WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS
Coronaviruses are type of viruses. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness called COVID-19 that started in Wuhan, China. This family of viruses causes sickness from common cold to very severe diseases. Generally, coronavirus will circulate in animals, and jump to humans. In the past coronavirus have caused diseases like MERS and SARS
Covid-19 which started in Wuhan is only a new strain of the existing coronavirus which has existed for years. COVID-19 is the illness caused by a novel coronavirus called Severe Acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS COV-2) formerly called 2019-nCov.
HOW IS COVID-19 SPREAD?
Recent information indicates COVID-19 is spread first at the source of the wet market in Wuhan where there were live animals slaughtered on request for sale, and person to person though through droplets that are left in the air, on surfaces, etc. However, there is evidence as well that the spread is possible through aerosol. There are however some still unknown as this strain of coronavirus is novel.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of any respiratory disease. It can cause pneumonia. Among symptoms reported of infected persons includes Cough, Flu, Fever and Shortness of breath. This is viral, so antibiotics would normally not work.
IS COVID-19 DEADLY
Recovery depends on your immune system. The statistics show that 80% (4 in 5) of all COVID-19 patients develop only mild symptoms and can recover with good medical care. Males above 80 years and those with some underlining illness already, are more likely to suffer severe situations like death.
WHAT IS THE INCUBATION PERIOD FOR COVID-19?
The incubation period means how many days it takes for infected persons to show signs and symptoms of the disease. Symptoms for COVID-19 are showing within an incubation period of 14 days. For some, they may show symptoms within a few days of 4, while others will show symptoms within 14 days.
CAN COVID-19 BE SPREAD WHILES IN THE INCUBATION PERIOD
Yes, the disease can be spread by ASYMMETRIC. This means that people still in the incubation period, who do not even show signs of the COVID-19, can spread the disease.
The Disease is also PRE-ASYMMETRIC which means that those infected by others who are still in incubation period can also infect others whiles both are still in the incubation period (even when disease symptoms is not shown yet)
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE FLU, COUGH OR ANY SYMPTOM?
Generally, you need to isolate yourself alone indoors. Kindly avoid close contacts with even family members at home so you do not put them at risk. Call the health authorities. (Call countries should have dedicated reporting systems working now).
If you believe you have been exposed to the virus kindly inform your health authorities of your travel plans.
HOW MANY ARE AFFECTED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
Globally there are 84,861confirmed cases as of 29th February. In China,79, 251 cases have been confirmed mostly in Wuhan and Hubei province, 2931 in South Korea, 705 on the Diamond Cruise ship (which was carrying 3700 passengers), 650 in Italy, 388 in Iran, 202 in Japan, 98 in Singapore, 93 in Hongkong, 62 in the USA, 59 in Germany, 45 in Kuwait. Also, there are11 in Canada, 19 in the UK, 3 in India, 2 in Israel just to mention a few. There have been two cases in Africa (1 in Egypt which has recovered, and 1 in Nigeria).
There have been 2919 total deaths and a substantial number of nearly 40,000 mostly within China have recovered.
50 countries have recorded confirmed cases. Cases are in every continent except Antarctica.
DOES ALL MASK USEFUL IN PREVENTION THE SPREAD OF COVID -19
NO, N95 respirator mask and surgical mask are good for different reasons. The ordinary cotton or silk mask is only for dust particles and ineffective in this instance of COVID 19
IS WEARING PROTECTIVE MASK GOING TO PROTECT FROM THE DISEASE :( OTHERS SAY MASK CAN’T WORK)
Wearing the required mask properly can minimize your chances of being infected or your chances of infecting others. But not all mask works. The WHO and experts have recommended two types of masks for different purposes.
- The N95 or equivalent Respirator mask: Wearing N95 Respiratory increase one's chances of not being infected through droplets or aerosol means that can contact through the mouth and noise
- Surgical mask (The ones used in hospitals during operation) are good but only good to prevent an already infected person wearing them from releasing droplets to contaminate air and surfaces.
