COVID-19 infections will continue spreading until researchers find a vaccine or a sufficient amount of people acquire immunity. So to fight the pandemic, countries across the globe have been following the test, trace, and treat approach. TABIIB brings a compilation of how various countries have been able to contain the spread and eliminate clusters of infections from rising further.
With regard to COVID-19 tests, most countries are either using viral tests or antibody tests. Viral tests are conducted to identify if you are currently suffering an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These tests usually take samples from your respiratory system by swabbing the insides of your nose.
While viral tests check if you are currently suffering from an infection, antibody tests, check if you had the infection in the past. When our body suffers from an infection, our immune system fights off the germs by developing proteins known as antibodies. The antibodies made by our immune system remain in the bloodstream and protect us from suffering the same infection in the future. So, antibody tests are tests that are made for antigen detection in your blood to see if you were infected in the past and have any COVID-19 antibodies.
With regards to COVID-19 apart from testing, countries have also been using the contact tracing method to break the chain of infections. In some parts, governments are manually tracing the movement of the infection, while in other parts they are using technology for the same.
Technology and phone apps have played a huge role in the containment of the virus in many countries. China launched several tracing apps earlier this year, which helped them to systematically lift the lockdown in Beijing. South Korea resorted to technology to send alerts announcing the locations visited by infected patients. They also ordered infected patients to download a tracking app on their phones to monitor if they were following the home isolation rules. To trace the route of infectious patients a few countries also used Bluetooth app tracking to see and monitor who the infected person came in contact with.
As of today, there is no specifically approved COVID-19 treatment or cure. So far, doctors across the world have only been focusing on managing the symptoms of the virus, with the below experimental treatments:
- Antiviral or retroviral medications
- Vitamins and supplements
- Breathing support including ventilation
- Steroids to reduce lung swelling and inflammation
- Blood plasma transfusions.
The 2019 coronavirus is nothing like what we have experienced in the recent past. Currently, to stop the spread of this virus, countries across the globe are putting all their best efforts and resources to use. So it’s important for all of us to do our bit to stop the spread of the virus as well. Following simple handwashing and social distancing guidelines are the best way we can help ourselves and our governments. However, if you display any COVID symptoms and suspect that you have contracted the virus, don’t panic and consult a doctor.