COVID-19: Is it a community disease?
What is a community disease?
Community disease, also known as Communicable or infectious diseases are those diseases which can be easily transmitted from one person to other with or without a vector.
The mode of transmission can be through direct person to person contact or indirectly through food, animals, faeces, air or surface contact.
Is COVID-19 a community disease?
SARS-CoV-2 is a new kind of Coronavirus that appeared in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan, China.
Coronaviruses are common, you may likely had coronavirus lots of times, and it’s one kind of virus that causes the common cold. But they can also cause diseases like SARS and MERS, two infamous diseases having very high case mortality rates.
They’re very dangerous, and the disease that SARS-CoV-2 causes have been named COVID-19 short for coronavirus disease 2019.
This disease spread very quickly in China at first, but new cases there are slowing, and now the majority of new cases are outside China.
First of all, “Pandemic” sounds like an official term, but there aren’t super hard rules or numbers that can or should be used.
In general, we use the term
- Epidemic: a sudden, unexpected increase in the number of patients of a particular disease, but restricted to a particular region only.
- Pandemic: pandemic, on the other hand, is sudden, the abrupt spread of a disease, that is not limited to a particular region, but worldwide.
Why does the difference between those things matter?
It is because of the difference in response and picking against the spread to this community disease.
- Epidemics you “contain”.
- Pandemics you can only “mitigate”.
How “WHO” decide when something is a pandemic?
In this case “WHO” lookout for evidence of sustained, domestic transmission in at least one more region outside of the Pacific region that includes China, Japan, and South Korea before using the term “pandemic”.
How coronavirus spread?
When we talk about how coronavirus spread, we are talking about not just new arrivals, but new spread. While we didn’t see any evidence of that in the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, we now have seen cases that aren’t directly linked to either travel or exposure to people who’ve traveled. Instead, it looks like it might be what’s known as “community spread”.
“Community spread or community cases”, is when we couldn’t find out the source of the virus infection. In this case, that would mean a person who haven’t been to China and also haven’t been in direct contact with someone who was recently in China is getting sick.
It’s spreading from person to person in its community, via droplets from coughing or sneezing or just, talking loudly.
Focus is not just domestic transmission but sustained transmission. So the WHO (World Health Organization) has chosen to use the word pandemic. They looked for sustained, community-acquired transmission – that is, many, many cases where no one knows how someone got sick.
Picking against the spread
WHO took its time to declare it a pandemic because No one responds to news like “there’s a pandemic” lightly.
We do have some ideas about why COVID-19 has been able to spread. As mentioned, it’s spread from person to person in droplets when a sick person coughs or sneezes. It’s also been suggested that several cases are being spread by people without any symptoms at all. That’s called “asymptomatic transmission”.
Pandemic or no pandemic, it’s important to remember that this designation has nothing to do with how deadly a disease is. The term only describes where the disease is spreading. It doesn’t tell you anything else.
Picking against the spread depends on the awareness among common people on how coronavirus spread. People should be aware of the symptoms of this disease, which include fever, dry cough, and tiredness. People might also get aches and pains, a sore throat, a runny or congested nose.
That’s why it’s really important to contact your doctor if you start having any difficulty breathing – which is more indicative of this disease. Contacting doctors doesn’t mean going and sitting in a waiting room with a bunch of strangers.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that since this is a community disease, avoid touching your face frequently, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and staying home if you are sick.
Based on the lessons learned in previous pandemics, we now know how coronavirus spread. You must clean your hands scrupulously with soap and water for minimum ‘20 seconds’. That’s not just some empty platitude.
With that, the word “pandemic” is being thrown around. It’s okay to be concerned. After all, events like this are uncertain, but we can’t eliminate the uncertainty associated with this community disease. Many people have been affected, families who’ve lost loved ones and we should keep them in our hearts.
(For informational purpose only. Consult your local medical authority for advice.