WHAT IS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN N95 RESPIRATORS, SURGICAL MASK AND OTHER MASK
Whiles N95 Respirator is for the prevention of being infected and infecting others, Surgical mask on the hand is worn to prevent the infected from releasing droplets to affect others. Use N95 respirators as the first choice, but in the absence of N95 respirators use a surgical mask when going out. Other masks are ineffective for COVID-19
WHAT ARE THE PREVENTION MEASURES I AND FAMILY CAN TAKE
- Practice hand hygiene (wash hands frequently with disinfectants to clean)
- Wear N95 (Highly Recommended) or Surgical mask when going out
- In severe instances, avoid going out except necessary, and reduce public gathering of all kinds
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Take lots of fruits and vegetable
- Disinfecting the house and door handles frequently
- Washing your hands and clothes after returning home from outside
- Importantly keep your immune system stronger (The stronger your immune system, the more likely you will recover with medication)
SOME MYTHS ABOUT THE VARIES TO IGNORE
- IS IT TRUE THAT THE COVID 19 IS CAUSED BY EATING BATS?
NO. Coronavirus may have originated from bats, but it will need an intermediate host (Another animal) to jump onto, mutate, and then spread through those animals (intermediate host animals). Bats may not infect humans directly. Some research shows that the animal `` Pangolins`` may be the intermediate host of the COVID-19.
What is on record to have caused the outbreak at the wet market Wuhan is that, conditions in wet markets where many different live animals are slaughtered is good grounds for the virus to jump from bats (through blood, feces and liquid contamination) to any other animals as host (even domestic ones) which will then expose the infected host to humans causing the SARS-Cov-2 which develops into the disease COVID-19.
- WILL EATING ANIMALS AND OTHER ANIMAL PRODUCTS INCREASE MY RISK?
The SARS-Cov-2 (the coronavirus that cause the COVID-19 disease) will die when exposed to the heat of 56"c continuously for 30 minutes. This implies that the virus will die if meat, eggs and other dairy products are well cooked.
- SHAKING HANDS OR KISSING CAN CAUSE CORONA VIRUS
If there are droplets on the hands or any surfaces and one’s hand or any part of the body is stained with, there would be a high possibility of exposing yourself to COVID-19 if the virus can get to your eyes, mouth, ears and nose.
- CAN I GET COVID -19 IF EXPOSED TO DROPLETS THROUGH THE NOSE?
The Nose, Mouth, Eyes and Ears are parts of the body that the virus uses to enter the body. In severe cases, it is advisable to protect your eyes by wearing goggles and other eye protectors , even when wearing the required mask to protect your nose and mouth.
Also, there is evidence to the effect that patients of COVID-19 traced to be present feces of patients. In a shared washroom, this is an area to be careful.
I HAVEN'T BEEN TO WUHAN, CHINA AND I HAVEN'T BEEN INTO CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN TO OTHER WORST HIT AREAS LIKE SOUTH KOREA, ITALY, IRAN, JAPAN, HONGKONG, OR MAINLAND CHINA GENERALLY. SO COVID -19 IS OUT OF MY WAY.
There are instances where infected persons have not been to China or any other worst-hit countries, and have no records of close contact with someone who has been to worst-hit areas but has been infected. This is evidence of a self-sustaining community spread where there is no trace of patient 0. The caution therefore to prevent this kind of spread is to be highly responsible individuals respecting preventive measures
Finally, this new strain of coronavirus can be contained, If you experience the symptoms of Cough, Flu, Fever, Shortness of breath and any other that may be common with COVID-19, kindly call the relevant authorities. First, quarantine yourself to protect your family and society whiles waiting for the relevant health aid. Do not expose anyone, even drivers when you aren't sure of your health status.
On the 28th of February, 2019 the Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization stated that ``this is a reality check for EVERY government on the planet. Wake up, Get ready, this virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready``. Indeed, this is the wake up to all countries to immediately see the risk COVID-19 poses to our countries and the world. Put in stringent measures just like China is doing to contain this virus while the citizenry must be ready to do their might to contain COVID-19 with the individual, country and a global sustained effort.
Mark Y. Tampuri Jnr, ChMC
(Ph.D. Researcher, Jiangsu University)