CORONAVIRUS, COVID 19 PANDEMIC AND DENTAL CARE- 4
The most common symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID 19 are fever, headache, tiredness,
cough, and shortness of breath. The causative organism is a new coronavirus known as novel
coronavirus and human to human transmission is mainly via respiratory droplets, saliva, and
indirect transmission through touching contaminated surfaces. As the disease is highly
transmissible and routine dental procedures usually generate aerosols; need alterations in
dental treatments to maintain a healthy environment to prevent cross-infection. As there is no
effective treatment or vaccination as of date, the only modality to control infection is prevention.
How can we prevent COVID 19?
2. Preventive measures
4. Top tips to prevent COVID 19
The best method to prevent the transmission of COVID 19 is to avoid being in contact with
people who are showing symptoms, primary contacts of COVID-19, or those who are from the
high-risk zone. Also, we have to practice good hygiene and physical distancing with everyone
and wearing the mask at public places to avoid the transmission of viruses. Practicing good
dietary habits, regular exercise and adequate sleep boost our immunity which in turn helps to
fight against COVID 19.
2. Preventive measures
The ideal way to prevent the spread of infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Also, i) Clean the hands with soap and water or with hand sanitizers (minimum 60% alcohol
content) and rub at least for 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to sing ‘ABCD’ rhyme, ii)
Maintain a safe distance of about 6 feet or 2 meters, roughly around two arm’s length to one
another, iii) Keep a safe distance from the people who are in the high-risk group and are in
quarantine, iv) Wear a face mask in public places, v) Avoid touching mouth, nose, or eyes
frequently with hands, vi) Cover nose and mouth with the bent elbow or tissue while coughing or
sneezing, vii) Disinfect objects like computers, phones, and door handles using chemical
disinfectants, viii) Use soap and water to clean the dishes. ix) Stay home if feel unwell and seek
medical consultation once symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty in breathing and x)Those
who are working in the health care sector must wear personal protective equipment.
Along with the preventive measures like use of mask, use of sanitizers and social distancing,
need to practice healthy lifestyles like maintaining of regular sleep for six to eight hours, stay
hydrated by drinking at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day, manage anxiety and stress, do
regular exercise, eat balanced diet including carbohydrate, minerals, and vitamins mainly A, D,
and C. Also habits like smoking and alcohol consumption need to be stopped as smoking
aggravates respiratory distress and alcoholism alters stomach epithelium, absorption of
nutrients, and causes dehydration.
CDC and WHO strongly recommend using face masks to cover the mouth and nose in public
places during this ongoing pandemic. Respiratory droplets get into the air while exhale, talk,
cough, and sneeze. Face masks block the respiratory droplets of people who are asymptomatic
carriers or people who have the virus but have gone undiagnosed.
Different kinds of face masks are available are a cloth face mask, surgical face mask, N95
respirator, KN95 respirator, filtering facepiece respirator (FFP 1,2, 3), self-contained breathing
apparatus, full face respirator, and full-length face shield. Out of these, the basic cloth face
masks are recommended for the general public. The filtration effectiveness of different masks
are, surgical mask 95 to 98%, 95% filtration by N95 and KN95, FFP 1, 2 and 3 offers filtration of
80%, 94%, and 98-99% respectively and filtration efficiencies of the hybrid cloth masks
(cotton-flannel, cotton-chiffon, cotton-silk, ) are >80% to 90%. Preferable fabrics and
composition of a three-layered non-medical cloth mask is an inner layer of absorbent cloth such
as cotton, a layer of non-woven fabric such as polypropylene in the middle, and an outer layer of
non-absorbent cloth such as polyester or polyester blend. Reusable six-layer face masks with
better filtration efficiency are also available in the market.
It’s very important to keep the mask clean. Avoid touching the front part of the mask with the
hands. Also, try to avoid touching the mouth, nose, and eyes while removing it. This prevents
the possibility of transferring the virus from a mask to the hands and from the hands to the face.
Cloth face masks should be cleaned using soap or detergent in hot water of at least 60 degrees
after each use. Or wash the mask in room temperature water then boiling for 1 minute or
soaking it in 0.1% chlorine for 1 minute and rinsing thoroughly with room temperature water. Do
not share masks with others.
N95 respirators are not recommended to use for the general public. People with cardiac,
respiratory, or other conditions that cause breathing difficulties should check with their physician
before using N95 respirators because it makes it more difficult for the person to breathe. Masks
with exhalation valves help to breathe out easily and reduce heat build-up. N95 respirators with
external valves are not advised to use when needed sterile conditions because it filters only
4.Top tips to prevent COVID 19
Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time with warm water and soap or
use alcohol-containing hand rubs.
Don’t touch face, eyes, nose, or mouth when hands are dirty.
Don’t go out if feeling sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.
Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from each other.
Wear a face mask in public places.
Cover mouth with a tissue or the inside of bend elbow when sneeze or cough.
Clean and disinfect the things we touch frequently.
Practice healthy lifestyles and dietary habits.
The best way to prevent the spread of infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Along
with preventive measures like social distancing, frequent cleaning of hands, and wearing masks
in public places we need to practice healthy lifestyles and dietary habits to prevent COVID 19