It is no longer news that the world is experiencing the outbreak of a pandemic – Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is sadly responsible for thousands of death and sick people, and has created fear and panic globally. Since the outbreak of this pandemic, there have been a number of crazy conspiracy theories, one of which was alleged that scientist created it in a laboratory and leaked it to reduce the population of humans on earth. The most logical one being that it came from animals.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID- 19)?
The Corona viruses are a family of virus that cause disease in animals, of which Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) belong. The new Corona virus, popularly known as COVID-19 made a jump to humans in 2019 and the pandemic is believed to have started in a market in Wuhan, China, where dead and live birds and fishes are sold. Live animals are allegedly butchered and kept on site, which heightens the risk of viruses going from animals to humans.
SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
When a person is infected with COVID-19, most usually have flu like symptoms and mild throat pains. The virus infects the throat first, so you may have a dry cough for about three or four days. The virus then enters the trachea through nasal fluid, into the lungs, which results in pneumonia, followed by high fever and difficulty in breathing. The nasal congestion is not like the common one, it is said that the feeling is similar to one drowning.
Coronavirus can be spread if an infected person coughs or sneezes and another person who is at extremely close proximity of about 3 to 6 feet inhales the airborne virus from the cough or sneeze. This is why social distancing is recommended because you cannot tell who has it or who doesn’t.
It can also be spread when an infected person coughs in their hands, touches surfaces and then others touch the same surface, these surfaces could be door handles, desk, faucet etc.
WHO IS VULNERABLE AND AT RISK
According to the center for disease control, the elderly and people who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are at risks of getting very sick if infected with COVID-19.
PRECAUTIONS AND SAFETY MEASURES TO LIMIT THE SPREAD AND PREVENT INFECTION
- Wash your hands frequently, under running water, with soap, for at least 20 seconds. The virus can live on your hands for about 10 minutes, you may not know when you will rub your eyes, unwittingly pick your nose or put your hands in your mouth.
- In the event that there is no soap and water to wash hands, use an alcohol based sanitizer for your hands, to reduce the chances of contamination of the virus lingering on surfaces.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces around you such as door handles, desk, seat, faucet etc.
- Gargle with salt and water.
- Drink enough water, advisably warm water, as virus can be pushed from your mouth to your stomach, the stomach acid is able to kill the virus if this happens.
- Take in more fruits to boost your immune system, vitamin C is of great benefit to your immune system in this pandemic.
- When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose and mouth which may contain the virus, hence, avoid public gathering if possible and maintain social distancing of about 3 feet from people if you must go out.
- Have enough groceries and household items so that you can stay at home and self-quarantine for a few days or weeks to help curb the disease
- Wear a face mask, this could prevent you from spreading the disease in the event that you may have been infected.
- Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing or coughing and throw tissue away in the trash.
FACTS ABOUT COVID-19
- Corona virus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose
- It is not heat resistant and will be killed by a temperature of 26 or 27 degrees, it doesn’t like the sun.
- If someone infected with the virus sneezes, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground, at this point it is no longer airborne.
- If it drops on a metal surface, it will live for at least 12 hours (if you come in contact with any metal surface, wash your hands under running water with soap for at least 20seconds).
- On a fabric, it can survive for 6 to 2 hours, normal laundry detergent will kill it.
Symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days of infection, call your doctor or visit the nearest health center or designated centers immediately you start to feel the symptoms stated in the article. It is important to self-quarantine for at least 14 days since new studies have revealed that some people may not show signs of infection until later days when the virus has infected their body ad these are critical and dangerous stages. Do not forget to wear mask in public places to reduce the spread.