Hello humans of Nigeria and the world!
How are you doing and how are you self-isolating AKA obeying the partial lock down rules? Nigeria confirmed her first case of the Coronavirus disease, popularly known as COVID-19 on the 27th of February 2020 and this was promptly announced on the 28th of February 2020. The situation became real for many when Nigeria recorded her first death from Covid-19 on the 23rd of March 2020 as announced via the Nigeria Centre for disease control (NCDC) official twitter handle.
Although, the case was a 67year old male who returned home following medical treatment in the UK with underlying medical conditions such as multiple myeloma & diabetes, it became clear to many that the pandemic we have closely watched ravage other continents of the world is finally in Nigeria and we must all take caution or risk losing our own to the virus. At first, many felt relax based on the idea that these disease would only have higher negative effect such as death on people with underlying medical condition and old people, but as time went on and with many death recorded globally so far, it became even clearer that this virus is not a respecter of age, class, or melanin. And that we must all follow instructions and work together to beat this one.
In light of the above, here is all you need to know regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease);
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
How does COVID-19 Spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Is COVID-19 airborne?
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.
Can I catch COVID-19 from surfaces or packages?
Yes. It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Also, The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
Prevention (How to protect self)
Wash your hands frequently and/or use alcohol based hand sanitizers
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze
Avoid crowded places
Stay at home if you feel unwell – even with a slight fever and cough
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call by phone first
Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.
WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Source – WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
Note that the virus only moves when people move. If we stop moving, the spread will be over in no time. And this is why it is advised that we as citizens of the country adhere to the rules of the partial lock down imposed by state and federal government so that we can go back to our normal lives sooner than later.
This is not the time to point fingers and apportion blames. This is the time to follow instructions and observe precautionary measures.
Lets stay safe and stay home. This too shall pass.
To get information on the spread and containment on the virus in Nigeria, please follow @NCDCgov on twitter or watch Plus TV Africa HERE