FAQs about Covid-19 – Answered by Doctors
1. Is coronavirus a non-living DNA protein molecule or a living RNA organism?
Viruses can be classified based on the genome present in DNA and RNA virus groups, which are further sub classified. Corona Viruses are a RNA containing structure bound by a lipid membrane, bearing surface bulbous spikes (resembling a crown, hence named ‘Corona” which means crown in latin). For a long time, viruses have been in the “grey zone”, which is between living and nonliving organisms. Viruses need a host to replicate and multiply which makes them living organisms. In the absence of a host, they are inert (non-replicating/non-living) RNA molecules and proteins.
2. Is there any hope that Ivermectin can play a role to cure COVID-19?
Ivermectin is an approved anti parasitic agent, but it has been known to exhibit a broad spectrum of antiviral action. Initial studies and research have revealed a promising prospect of bringing about an effective ~5000-fold reduction in Viral RNA within 48 hours post addition of Ivermectin in the treatment plan. This is being classified as an essential medicinal drug by the WHO and is widely available now.
3. If I am exercising and I feel shortness of breath, can it be that I have coronavirus?
Hyperventilation can be a reason when one experiences the lack of required amount of air and feeling breathless. This is because a person is already breathing at the maximum rate and volume possible, leaving no further scope for increase. It may seem rather ironic that breathing too much can make one feel breathless. Hence, breathlessness after physical exertion/exercises is not an absolute sign of being symptomatic for COVID-19
4. Which vitamins help fight coronavirus?
Vitamin C & D, Zinc, DHA and Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for optimal immune response of an individual. It is important to consume the right kind of nutrition in the right quantity. Vitamin C is essential for the growth and function of immune cells and antibody production. Vitamin D receptors are present in immune cells, while also signifying the role in immune response. It is recommended to consume larger doses of these supplements to tide over infections or boost an individual’s response. Good nutrition and a wholesome diet is needed for an overall good immune system, which helps us fight all ailments, not just specific to COVID-19.
5. Can Hydroxychloroquine be given to a 17 yr old boy who is Covid positive?
Hydroxychloroquine is recommended by the ICMR/Ministry of health and family welfare as a chemoprophylaxis for health care workers who are treating either suspected or confirmed cases of the COVID-19 and to the household contacts of COVID-19 patients. There are no peer reviewed publications at present for the exposure prophylaxis. The lack of evidence as such hardly justifies the state endorsed wide spread use of Hydroxychloroquine.
6. Is Methylxanthine, Theobromine and Theophylline helpful for coronavirus disease?
These compounds are normally found in tea (black tea to be precise) in very low quantities. These compounds are found to provide symptomatic relief to complaints such as throat pain and congestion like many other warm liquids. These can also bring about a mild reduction in blood pressure and also suppress cough, but preventing or curing COVID-19 is not something a cup of tea can do.
7. Is Favilavir showing sensitivity for coronavirus?
As per the Government of India’s technical committee, there is no concrete evidence to suggest the efficacy of antiviral drugs such as Remedesivir or Favipinavir in the management of COVID-19. In countries that are using these two drugs for the management of their COVID-19 subjects, there is no reduction in mortality nor a reduction in hospitalization time.
8. Can HCQ be used against COVID-19?
Although initial reports from China showed evidence that HydroxyChloroquine may benefit people with COVID-19, but without a larger randomized clinical trial, we cannot conclude that the drug can improve clinical outcomes. Emerging reports from USA, Italy, France points that there is no significant clinical improvement for severe patients affected with COVID-19.
9. Can Amlodipine and Remdesivir help in treating COVID-19?
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug which was used with some success in treating previous respiratory viral diseases such as MERS-COV and SARS. So it is currently being investigated against COVID-19 for its effects on the same. Even though the initial reports are satisfactory, further studies are needed to confirm the effects of these drugs. As far as Amlodipine is concerned, it is a calcium channel blocker used for treating hypertension. It has no proven effect, specifically on Coronavirus, but a pre published small case series from China has concluded that the drug might improve disease outcomes in COVID-19 patients with hypertension.
10. How many adenines and cytosines are the main DNA of COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an RNA virus and not a DNA virus. RNA viruses have adenine, guanine, cytosine and uracil, while DNA viruses have adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.