily panicking by bursting their myths and providing them with factual information.
Please spread this message in your group and tell all students to stay calm and peaceful as none of them will suffer from any adverse consequences even if they catch the novel virus. It is safer than the seasonal flu.
All this and additional information is available on the official website of the WHO and CDC. Do not believe anything that comes on social media without checking the same from official sites like those of WHO, CDC, Ministry of Health, Indian High Commission, or respective universities.
Also, let's take time to thank the medical professionals and other frontline workers who are risking their health and life while treating the patients. They have families too, and soon you all will be a part of this noble profession. For their sake and as a token of gratitude for their efforts, we must observe all preventive measures and practice social distancing to stay safe.
Take care. Be calm. Be careful but neither be fearful nor create a fearful and anxiety-oriented environment.
Like every situation, this too shall pass. Working together, we will triumph.
God bless you all.
AVSM, VSM, and BAR (Retd),
Former Director-General of Medical Services (IAF),
Vice-Chancellor, Lincoln American University
#2 COVID-19: Message From High Commission Of India, Georgetown
“COVID-19 - High Commission has been receiving enquiries from Indian nationals/students regarding the possibility of their travel back to India as the parents/family people back home are worried about their safety, good health, welfare, etc. Considering the prevailing travel restrictions, including closure of airports, all over the world including India, it is not advisable to plan any travel now, even going back to India.
Also, as advised by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, it would be better to remain wherever we are, to help avoiding spread of Coronavirus while travelling through various airports/flights.
Additionally, please ensure that we all follow the health precautions and advisories prescribed by the health authorities of the concerned local government. In case of any acute health emergencies, please reach out to the High Commission at Tel: +592 6238071 or +592 623 0704 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.”
We express our sincere gratitude to His Excellency Dr. K. J. Srinivasa, High Commissioner of India to Guyana, and every member of the High Commission for assuring and providing full support to the university during this tough time.
#3 COVID-19: Causative Agent & Origin
The first case of the COVID-19—acronym for “Coronavirus Disease 2019”— was detected in the Wuhan city of China on December 1, 2019. It was reported to WHO (China) on December 31, 2019. Since then, the causative agent for COVID-19 has not been identified, yet the cause of this disease is attributed to a novel virus from Coronavirus (CoV) family. This novel CoV is dubbed as “SARS-CoV-2,” and its particular origin, as well as cure, is under global medical investigation.
Get more information regarding the causative agent and origin of COVID-19 on the National Center for Biotechnology Information portal.
#4 COVID-19: Route Of Transmission
As per WHO, “The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.”
To understand how COVID-19 transmits, refer to the “How Coronavirus Spreads” section on the CDC portal and “Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)” on the WHO website.
#5 COVID-19: Management & Clinical Aspects
As of March 31, 2020, more than 7,66,000 people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19. Confirmation of COVID-19 disease requires laboratory testing using methods like rRT-PCR, Chest CT scans, and radiographs. Common symptoms include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Others might also have a runny nose, aches and pains, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing. The incubation period can be between 1 to 14 days and, most commonly, around 5 days.
As of now, COVID-19 positive cases and suspects are kept in isolation for 14-21 days in designated quarantine centers under expert care or at home. Prognosis Inform that as per current experience, 80 percent recover under quarantine, 15 percent need hospitalization, and 5 percent need ICU care.
Going forward, testing-kits are being developed, and laboratory research is going on at a global level to find out its definitive treatment. You can find out more about COVID-19 clinical aspects in IFCC Information Guide on COVID-19 and Wikipedia article on COVID-19 testing.
#6 COVID-19: Individual & Community-Based Preventive Measures
As of now, the use of isolation, social distancing, and adherence to respiratory hygiene etiquette are the best ways to stop the spread of the virus and stay safe at personal as well as community level
#7 Play COVID-19 Quiz
Test your knowledge of the novel Coronavirus with LAU COVID-19 Quiz:
Students with full score will be featured on the LAU social profiles and the next month’s newsletter.
#8 University Measures To Fight COVID-19
Life and learning never stop, no matter what. To keep your student life going in the best possible ways even under the Corona crisis:
- Faculty members are teaching you online through PPTs and e-assignments;
- Your Dean, Dr. Wesley Torrington, and Anatomy & Physiology faculty, Dr. Abdullah are visiting your hostel premises to take lectures under preventive measures;
- MD 3 students are guiding other students regarding COVID-19 preventive measures to stay safe and also providing emotional support; and
- Every member of the university is accessible on chat, phone, and email.
#9 COVID-19: For The Doctor In You
For you as a medical student, the Corona crisis is a phase to carefully observe everything, see how the healthcare system is taking care of the pandemic situation, and get ready for your professional life that is waiting ahead for you. To help you get started and keep an eye on Corona situation from the medical perspective, here are few resources:
- ✔ Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — WHO.
- ✔ Clinical and epidemiological features of 36 children with coronavirus disease 2019 — The Lancet.
- ✔ Coronavirus (Covid-19) — The New England Journal of Medicine.
#10 COVID-19: Inspiration From History
Well said that “history repeats itself” and that “tough times never last but tough people do.” Both these life lessons make sense in the context of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is not the first pandemic that the world is facing. Our previous generations have dealt with the 1918 flu pandemic, 2009 swine flu pandemic, and today, we are facing COVID-19 pandemic.
What’s inspiring about earlier pandemics is that every time, our perseverant healthcare professionals have successfully found a solution to combat the root of the concerned virus and cure the health and longevity of the people.
Our global health system and the army of healthcare professionals are working to defy COVID-19, and we have no doubt that we will be successful.