What is Community Spread and What Does that Mean?

What is Community Spread and What Does that Mean?

The Coronavirus outbreak that started a couple of months ago has affected the lives of millions of people across the world so much so that it has resulted in anxiousness amongst people. Some people have also started raising questions like can Covid-19 affect our brain?

The people who are infected with the COVID-19 virus begin to experience mild to moderate respiratory illness while the older people suffering from some or the other medical problems like diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer may develop serious and much more aggravated form of illness, even resulting in death. As a precaution, people are emphasizing on immunity boosting exercises during COVID-19 to minimize the risk of disease.

Currently, the word ‘Community Spread’ is widely used in the context of the Coronavirus Pandemic which has spread it’s wings in nearly every nook and corner of the world. When there is community spread, the control of the disease becomes very challenging, as is the case with India and other countries as well.

Now, the question arises what is Community Spread? To understand the term, we need to analyse the different stages of the virus spread.

The Major Stages of Spread of the Virus:-

Stage 1: Appearance of the Disease

This is the initial phase when the disease has just surfaced and positive cases have begun to emerge. In this stage, only a few people might be infected with the virus. As in the case of Coronavirus spread, we noticed that the very first few cases of the disease to be reported in India included people only with the travel histories from already infected nations.

Stage 2: Local Transmission Phase

Let us draw an analysis into what does local transmission mean? Local Transmission is described as the stage when the virus spreads locally, either through an individual who has a travel history, or a person who has come in direct contact with an infected individual. During this stage, the infected person can transmit the virus to the people in the patient’s vicinity, such as family, friends or neighbours. This is the stage where in order to control the spread of virus, measures such as social distancing and national lockdown need to be adopted.

Stage 3: Community Transmission

This is the stage referred to as community spread. So, let’s comprehend what is Community Spread? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), community transmission “is evidenced by the incapacity to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a huge number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples i.e routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from recognized laboratories.”

In simple terms, community spread can be defined as the stage of virus outbreak when it becomes extremely difficult to identify the source of infection. Therefore, during the phase of community transmission, it is quite possible that each and every person is under the potential risk of being infected. This is the reason why it becomes essential for the government to impose strict and complete lockdown in case of community transmission.

What Does Symptomatic Transmission of the Coronavirus Disease Mean?

Symptomatic transmission means transmission of the disease from the person who has developed signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 virus infection. According to the data from certain epidemiology and virologic studies, it is proven that COVID-19 is mainly transmitted from symptomatic people to other individuals when they come in direct contact with the infected people, through respiratory droplets and even via contaminated objects and surfaces.

Prevention Against the Virus Spread

prevention against virus

Since, the appropriate vaccine to treat the deadly coronavirus is yet to be discovered (although a number of vaccine trials are going on throughout the world), hence, the best way to curb or minimize the chances of virus spread is to prevent it.

Here mentioned are some of the precautionary measures prescribed by the WHO to ensure that people do not get affected by the coronavirus outbreak:-

  • You must make it a habit to clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • You must try to maintain at least 3 feet distance from other people especially the ones who might be coughing or sneezing.
  • You must cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • You need to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth frequently.
  • You must stay at home, if you feel sick. And, if you have fever, cough or are facing difficulty in breathing, you need to seek proper medical consultation.
  • You must avoid travelling to different paces, particularly if you are older and have medical issues such as diabetes, heart problems or lung disorders.

Few Other Precautionary Measures You Must Follow:-

According to few recent studies, it is believed that COVID-19 virus may remain on surfaces or objects for about 72 hours. This suggests that virus on the surface of objects (groceries) will become inactive after a stipulated time. However, if you feel the need to make use of the groceries purchased before this time, you must make sure to clean the external surface of the items with disinfectants.

Another important precautionary measure against the virus spread could be wearing masks. Masks are considered effective to help prevent respiratory droplets from travelling into the air and onto other individual. Therefore, CDC recommends people over 2 years of age and older to wear a mask in public, especially when other social distancing measures are complex to maintain. However, masks should not be worn by anyone with breathing difficulties.

Ending Note:-

We all know how the fatal Coronavirus has severely disrupted the lives of the people world over. If we talk about India, starting from a few cases, it has massively risen to unbelievable numbers, due to the community spread. Though, it would take some more time for the current situation to normalize, yet we need to patiently deal with the pandemic chaos. And, at the same time follow all the essential precautionary measures to reduce the possible chances of virus spread, ensuring a healthy life.

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